RARE PORCELAIN CUP AND SAUCER WITH SULPHIDE PORTRAITS
Exceptional hard-paste Paris porcelain cup of flared shape (inspired by the Sèvres tasse d’Hancarville shape) with its saucer, ornated with a green frieze of scrolling foliages and flowers on a pale-green ground, surrounded by large gilt filets, the center inset with a sulphide portrait reprezenting King Louis XVIII in the cup and Marie-Caroline, duchess of Berry, in the saucer, both figured in left profile bust like a cameo.
Very good condition, a tiny crack at the base of the cup.
Paris, attributed to the Darte brothers Manufactory, circa 1815-1820.
Both sulphides are made by Desprez (marked at the back).
Cup : Height : 6 cm Diameter : 10 cm – Saucer : Diameter : 14 cm.
[PLINVAL, 1995], p. 320-322 for a discussion about sulphide porcelain cups and their rarity, fig. 306-307 for a similar cup and saucer by Darte, with sulphide of Louis XVIII by Desprez. This set, located in a private collection, is less decorated than ours, only ornated with burnished gold on a gilt ground, and has only 1 sulphide, into the cup.
Only a very few examples like this are known in the world. One cup and its saucer with a sulphide of Henri IV are in the Corning Museum of Glass (inv. n°83.7.2). It seems that it is even more rare to find 2 sulphide portraits in both the cup and the saucer.