Broth bowl with cover (écuelle)

Pierre-Henry Chéret

Not on view

An écuelle is a lidded bowl with two handles, often provided with a matching saucer or stand, used for serving hot broth or bouillon. During the late seventeenth and eighteenth century, broth was taken during the morning toilette but also offered to new mothers, as well as to the sick and bed-ridden to regain their strength. For that reason, écuelles were intended for private use in the bedroom rather than in the dining room. The broth bowl could be an independent piece made of faience, porcelain, pewter or silver. As part of an elaborate dressing table set, it was usually made of precious metal.

Daughter of one of the founders of the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company, Catherine D. Wentworth (1865–1948) was an art student and painter who lived in France for thirty years. She became one of the most important American collectors of eighteenth-century French silver and on her death in 1948 bequeathed part of her significant collection of silver, gold boxes, French furniture and textiles to the Metropolitan Museum. The collection is particularly strong in domestic silver, much of it provincial, and includes a number of rare early pieces.

Broth bowl with cover (écuelle), Pierre-Henry Chéret (master 1741, retired 1777, died 1787), Silver, French, Paris

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