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.


Circular molded plate with a scalloped rim and shallow foot ring. Rim features six large scallops separated by two smaller ones, and is decorated with a gilded (dent-de-loup) border.


c. 1778-1788




Porcelain (hard-paste), gilt


Overall: 9 3/4 in. x 9 3/4 in. x 1 15/16 in. (24.77 cm x 24.77 cm x 4.93 cm)

Credit Line

Gift: Jess and Grace Pavey Fund, 2007


Overglaze mark painted on underside (in yellow): factory mark or cipher of intertwined Ls surmounted by a crown, the letter "B" below. (Crown indicates hard-paste porcelain; "B" is the unidentified gilder's mark).

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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