The factory at Sceaux was founded sometime before 1748 by an architect named de Bey, primarily for the manufacture of porcelain. The following year, however, coinciding with the appointment of Jacques Chapelle as manager, the production of porcelain was forbidden due to the monopoly held by the Vincennes factory, and the emphasis at Sceaux shifted to faience (tin-glazed earthenware). Some porcelain continued to be made surreptitiously in the style of Vincennes and Sevres, but it was the faience for which the factory became noted.
As the factory was situated only five miles from the center of Paris, Chapelle had ready access to the latest styles of the court. He even opened a shop in Paris where the courtiers could examine and buy his wares. This tureen in the form of a cabbage is an exceptional example of Chapelle's work in the naturalistic taste so popular in the rococo period. To add a sense of playfulness to dining, vessels were produced in a wide variety of vegetable and fruit forms and placed about the table.
The above information was adapted from SELECTIONS FROM THE CAMPBELL MUSEUM COLLECTION, PAGE 68. For a virtually identical example on a leaf-edged stand, see Dorothee Guilleme-Brulon and Claire Dauguet, FAIENCE FRANCAISE, pp. 6 and 22.
Curator of Decorative Arts