Wine-bottle cooler (seau à bouteille)

Manufactory: Vincennes Manufactory (French, ca. 1740–1756)

Modeler: Attributed to Jean-Claude Duplessis (French, ca. 1695–1774, active 1748–74)

Date: 1753

Culture: French, Vincennes

Medium: Soft-paste porcelain

Dimensions: Overall (confirmed): 7 7/8 x 10 3/8 x 7 13/16 in. (20 x 26.4 x 19.8 cm)

Classification: Ceramics-Porcelain

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 1970

Accession Number: 1970.230.4


One of the great successes of the Vincennes factory was the mastery of the use of ground colors. Technically, it was very difficult to decorate large areas of a piece of porcelain with a uniform color, and no other French porcelain factory in the eighteenth century was able to overcome the technical obstacles of ground colors.

This wine cooler originally belonged to a large dinner service produced for Louis XV. It the first table service to be made with this turquoise-blue ground color, which became known as bleu celeste (sky blue). The color gained immediate popularity and was used by the factory throughout the remainder of the eighteenth century. Factory records indicate that objects decorated with a bleu celeste ground were always among the most expensive.

The Louis XV service, as it became known, was delivered to the king in three major installments between 1753 and 1755. This wine cooler, along with three others, was included in the first delivery of 120 pieces to Versailles in December 1753.