French Porcelain Vincennes Bottle Cooler



A Vincennes soft-paste porcelain bottle cooler (seau à liqueur) made 1752-1753. Decorated with delicate polychrome flowers and fruit, it is marked with the exclusive royal cipher (interlaced L’s), the five dot mark for painter “Fontaine”, and with incised “N” and “C”.

The Vincennes factory was founded in 1740, and was intimately linked to French taste during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI. Vincennes has been called “the most important French porcelain manufacturer”and “a glorious enterprise.”

In 1751 Vincennes became the factory of Louis XV and soon after became known as Sevres. By early 1742 the factory was producing a lovely white soft-paste porcelain decorated with natural painted flowers and fruit in a full variety of colors. Porcelains decorated in this style were the most important part of the Vincennes production especially during their early years. Fine quality and elegant design made Vincennes porcelains highly sought after and expensive. Combinations of fruits and flowers including, roses, daisies, orange blossoms, violets, hyacinths from Holland, daffodils from Constantinople, lily of the valley, cherries, apples and plums were all used to decorate Vincennes porcelains.

The painting on our bottle cooler is exceptional. Note how the the polychrome colors of the flowers seem to sink into the white, soft-paste porcelain. If one compares the painting on this wine cooler to the painting on French hard-paste porcelains from later in the 18th century one sees that the colors on the hard-paste porcelains do not sink in. The colors seem to stand on top of the underlying porcelain. The visual effects of the soft-paste and the later hard-paste porcelains are quite different.


H 4.5 in. x W 12 in. x D 5.5 in.


Excellent. The original center divider is missing.




In 1745 Vincennes was granted a royal privilege from the King of France, Louis XV. In 1751 the King assumed control of the factory. Soon after the products of the factory would be known as Manufacture du Roi (products of the Royal factory), and Vincennes began to mark its porcelains with the exclusive royal cipher, (interlaced L’s). In 1756 the factory moved to a new building in Sèvres. Since then the factory and its products have been known as Sèvres Porcelain.


Les porcelainiers du XVIIIe siècle français with a preface by Serge Gauthier, pg 153

French 18th-century Porcelain at the Wadsworth Atheneum by Linda Roth and Clare Le Corbeiller, pg 87

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