Tray, from a Breakfast Service (Plateau; Déjeuner Mosaïque Florentine) Tray
This is a tray. It was possibly by Charles-Louis Constans and attributed to Alexandre Brongniart and manufactured by Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory and painted by Pierre Huard. It is dated 1813 and we acquired it in 1981. Its medium is hard paste porcelain, vitreous enamel, gold. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.
This oval tray is part of a breakfast service, thought to have been offered as a New Year's gift to Comtesse Montesquiou by the Empress Marie-Louise, second wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Painted in the Etruscan style, it represents a unique collaborative effort between Alexandre Brongniart, the director of Sèvres, and his father, the prolific designer Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart. The younger Brongniart’s passion for the natural world is reflected in the scientific precision with which the various bird and butterfly species are depicted, not to mention the masterful trompe-l’oeil lapis lazuli and other hard stones painted on the background. As evidenced by the tray, the elder Brongniart had a talent for integrating small-scale motifs into larger, more complex designs. The coffered pattern that rings the center of the tray evokes the domed ceiling of the Panthéon in Paris. The virtuoso centerpiece, a still life likely copied from specimens in the younger Brongniart’s collection, may be the work of Charles-Louis Constans, who painted at Sèvres between 1803 and 1840. The trompe-l’oeil shadow cast by an opalescent pearl is but one example of the attention he paid to naturalistic detail
This object was
Katrina H. Becker.
It is credited
Gift of Katrina H. Becker in memory of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles V. Hickox.
Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.
Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 2.2 x 42.8 x 34cm (7/8 x 16 7/8 x 13 3/8in.)
It has the following markings
Underside:  ""Manufacture Impériale SÈVRES" surrounding crowned eagle, printed in red (very faded, manufactory mark)  cursive "C L", incised  cursive "DC", incised  "Le+" with a plus sign or cross (?), incised  cursive "12 M..." (?), incised and painted in gold
It is signed
It is inscribed
Cite this object as
Tray, from a Breakfast Service (Plateau; Déjeuner Mosaïque Florentine) Tray; Possibly by Charles-Louis Constans; Attributed to Alexandre Brongniart (French, 1770–1847); Manufactured by Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory (France); Painted by Pierre Huard (French, active 1811–1847); France; hard paste porcelain, vitreous enamel, gold; H x W x D: 2.2 x 42.8 x 34cm (7/8 x 16 7/8 x 13 3/8in.); Gift of Katrina H. Becker in memory of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles V. Hickox; 1981-38-1