Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dining like a French Royal - Royal Dinner Services of France


Today's post all started when I was dreaming about pretty plates that I could display my macarons on and take pretty pictures of them.  One thing led to another, and the next thing I know I'm reading about the history of the Sevres porcelain factory (originally called Manufacture de Vincennes) and royal dinner services.
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.
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These dinner services were so pretty I decided to share them with you.  While these items are fit for a King and Queen, what I thought was refreshing about these patterns were the soft colors in the patterns (and then of course the bright bleu celeste in others).

It's a nice change from the boring china that is made today, maybe our current makers of china can borrow some of these patterns (minus the gold and hand painting, to bring down the price for us.) Alright, let's get started. Grab a cup of tea and let's go!

The plate below was manufactured in 1756-1757 for Madame de Pompadour.  Don't you like the flowers with the green ribbon and the floral garland? I believe it is called Green Ribbon Service.
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The service below was called "attributes and gooseberries". It was a dessert service made for Louis XV for the Petit Trianon in 1763, then enriched by Louis XVI in 1790.
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The plate below is part of the service called "à fond lapis cailloute d'or", made for Louis XV in 1762.
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This is a service for Madame du Barry, made in 1770 by Sevres! I love the pattern! The pattern is "sky blue ribbons service" of Madame du Barry.
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This pretty pink service was made for Louis XV at Chateau de Fontainebleau in 1770.  The pink color was really rare for the time.
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Now, the pattern below is not from the French court but I thought I'd share it anyway.  It was made by Sevres for the Earl of Essex in the 1780s.  The pretty blue that draws your eye is the bleu celeste color - a color unique to Sevres porcelain.
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The service below, Service Mythologique, was commissioned by Louis XVI in 1783 and was scheduled to take 23 years to complete the entire service.  The company had only finished half the service by the time of his execution.  The plates are heavenly - made with beau bleu border, gilt scroll, florals wreaths, and scenes from classical Roman and Greek history.  Each plate would take a year to finish! It is the most expensive service in France.
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This service was bought by King George in England and is now in the collection of HM.
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The service below was made in 1774 for Louis XVI in the Chinoiserie style - it was a Chinese ornaments tea service called "ribbon". Louis XVI then gave this sit to his aunts Madame Adelaide and Madame Victoire.

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This pretty plate below was made for the sister of Marie-Antoinette (Charlotte-Louise, was she was known in France). It was once again made by Sevres.  Isn't is super pretty??

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The service below Marie Antoinette commission by Sevres in 1781 for Princess de Lamballe as a gift.  The service pattern is called "à double filet bleu, roses et barbeaux".
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The blue and green plate below was part of an entire service made for Marie Antoinette in 1781 by Sevres.  This service was called "À Perles et Barbeaux" (Pearl and Cornflower in English, Cornflowers were one of Marie Antoinette's favorite flowers).
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Below is yet another service made by Sevres by Marie Antoinette in 1781 called "cartels en perles, panneaux en roses et bar beaux".  I have several pictures from this collection - I wanted you all to see the details!
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Below is a tray from the Royal Blue service of Louis XV, "bleu celeste de Louix XV", manufactured by Vincennes in 1753. He had a whole service of this pattern as the bleu celeste color was highly unusual.
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Marie Antoinette ordered a dinner service for her apartments in the Tuileries palace in Paris (burned to the ground but what remains is now part of the Louvre). It was completed in May 1784.  However, King Louis XVI decided to present the service as a diplomatic gift to King Gustave III of Sweden. So, there went her service...
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...or not! Marie Antoinette was determined to have her service. So she commissioned the factory to make more, and later that same year in August she received her service after all!  The service was called "à  frise riche en couleurs et riche en or".  The plate below looks a little different because it's a different type of plate in the service.
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Now, not all of the royal China patterns were fancy with gold and handprinted flowers.  Below is a rather plain plate for Louis-Phillipe for use at the Grand Trianon in 1847.  The Grand Trianon is where the men would hang out and hunt.  The pattern is "l'Office livre au Grand Trianon."
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The piece below is from a service called "with garlands of myrtle and barbel".  Commissioned by Louis XVI in 1783, it was use for the officers of the Service Versailles. Below is a plate from the tea and chocolate service. 
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Below is another service commissioned by Madame du Barry, made in 1770-1771. You can see her initials in the center of the plate.
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Madame du Barry loved china patterns, as you can see is yet another service she commissioned!  This was is called "à vases et guirlandes" made in 1771.
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Ok, so, where am I going with this?  Well, on my internet adventures I found that in 1986 Bernardaud purchased one of the royal porcelain companies, Ancienne Manufacture Royale.  You can read about the history of this HERE.

