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Three volumes covering all French porcelain in the Royal Collection

Sèvres porcelain factory

Sauçières 1780

Soft-paste porcelain, deep green ground with gilded decoration | .1 8.9 x 23.5 x 18.0, .2 9.0 x 23.8 x 19.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 59300

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Of oval shape and undulating outline, the sauce boats terminate at either end in a spout. In the centre on the front and back are handles, which are formed by the raised straps emerging out of the rim; they curl over, cross and terminate in foliage. The gilded foliate frames of the large reserves incorporate berried laurel trails, which emerge out of the scrolling branches on either side and meet in the centre of the lower edge of the reserves. The plain oval frames round the butterfly reserves are tooled with cross-banding alternately matt and burnished. In the kidney-shaped reserves below the spouts are painted polychrome single birds in a landscape setting, their names inscribed on the underside, and in the oval reserves behind the handles single butterflies. The names of the birds inscribed in blue are ‘pigeon ramier de madagascar’ and ‘la perdrix de montagne’; ‘la gelinote femelle du Canada’ and ‘gelinote Blanche’. In their decoration the sauce boats are identical to pieces forming part of a dessert service, drawn from stock, which was acquired by the comte d’Artois for 17,844 livres on 16 August 1782. Although described in the sales’ ledger as a dessert service (‘Service de Dessert fond verd oiseaux et Papillons d’apres M. de Buffon’) somewhat anachronistically the entry included twenty-four soup plates. Text adapted from French Porcelain: In the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, London, 2009