Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Coffee and tea service (déjeuner chinois réticulé)

Factory:
Sèvres Manufactory (French, 1740–present)
Designer:
Hyacinthe Régnier (French, active 1825–63)
Date:
1855–61
Culture:
French, Sèvres
Medium:
Hard-paste porcelain
Dimensions:
Tray (.1): H. 8 3/8 in. (21.3 cm.); Gr. Diam. 19 5/8 in. (49.8 cm.); coffeepot with cover (.2ab): H. 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm.); teapot with cover (.3ab): H. 4 15/16 in. (12.5 cm.); sugar bowl with cover (.4ab): H. 4 9/16 in. (11.6 cm.); bowl and dish (.5ab): H. 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm.); milk jug (.6): H. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm.); cream pitcher (.7): H. 2 3/16 in. (5.6 cm.); cups (.8,.10): H. 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm.), Diam. 2 13/16 in. (7.1 cm.); saucers (.9): Diam. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm.); saucer (.11): Diam. 4 13/16 in. (12.2 cm.)
Classification:
Ceramics-Porcelain
Credit Line:
Gift of Helen Boehm, in memory of her late husband, Edward Marshall Boehm, 1969
Accession Number:
69.193.1–.11
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 556
The various shapes employed for this exuberant service evoke both China and the Near East-the origins of tea and coffee, respectively. The Sèvres factory described the service as a déjeuner chinois reticulé, or a Chinese service with openwork decoration, but its fidelity to Chinese models is slight. The shape of the tray, with its scrolling feet, is based on Chinese lacquerware, and the double-walled forms with openwork exteriors appear to have been inspired by Chinese porcelains sold in Paris in 1826. Additional Chinese-inspired elements include the simulated bamboo handles and the painted Chinese emblems, but the profusion of decorative motifs and the color scheme of white, pink, and gold are entirely European in character. This blending of Asian forms with European decoration reflected the taste for exoticism in mid-nineteenth-century France.

It is not clear if services of this design were intended for display or use, but several were given as diplomatic gifts by Queen Marie-Amélie, who purchased at least seven examples between 1835 and 1843. The double-walled, openwork construction was very difficult to produce, and the factory's obvious success demonstrated its considerable technical expertise.

[Jeffrey H. Munger, 2004]
Marking: Printed on underside of .1 in iron red: crowned N, 56 below, DÉCORÉ A SÈVRES

Printed on underside of .2a in chrome green: S.50 in lozenge; printed on underside of .2a in iron-red: crowned N, 55 below, DÉCORÉ A SÈVRES; incised into paste on underside of .2a; DG4G/ 8 eD

Printed on underside of .3a in chrome green: S.50 in lozenge; printed on underside of .3a in iron red: crowned N, 56 below, DÉCORÉ A SÈVRES; incised into paste on underside of .3a: DG-59.7/ 4

Printed on underside of .4a in chrome green: S.55 in lozenge; printed on underside of .4a in iron-red: crowned N, 56 below, DÉCORÉ A SÈVRES; incised into paste on underside of .4a: 8nD-P4-5/ VL

Printed on underside of .5b in chrome green: S.55 in lozenge; printed on underside of .5ab in iron-red: crowned N, 60 below, DÉCORÉ A SÈVRES; incised into paste on underside of .5a: g

Printed on underside in chrome green: S.59 in lozenge; printed on underside in iron-red: enge; printed on underside in iron red: crowned N, 61 below, DÉCORÉ A SÈVRES; incised into paste on underside: fR

Printed on underside in chrome green: S.58 in lozenge; incised into paste on underside: E

Printed on underside of .9 and .11 in chrome green: S.55 in lozenge; printed on underside of .9 and .11 in iron-red: crowned N, 60 below, DÉCORÉ A SÈVRES; incised into paste on underside of .9 and .11: hPP-6VL

Printed on underside of .8 and .10 in chrome green: S.56 in lozenge; printed on underside of .8 and .10 in iron-red: crowned N, 60 below, DÉCORÉ A SÈVRES; incised into paste on underside of .8: Mll-3EL; incised into paste on underside of .10: MPE-3VL
Helen Boehm (until 1969; to MMA)
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