What does that mean? They produce some of the exact same patterns from Marie Antoinette and the royal court!

Below is a picture of the original service "pearl and cornflower" sitting in a museum!
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And below is a picture of the copycat service, made today by Bernardaud!  No, the pieces are not cheap, but perhaps I could afford one teacup to display!
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Again, below is a picture of the original rambouillet dairy service made for Marie Antoinette's Hameau, in 1788.

And below is the new version made by Bernardaud!
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Below is a pretty pattern originally made by the Manufacture de Clignancourt. It is the Rose Garden service.  The original is in Musee de Montmartre in Paris.  Bernardaud now makes the reproduction.

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Now, the plates below are not for French royalty, but they were produced by Sevres for Prince William of Hesse in 1829.  The "Botanique" service is unique - every piece is decorated with different flowers.  What was also interesting about this service was that the name of the plants were printed on the back of each plate - the dinner guests were to try to guess the name of the plant.  Bernardaud makes the plates now.

The plate below is a reproduction by Bernardaud from Louis XV service made for Fontainebleau. You can scroll way up and see the original!
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The plate below is from the "Marie Antoinette Petit Trianon" produced by Raynaud Limoges.  The pattern below is a copy of Marie Antoinette's monogrammed travel kit.
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I leave you with a milk pail from Marie Antoinette...
What pattern is YOUR FAVORITE??? Leave a comment!

Did you know that you can search the Collections of the Chateau de Versailles?? That's where I found a lot of the history and pictures!

21 comments:

  1. These are so beautiful and I thought I recognized them. We own a lot of Sevres urns in this celeste blue color and just love them....Christine

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    1. Thank you very much! How lucky to own some Sevres!

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  2. What a fantastic collection! I love the French artistry - both Severs and Limoges. The hand-painting is so exquisite and finely detailed. Each plate, vase or porcelain box is a delight to behold. Thanks for the post.

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  3. Oh my.. How beautiful. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial on the stunning French porcelain.

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  4. Beautiful pieces! Gorgeous collection! ;)

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    1. Aren't they all so pretty? Wish I could have some!

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  5. My favorite would definitely be the royal blue tray. These are beautiful! I've seen some of these pieces in person and they have such a delicate but amazing appearance.

    Happy TOHOT. :)

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  6. What an amazing collection of French porcelain! I will admit I didn't recognize many of these patterns.
    Thank you for joining us at TOHOT!

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    1. I didn't recognize these patterns either... I think they are really only in museums!

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  7. Gorgeous, gorgeous, what a fun project you are embarking on!
    Great to have you at Thoughts Of Home On Thursday!
    Jemma

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  8. Ok. Good. This goes with the previous comment. I am not trying to be nasty or anything, really, but the bowl of the (rambouillet) dairy service looks like a woman's breast which is pointing downward.
    I thought they may have done this because it is a "dairy" service. Do you know if that is accurate? I would understand you not choosing to print that info.
    If you don't want to print this comment it is fine with me! But I do hope you will answer.

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    1. Debby, you are right. It is supposed to look like a breast because it holds milk! I just went and read about it, they claim that this specific one was actually shaped from a mold of Marie Antoinettes breast!

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  9. Oh, my, what a wonderful post! Beautiful "eye candy" for an avid tablescaper. I'd be hard put to pick a favorite. I've scrolled back and forth trying to decide, but I just can't. Thank you for sharing so much information and sharing such lovely pieces of porcelain. Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

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  10. How wonderful it must have been to dine from such lovely pieces! My favorite is the Sevres "cartels en perles" for Marie Antoinette. I would never tire of it! Barbara

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  11. Stunning pieces, if they were all laid out in front of me for sale I know my wallet would be hurting. I would have to have each of them.

    Thanks for sharing it at the Dishing It & Digging It Link Party.

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