18th Century French Soft Paste Porcelain Mennecy Blush Pot Hand-Painted
We are pleased to offer this beautiful Mennecy blush pot ‘Pot à Fard’ made circa 1750.
It is decorated with sprays of flowers, the finial shaped as a single purple rose with green leaves.
The flowers are hand-painted in rich enamel colors, among them the distinctive Mennecy purple-rose hue, shown in figure #1, especially on the rose form finial. Another color associated with Mennecy is the most beautiful green found on the raised leaves of the rose finial and on the leaves surrounding the flowers.
This pot is particularly appealing because the painting of the flowers is so robust. Envisioning it in a woman’s toilette seems the epitome of femininity and Romanticism. In the 18th century, it would have been found on the vanity of an aristocratic lady, where it was primarily used to hold creams and lotions for the face.
The Mennecy Porcelain Manufactory was one of the first French porcelain factories. From 1735 until 1773, the factory produced Fine quality soft-paste porcelain wares. French soft-paste porcelains date to the early attempts by European potters to replicate Chinese porcelain by using mixtures of clay and glass frit. Like our pot, the body of the early Mennecy soft-paste wares has a creamy tone.
There was no gilding at Mennecy. Instead, like our pot, the rims were painted in tones of pink and purple.
The Mennecy, factory under the protection of the Duc de Villeroy, marked many of its porcelains with an incised “DV” on the underside.
Our pot is marked with an incised “DV”; however, an image of the “DV” mark does not have enough resolution to post here.
Provenance: Estate of John F. Ball, Greenwich, CT.
Dimensions: 3.75″ tall x 3″ diameter