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 one smaller one, and is decorated with a gilded dentate (dent-de-loup) border.

Alternate name for this form includes: service plate.






Porcelain (hard-paste), gilt


Overall (rim): 1 1/4 in. x 9 3/4 in. x 9 3/4 in. (3.18 cm x 24.77 cm x 24.77 cm)
Overall (foot): 5 13/16 in. x 5 13/16 in. (14.78 cm x 14.78 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. J. H. Burr, 1938


Overglaze mark painted on underside (in blue): factory mark or cipher of intertwined Ls surmounted by a crown, four dots to the lower right. (Crown indicates hard paste porcelain; and the dots are the gilder's mark). Underglaze incised mark at upper right of factory mark in foot: "| |" (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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