As president, George Washington desired tablewares that would strike a stylistic balance between appearing too regal and not being sufficiently dignified enough to impress foreign dignitaries. In March 1790, he purchased a 309-piece service from the departing French minister, the Comte de Moustier. Moustier had acquired most of these porcelains from the royal manufactory at Sèvres in 1778, then added pieces from the Angoulême and Nast factories over the next decade. All are minimally decorated with gilded rims. Such understated elegance matched Washington's preference for neat and plain, while offering his guests fashionable French porcelain with a possible subtle reference to ancient white marble statuary and republican ideals. More






Porcelain (soft-paste), gilt


Overall (Diameter of rim): 1 1/4 in. x 5 in. x 5 in. (3.18 cm x 12.7 cm x 12.7 cm)
Overall (Diameter of foot): 3 1/4 in. x 3 1/4 in. (8.26 cm x 8.26 cm)


Purchase, 1956


Overglaze mark painted on bottom (in blue): factory mark or cipher of intertwined Ls with a script "g" below. (unidentified mark).

Object Number



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