18th Century French Kakiemon Porcelain Tureens



A pair of antique 18th century French porcelaine Chantilly Kakiemon tureens and trays made circa 1735-1745. Our pair of charming sauce tureens with their trays, feature a palette of strong, bright colors painted on a pure milky-white base. They are an exquisite example of the porcelains produced at Chantilly. Following the Kakiemon tradition the design was sparsely applied to emphasize the quality of the porcelain body.

We were thrilled to find this pair as excellent French Kakiemon porcelains are something we always look for but rarely find. This pair is perfect and a work of design perfection. The delicate renditions of flowery branches and insects are strategically placed on a magnificently conceived four-lobed tray. The placement highlights the purity of the soft white background. The cover of each tureen is similarly decorated and is completed by a foliate form handle of three petunia-like flowers. In our opinion this porcelain is unsurpassed in sheer elegance and beauty. Each piece is marked on the base with the Chantilly red hunting horn mark.


H 5 in. x W 9.5 in. x D 7.25 in.






Kakiemon, the famed Japanese originator of the style that bears his name, was the first to use enamels on porcelain in 17th century Japan. Kakiemon decoration was of very high quality, known for its delicate and asymmetric but well balanced designs. In the early 18th century French factories began for the first time to make porcelain hoping to compete with Japanese and Chinese imported porcelains.

The Chantilly Porcelain factory was one of the first porcelain factories in France. It was founded in 1730 under the protection of the Prince de Condé, cousin of King Louis XV. The elite wares of Chantilly were intended to compete with Saint-Cloud porcelain, a pioneer among French soft-paste porcelain manufactures, and other small manufactures such as Mennecy, under the protection of the duc de Villeroy, as well as with imported Meissen porcelain and Chinese porcelains.

The Prince de Condé was an avid collector of both Chinese and Japanese porcelains. King Louis XV established a patent for the Chantilly factory to make soft paste porcelain painted in the Japanese Kakiemon style, and using the count’s collection for inspiration the Chantilly factory made porcelains in this style. The soft-paste porcelain was an excellent medium for the delicate Kakiemon enamels.

Our pair of tureens are an exquisite example of French Kakiemon porcelain. Aristocratic dining in eighteenth-century France was an important social event. The host or hostess was expected to arrange a table with an elegant set of porcelain. Since all porcelains up until the early 18th century were imported from Japan and China there was an opportunity for a French factory to create new, refined wares to enhance the dining experience. The production of the Chantilly manufactory was well received by the French aristocracy, and the Kakiemon decorative style dominated Chantilly for the years between 1730-1745.


Tureens with similar decoration can be found in the collections of the V&A, the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs.

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