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Creator(s): Vincennes Porcelain Manufactory (Manufacturer) , Jean-Claude Duplessis (Designer) , Claude-Joseph Cardin (Attributed to)

On view in: French Porcelain Room

About this object

Tureens, or 'pots-à-oille', were the most expensive elements of dinner services. The word 'oille' is derived from the Spanish 'olla,' a type of stew made from several kinds of meats and vegetables. This recipe, along with other Spanish traditions, was introduced in France following the marriage of Louis XIV to Marie-Thérèse of Austria, daughter of Philip IV of Spain. The shape of this tureen is ascribed to the creative genius of Jean-Claude Duplessis, the artistic director and chief designer of the factory, and it is related to the first service produced for Louis XV. Its deep turquoise color (bleu céleste), which was extremely difficult to achieve, became one of the prides of the factory. Invented in 1753 and used for the first time in the Louis XV dinner service, it was inspired by the bright turquoise glaze found on Chinese ceramics of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

The turquoise-blue tureen of round, polylobed bombé shape stands on leafy celery feet from which two scroll foliate handles branch out. Two shaped panels in the cover and two in the tureen are reserved in white, and each contains clusters of flowers and fruit. This in turn are surrounded by gilt frames consisting of palm fronds and sprays of flowers. The handle on the cover is in the shape of an orange with leaves. Two scroll-and-shell handles in white picked in gold decorate the oval platter. A bouquet of flowers is painted at the center. Blue serpentine borders with swags of flowers and palm fronds in gold complete the design.

Object name:
Made from:
Soft-paste porcelain
Made in:
Vincennes, France
Date made:
13 × 14 × 11 1/4 in. (33 × 35.6 × 28.6 cm)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
MARK Crossed letters L's, the date letter B for 1754-55, and g-possibly the mark for Claude-Joseph Cardin, painter of flowers, worked 1749-87 [Underneath tureen]
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973