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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.


Oval molded tray with two attached circular cups of equal size. Tray features an undulating rim with eight indentations and a shallow foot ring. Rims of cups and tray are decorated with gilded dentate (dent-de-loup) borders. The inside rims of the cups are unglazed.

Flat, circular cover decorated with a gilded dentate (dent-de-loup) border.

Alternate names for this form include: tray with preserve pots, confiturier, plateau à confitures, plateau à deux pots à confitures.






Porcelain (hard-paste), gilt

Credit Line

Purchase, 1956


Overglaze mark painted on underside of tray (in red): factory mark or cipher of intertwined Ls enclosing a conjoined "AA" inside, surmounted by a crown, the letters "HP" below. (Crown indicates hard paste porcelain; "AA" year of manufacture [1778]; and "HP" is gilder's mark.) Underglazed incised mark to left of factory mark near foot: script letter "T" or "J".

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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