- Museum number
Toilet Pot and Cover; creamy-coloured soft-paste porcelain; lead-glazed; moulded as an artichoke, with scalloped moulded rim and a moulded, slightly convex, cover with a gallery; the cover, which has a grooved bulbous knop, does not fit properly, although it appears to belong with the pot; maker's mark incised on base.
- Production date
- 1740-1750 (circa)
Height: 8.40 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Dawson 1994
Pieces of this form without the moulding made at the Vincennes factory were used at table for holding gravy or cream, (1) but on the evidence of ‘La Marchande des Modes’, (2) a painting by François Boucher dated 1746 which shows a similar waisted artichoke-moulded pot on a dressing-table, it seems likely that this is a toilet pot. Many variations in the forms, mouldings and knops show that there was a considerable market in these pots. (3) The recent discovery of documents listing porcelain which is probably from the Saint-Cloud factory, used as stiffeners and compartments in a box containing a ‘nécessaire de voyage’, (4) has shown that on 27 September 1748 a ‘moyen pot en artichaud à relief’ cost 4 ‘livres’.
Despite its relatively late date, the foot is crudely formed and the glaze does not 'fit'. Poor technique appears to be a feature of many pieces bearing this or a similar mark, and cannot be explained in the present state of knowledge.
A white glazed artichoke-moulded 'tureen' and cover with a pecking bird finial was made at the Chelsea porcelain factory around 1755. (5)
Artichoke-moulded 'custard cups' with covers, not dissimilar in shape to the Saint-Cloud pots, were made in pearlware around 1785-90 at the Wedgwood factory. (6)
(1) Hallé, Antoinette and Préaud, Tamara, ‘Porcelaines de Vincennes, les Origines de Sèvres’, Grand Palais, Paris, October 1977 – January 1978, p. 76.
(2) In the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. A reduced version is in the Wallace Collection, London, illus. P. Verlet, ‘La Maison du XVIII Siècle en France’, Paris, 1960, pl. 98.
(3) One of a pair of pots shaped and moulded like artichokes, H. 8 cm inch cover, is illustrated by Eriksen, Svend, ‘The David Collection, French Porcelain’, Copenhagen, 1980, pl. 6b. For three more globular pots in two different sizes, 11. 8 cm and 11 cm, see Phillips, 6 June 1990, Lot 118, and H.-P. Fourest, ‘Masterpieces of Western and Near Eastern Ceramics, Vol. VI French Ceramics’, Tokyo, 1979, fig. 53, H. 8 cm, D. 6.8 cm, marks ‘ASCT’, Musée national Adrien-Dubouché, Limoges, inv. ADL 2.196.
(4) C. Truman, A St.-Cloud Nécessaire de Voyage circa 1750, ‘Connoisseur’, Vol. 203, no. 818, April 1980, pp. 253-5.
(5) See S. Spero, English Porcelain Rarities, ‘Antique Dealer and Collectors' Guide’, Vol. 43, no. 3, October 1989, p. 40, no dimensions given.
(6) Reilly, Robin, ‘Wedgwood’, London, 1989, I, p. 321, fig. 403.
1) See F. Labayle, ‘La porcelaine de Saint-Cloud’, Rennes, 1982, p. 8, slightly differing form (location incorrect).
2) Sotheby's, René Fribourg sale, Part 2, 15 October 1963, Lot 392, with matching trembleuse stand.
3) Belgium, Kortrijk, Museum voor Oudheidkunde en Sierkunst, ‘Keramiek’, cat. compiled by A.G. Pauwels and E.J. van Hoonacker, 1981, no. 736, H. 8 cm, unmarked, inv. 4385.
- Not on display
- Lid and foot rim chipped.
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number