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Publication

Sévres Porcelain in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen

The Louis XVI Service

Geoffrey De Bellaigue

 293 pages

Cover for Sevres Porcelain in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen

Cover for Sevres Porcelain in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen ©

The Sèvres porcelain in the Royal Collection ranks as the finest in the world. This volume, the first of a three-volume catalogue of the Sèvres belonging to Her Majesty, The Queen, is devoted exclusively to the Louis XVI service.

The service was commissioned by Louis XVI in 1783. It was still only half-completed at the time of the King's execution ten years later. The bulk of the service was acquired by George IV in 1811 and thus passed into the Royal Collection, housed at Windsor Castle.

The Louis XVI service was the most expensive service of soft-paste porcelain ever produced at Sèvres in the eighteenth century. Considering its exceptional character, it has been possible to reconstitute the history of its manufacture and to establish the precise contributions of the artists involved. A major part of the catalogue is devoted to the identification of the sources which served as models for the scenes drawn from antiquity and mythology reproduced in the reserves.

Sir Geoffrey de Bellaigue was Director of the Royal Collection and Surveyor of The Queen's Works of Art until 1996. A former Trustee of the Wallace Collection and Honorary President of the French Porcelain Society from 1985 to 1999, he is regarded as one the world's leading authorities on Sevres porcelain and has published extensively on the decorative arts in the Royal Collection.