Sèvres Manufactory (French, 1740present)
Hard–paste porcelain; H. 12 7/8 in. (32.7 cm)
Purchase, Friends of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Gifts, 2003 (2003.153)
During the nineteenth century, the Sèvres factory worked in a variety of revival styles simultaneously, reflecting the widespread interest in a range of earlier artistic movements. The design of this standing cup refers directly to the French and Italian Renaissance styles of the sixteenth century. The form of the cup, with its wide, shallow bowl supported on a tall stem, derives from Renaissance silver cups produced in Italy and France. The low-relief decoration and interlace patterns of the cup are based on a type of sixteenth-century French pottery known as Saint-Porchaire ware. However, the typical muted palette of Saint-Porchaire pieces, consisting of various browns and off-whites, has been radically changed on this cup by the use of vibrant colors more reflective of mid-nineteenth-century taste.