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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.


Baluster-shaped cup with a tapered, scrolling, ear-shaped handle. Gilded dentate (dent-de-loup) border around the outside of rim, solid gilded band around the outside of the shallow foot ring, and gold sprigs and dots along the top of the handle.

One of two covered cups, W-2127/A-B.

Alternate names for this form include: gravy cup (pot à jus), custard cup (pot de crème).






Porcelain (soft-paste), gilt


Overall (Width with handle, diameter of rim): 2 1/4 in. x 3 1/4 in. x 2 3/8 in. (5.72 cm x 8.26 cm x 6.03 cm)
Overall (Diameter of foot): 1 3/4 in. x 1 3/4 in. (4.45 cm x 4.45 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1956


Overglaze mark painted on bottom (in blue): factory mark or cipher of intertwined Ls with a script "g" below (unidentified gilder's mark). Underglaze incised script "g" on bottom beneath handle (unidentified potter's or turner's mark).

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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