Here is an antique porcelain Sevres plate from the Comte d'Aranda service, painted with a bouquet of flowers and fruit surrounded by three gilt bands, with three tooled-gilt panels enclosing fruit and flowers, set against a Beau Bleu (“Beautiful Blue”) ground color with elaborately tooled gilt scrollwork. It is nine and a quarter inches in diameter and bears the factory’s interlacing double L mark, the gilder’s mark LF for Andre-Joseph Foinet, the date mark jj for 1787, and the fleur-de-lys painter’s mark of Mme. Genevieve Taillandier, who worked as a flower painter at the factory from 1774-98. Genevieve Le Roy Tallandier met her husband Vincent while both were working at Sevres. They sometimes decorated items together. She specialized in painting bouquets and garlands of flowers, as well as monograms. She often worked from home and was paid by the piece. For example, for cups and saucers painted with flower sprays she earned fifteen sous, while for applying the patterned grounds to vases she earned a more substantial six to eighteen livres. (Vincent also used a fleur-de-lys mark but his version is slightly different from Genevieve’s.) This plate is part of a service listed in the Sèvres archives as “Livre a Son Ex.ce Mr. le Comte d'Aranda, Ambassadeur de Sa Majeste le Roi de Espagne, Pour le Compte des affaires Etrangeres.” The service was a diplomatic gift from King Louis XVI of France to Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea Ximenez de Urrea, the tenth Count of Aranda, who was Spanish Ambassador and Plenipotentiary to France from September, 1773, to September, 1787. Prior to becoming ambassador, the Count of Aranda had served as President of the Council of Spain and was a principal advisor to King Carlos III. He was an accomplished diplomat with a reputation for Enlightenment ideals. The presentation of the service marked the end of the count’s diplomatic stay in France, and the gift is recorded in the Journal des Presents du Roi on November 16, 1787, described as a service with “Fond Bleu de Roi, peint en Groupes de fleurs et fruits et riche dorure.” The total price is noted as 43,428 livres. There are 132 plates listed and 48 soup plates. This is one of the soup plates. The Beau Bleu ground color had until that point been reserved only for the service delivered to King Louis XVI himself. Part of this service was offered at Christie's in London in 1836 and here is their description: “A splendid dessert service of the rarest Sevres porcelain, Bleu du Roy, exquisitely painted with groups of fruits and flowers; purchased at the sale of the property of Don Carlos [Spanish King Charles IV, crowned in 1788] in his apartments at the Palace of Madrid.” For a full discussion of the service see David Peters’s book “Sevres Plates and Services of the 18th Century,” Vol. IV, p. 817. The plate has a small repaired chip in the gilt band on the rim (shown) which should be redone as it seems to have faded a bit. Otherwise it is in excellent condition with slight wear.

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Laureate Antiques

Sevres Soup Plate Dated 1787 Aranda Service


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