This is a wonderful 19th century veilleuse, circa 1830 to 1847. The maker is Bayeux, a manufacturer of hard paste porcelain decorative objects located in Normandy, France. The factory was originally in Valognes, but relocated to Calvados in 1810.
A veilleuse is a demitasse teapot on a warming stand, mostly intended for use on the bedside table. A small candle or oil is lit inside, keeping the tea in the pot warm, and the veilleuse thus acts as a night light or bedside lamp, as the candle burns down.
This veilleuse has three parts: the bottom where the candle or oil tray is inserted, the demitasse pot and the lid. Normally there is a godet, or small tray, that comes with the pot, but with the older veilleuses the godet gets lost or stolen. This veilleuse does not have the original godet.
The Bayeux factory is known for making blue and gold ornamental porcelain pieces, and this blue became known as Blue Bayeux or "Bleu Bayeux." It is a type of cobalt glaze, blending in with a white glaze, and where the cobalt bleeds into the white, those lines are covered in bright gleaming gold trim. More gold patterns are added over the blue and white.
There is a veilleuse like this one on display at the City of Trenton, Tennessee, in their Rare Porcelain Veilleuses Collection. You can view a dark photograph of it in their collections booklet, number 34, on page 15. Another veilleuse is on display at the Musee de Bayeux in France.
The veilleuse is 11 ½" high and 5 ¾" wide from spout-to-handle.
The spout is in a vague shape of an animal. The handle is looped. The finial is flared.
The lid has had a professional repair some time in the past. One of the insert tabs is broken off. A crack can be seen on the other side of the repair with a magnifying glass. Most of the gold on the finial is worn. The upper part of the bottom, where there are drilled holes to let out the candle light, the gold there shows a lot of rubbing wear. The inside of the bottom shows some glaze skipping, bumps and irregularities, due to the process of how porcelain was made that long ago. There is a little bit of gold wear elsewhere. There are no other chips, cracks or crazing.
The pieces are unmarked as to maker, though if you know your French porcelain you can see this is Bleu Bayeux. The underside of the bottom and the pot both have a hand incised number seven.
Bayeux made several types of veilleuses during the period of 1830 to 1847. This specific veilleuse is made during this time period.
Be sure to visit the other veilleuses I have listed in my shop as I do showcase a few of the more rare pieces, specifically ones that are figural
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