Porcelain figure of Louis XV as a warrior

Sèvres factory, Sèvres, France, about AD 1770-73

To celebrate the Dauphin's marriage

This figure is based on a large bronze statue of Louis XV, king of France (1715-74) by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (1715-85), who supplied a small-scale terracotta model to the Sèvres porcelain factory in 1770.

The figure was designed for a large centrepiece of soft-paste biscuit porcelain set out for a dinner on 16 May 1770 to celebrate the marriage of the Dauphin (the future King Louis XVI) and Marie-Antoinette. The King is shown as a Roman warrior, with a sword in his hand, and wearing a laurel wreath, a symbol of victory.

Biscuit porcelain figures are made of unglazed white clay, moulded in a number of different sections which are joined together after firing. They were made to replace sugar sculpture that was placed on the dining table as decoration during the dessert course.

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More information

Bibliography

A. Dawson, A catalogue of French porcelai, revised paperback edition (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)

Dimensions

Height: 24.600 cm

Museum number

M&ME 1992,1-6, 1

MCT13177

Location

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