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Porcelain figure of Louis XV as a warrior

 

Height: 24.600 cm

M&ME 1992,1-6, 1

Room 46: Europe 1400-1800

    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.

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

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    On display: Room 46: Europe 1400-1800

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