Print, Ecritoire de Porcelaine [Design for a Porcelain Writing Set, Elevation, 2nd plate], pl. 45 in Oeuvre de Juste-Aurele Meissonnier, 1748
This engraving shows the plan and elevation for a writing set (Ecritoire de Porcelain). It is reproduced as plate 45 in Oeuvres, a monumental book of ornaments published by the printmaker and dealer Gabriel Huquier, featuring designs by the royal goldsmith, Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier. This writing set is composed of a central cartouche, accompanied by two ink wells. The center frame illustrates a scene between the god Apollo and a muse with the cartouche crowned by an unidentified crest of a count. The overall body of the writing set is composed of scrolling foliate ornament typical of Meissonnier's exuberant rococo vocabulary. While the writing set was originally conceived for the porcelain manufacture of Chantilly (created in 1724 by the Duke of Bourbon), it was never realized. A terra cotta model of a version of this design(dated to 1730-35) in a private collection, indicates that the design was indeed intended to be finished in soft paste porcelain and mounted on a gilt bronze base. Variations of this writing set were adapted by Italian and English goldsmiths and porcelain manufactures. In fact, Meissonnier's intricate design echoes his models for silver work. Meisonnier’s porcelain designs are known almost exclusively through engravings and this print is an example of how decorative art designs were disseminated not only domestically but also across England and continental Europe.
This object was
It is credited
Purchased for the Museum by the Advisory Council.
Its dimensions are
18 x 26.5 cm (7 1/16 x 10 7/16 in.)
It is inscribed
Inscribed on plate, upper left: G; upper right: 42; upper center: Septieme Livre des Oeuvres de J.A. Meissonnier; lower left: J.A. Meissonnier inv.; lower right: Huquier Sculp.; lower center: Ecritoire de Porcelaine/A Paris chés Huquier rue St. Jacques au coin de celle du Mathurins C.P.R.
Cite this object as
Print, Ecritoire de Porcelaine [Design for a Porcelain Writing Set, Elevation, 2nd plate], pl. 45 in Oeuvre de Juste-Aurele Meissonnier, 1748; Previously owned by Jean Léon Decloux (French, 1840–1929); France; etching on off-white laid paper; 18 x 26.5 cm (7 1/16 x 10 7/16 in.); Purchased for the Museum by the Advisory Council; 1921-6-212-15-a