Pair of 18th Century French Saint Cloud Porcelain Pots in the Form of Artichokes


A near pair of soft-paste porcelain pots de crème, made by the French porcelain factory Saint-Cloud circa 1730-1740.

Dimensions: 2 3/4 in. H x 2 1/2 in. W (7.1 cm H x 6.5 cm W)

Condition: Excellent. One pot has a tiny chip to the lid measuring approximately 0.6 cm.

In stock

Saint-Cloud’s pure white porcelain valued the quality and beauty of a material which the West had long sought to reproduce. In their undecorated state, these small porcelain pots de crème celebrate the factory’s successful endeavor to produce Europe’s first commercially available porcelain. These pots are exquisitely molded as artichokes, a form which was one of the factory’s most popular. This design was inspired by the blooming lotus flowers decorations found on Chinese porcelain; its pure white form also connects to that culture’s aforementioned veneration of materials. Though these pots’ culinary-inspired form might suggest they were used at the table as containers for sauce or custard, artichoke leaves were applied to both dinner and toilette wares (the latter of which was the most popular). An example of artichoke trompe l’oeil pots as toilette instruments can be seen in Boucher’s La Marchande des Modes (1746) in which a very similar pot sits amongst other tabletop objects.

Each pot features the incised mark St C T, a mark used beginning around 1722. The added “T” at the end signifies the factory’s ownership by Henri Trou II, who gained ownership of the company in 1722.

The British Museum, 1931,1019.8.CR
Cooper Hewitt, 1958-119-1-a,b
Gardiner Museum, G96.5.74.1a-b-2a-b
François Boucher (French, 1703-1770). La Marchande des Modes (The Milliner), 1746. Oil on canvas, 64 x 53 cm. Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, NM772.


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