Label

At Martha Washington's invitation, French officers of General Rochambeau's army dined at Mount Vernon on July 20, 1782. The Comte de Custine de Sarreck, commander of the Saintonge regiment, sent ahead of his arrival a splendid tea and coffee service specifically made for the Washingtons at his Niderviller porcelain factory. The service's stunning array of gilded and enameled borders, each with its own pattern number painted on the pieces' undersides, suggests Custine intended it to advertise his wares to a new American market. Gifts of porcelain were common between the French aristocracy and Americans who traveled to Paris. The service Custine presented to the Washingtons is, however, the only known instance of 18th-century French porcelain crafted for an American recipient.

Description

Cylindrical cup with an applied, molded, broken-scroll, ear-shaped handle; underside flat with foot integral with sides. Decorated in overglaze polychrome enamels and gilt opposite of handle with "GW" monogram nestled in a golden-brown cloud surmounted by a chaplet or wreath of three pink roses. Gilded cable border with strapwork and four rings below, from which are suspended floral garlands of pink, purple and blue blossoms and red berries. Gilded rim and foot; handle picked out in gilt with bellflowers and a foliate terminal.

Date

1779-1782


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Porcelain (hard-paste), enamel, gilt


Dimensions

Overall (H x W x D): 2 5/16 in. x 3 3/8 in. x 2 3/8 in. (5.87 cm x 8.57 cm x 6.03 cm)


Credit Line

Gift of John Marshall Phillips, 1953


Marks

Overglaze mark painted on underside (in black): factory mark or cipher of intertwined Cs over "No. 9". Underglaze incised mark to lower right of factory mark near foot: "Hg" (H with incurved sides).


Object Number

W-1875/A


Colors (Beta)


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