A Tea Service (déjeuner ruban)

Etienne-Henri Le Guay, Sèvres Manufactoryabout 1765 - 1770

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Travelers to the Far East and the New World brought back three new hot drinks to Europe during the 1600s: tea, coffee, and chocolate. By the middle of the 1700s, these drinks had become part of the daily life of the aristocracy and wealthy bourgeoisie, requiring new serving vessels from which to pour them. Chocolate was considered a breakfast drink, tea was drunk in the afternoon, and coffee was taken after dinner.

Porcelain was the favorite material for tea, coffee, and chocolate services, as it did not crack with heat and remained fairly cool to the touch, unlike silver vessels. This tea service, consisting of two cups and saucers, a covered sugar bowl, teapot, and tray, displays Rococo shapes and Neoclassical-style painted decoration. The pierced and lobed tray, with ribbons entwined around the handles and latticework panels, is typically Rococo; in contrast, the use of neat, symmetrical arrangements of floral garlands and arabesques is a Neoclassical trait.


  • Title: A Tea Service (déjeuner ruban)
  • Creator: Etienne-Henri Le Guay, Sèvres Manufactory
  • Date: about 1765 - 1770
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Soft-paste porcelain with polychrome enamelled decoration and gilding
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Signature: Tray (plateau ovale polylobé), one cup (gobelet Bouillard), and both saucers (soucoupes) painted underneath with the blue crossed "L"'s of the Sèvres manufactory and with the gilder's mark for Le Guay, "LG", in gold.
  • Object Type: Tea service
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 89.DE.25
  • Markings: Markings: Teapot (théière Calabre) incised with an arrow and an indecipherable mark ([?]901). Lidded sugar bowl (pot à sucre Calabre) incised with a square. One cup incised with an "F" and the same indecipherable mark on the teapot. One saucer incised with a cross and two dots and the other with an "X" within a square. Label: Tray bears the original price label (no price indicated) and incised with an oval crossed by a line.
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum South Pavilion, Gallery S113
  • Department: Sculpture & Decorative Arts
  • Culture: French
  • Classification: Decorative Arts


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