A Sèvres coffee can and saucer, circa 1790
Lot 233
A Sèvres coffee can and saucer, circa 1790
£1,000 - 1,500
US$ 1,700 - 2,500
Lot Details
A Sèvres coffee can and saucer, circa 1790
Gobelet 'litron' et soucoupe, of the first size, painted by Charles-Antoine Didier, with medallions of classical scenes, reserved on a purple ground framed by elaborate gilt scrollwork borders, titles to the bases in underglaze-blue, the cup 'Pryame, et Thisbe'., the saucer 'Cadmus et hermione (sic) Mètamorphosès en Serpens.', the cup 7.5cm high, the saucer 14.8cm diam, interlaced LL monogram enclosing date letters, painter's mark of double barred cross in blue enamel, various paper collector labels, (retouching of the gilding on rim and footrim) (2)


  • The scene on the saucer - Cadmus and Hermione turned into snakes - is possibly based on a woodcut by Bernard Solomon. A print of the same composition was used in 1564 in a German publication of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Solomon's woodcuts can be found in at least three other French publications. The source for the scene on the coffee can depicting Pyramus and Thisbe features several times in 17th century paintings, all based on famous prints of the Metamorphosis by Sébastian Le Clerc, which were published in the late 17th century.

    The mythological scenes were painted by Charles-Antoine Didier (père), who is recorded as a painter of figures, birds and animals between 1787-1800, 1806-07 and 1823-25 (D. Peters, Sèvres Plates and Services of the Eighteenth Century (2005), p.36).

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this lot has been withdrawn
  1. Nette Megens
    Specialist - European Ceramics
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8348
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8252