Gold used as a ground colour is particularly rare in 18th century Sèvres porcelain. Among the earliest of Sèvres porcelain to be decorated in this way is an extraordinary gold-ground hard-paste tea kettle, bouillotte or bouillotte chine, decorated by Parpette, dated 1779, which was in the Hector Binney collection, sold in these rooms, 5th December 1989, lot 146.
Parpette decorated a pair of cups of this of form on 8 Pluviose an II [27th January 1794]: "2 gobelets et S. étrusques, fleurs pour fond d'or" (Vj5, f. 175). But since we know of two further cups and saucers identical to ours (private Collection, Wiltshire) this pair is just as likely to have been part of a set of six painted by him on 26 Nivose of the next year (15th January 1795). They were accompanied by a sugar bowl (Vj6, f. 73).
1. Surviving pieces include the example at Sèvres, Cité de la céreamique, inv. no. MNC6796, illustrated by Citera, op. cit., cover.
2. The kettle appears in the factory ledgers for 19th January 1779, Parpette was paid 48 livres to paint 'une bouilotte, fleurs sur fond or.'
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