cup; saucer

cup; saucer

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Description
The cup and saucer has elaborate decoration in gold and platinum on a deep blue-black ground. The exterior of the cup and interior flange of the saucer has a stylized floral diaper pattern covering the surface. A gold-framed portrait of the influential French poet Clément Marot (1496-1544) is painted in onglaze enamels on the exterior of the cup. The center of the saucer has a stylized floral medallion. The interior of the cup and exterior of the saucer are heavily gilded. The handle is made of silver.
All the five parts of this tea service have portraits in miniature of significant French Renaissance writers, poets, theologians, and historians. The portrait, supposedly of Marot, painted in enamel at Sèvres, was realised from an engraving that was probably produced for a frontispiece to the works of Marot. There is no portrait that can be authenticated as that of Marot, and this particular example is said to be an engraving after a lost portrait of Marot by Hans Holbein, but this claim has not been verified.
This cup and saucer belongs to the Alfred Duane Pell collection in the National Museum of American History. Before Pell (1864-1924) became an Episcopalian clergyman quite late in life, he and his wife Cornelia Livingstone Crosby Pell (1861-1938) travelled widely, and as they travelled they collected European porcelains, silver, and furniture. Pell came from a wealthy family and he purchased the large William Pickhardt Mansion on 5th Avenue and East 74th Street in which to display his vast collection. The Smithsonian was one of several institutions to receive substantial bequests from the Reverend Pell which laid the foundation for their collections of European applied arts.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
cup
saucer
date made
1811-1812
place made
France: Île-de-France, Sevres
Physical Description
gold (cup color)
green (cup color)
green (saucer color)
red (cup color)
red (saucer color)
polychrome (component surface decoration color name)
portrait of marot (joint piece description of decoration)
portrait of marot (overall description of decoration)
ceramic, porcelain (cup material)
ceramic, porcelain (saucer material)
metal (saucer material)
Measurements
overall cup: 4 9/16 in x 5 1/4 in x 4 1/8 in; 11.58875 cm x 13.335 cm x 10.4775 cm
overall saucer: 1 5/16 in x 6 1/4 in; 3.33375 cm x 15.875 cm
ID Number
CE.P-1061Dab
catalog number
P-1061Dab
accession number
225282
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Industry & Manufacturing
Art
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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