Acquired by Bernardaud in 1986, the Ancienne Manufacture Royale is part of the history of France. Offering identical replicas of original 18th and 19th century museum pieces, Bernardaud helps to preserve a portfolio of skills and techniques that belong to France's extremely rich cultural heritage.
On May 5, 1829 a man calling himself Mr. Schaumbourg ordered from the Royal Sèvres Manufactory a porcelain set ornate with floral wreaths. Guillaume II of Hesse, the German prince secretly bought himself a service for 60 persons. The original set was the largest set ever made by the Royal Manufactory.
Sèvres was world-renowned for the talent of its painters as well as the craftsmanship behind its delicate porcelain. The last pieces of the service were delivered in October 1831: the entire service, composed of 566 pieces, required more than two years of dedicated work. Botanique is inspired by the drawings and the work of the painter Pierre-Joseph Redouté. The flowers are rendered with a great deal of realism, exceeding the traditional representation of bouquets in the XVIII century and amphasizing the characteristics of each species. The botanical style was at its peak in the early XIX century and reflects the taste of the time for encyclopedic knowledge. The name of each flower is engraved on the back of each plate.
For this exceptional service, the Ancienne Manufacture Royale selected the most beautiful pieces of the original set displayed in the museum at the Fasanerie castle, located near Fulda, Germany.
The Litron cup, also known as the "square cup", derives its name from the Latin word "libra", which expressed a unit of liquid measurement. Its precise size is not consistent, however, as four variations with different measurements exist. The shape of the saucer, which always accompanied the cup, is noteworthy for its raised sides and deep well.
The litron cup was first seen at the Vincennes factory in 1752, when the consumption of hot chocolate, tea and coffee began to grow in popularity. As the shape of a tea cup evolved to be a different shape from that of a coffee cup, the litron shape became strictly associated with the consumption of coffee. Interestingly, until the beginning of the XXth century, it was quite acceptable etiquette to pour a small amount of hot coffee from a litron cup into its saucer to cool coffee before drinking. The litron cup is almost always a separate collection from a dinnerware service: it is a unique object, decorated with many original designs on a timeless shape. Thus, the litron cup represents the changing styles from different eras and this unique characteristic renders the historical cups and saucers collection from the Ancienne Manufacture Royale even more collectible.
"Gobelet" refers to the officers in the king's household responsible for the bread, wine and fruit to be served to his Majesty.
The Gobelet du Roy service was ordered by Louis XVI in 1783 from the Manufacture de Sèvres to serve his officers at Versailles. It is decorated with friezes of myrtle leaves and wild cornflowers entwined with a crimson ribbon. In the center of each plate, a wreath of cornflowers encloses a rose painted to look natural and positioned differently on each plate. This dinner service reflects society's renewed interest in Nature.
This service was delivered to Louis XV in 1757, by the Royal Sèvres Manufactory. The King intended it for Fontainebleau, the royal residence of which he was extremely fond. These magnificent pieces were the King’s everyday table settings, as demonstrated by the manufactory’s records.
The delicacy of its scalloped shape is decorated by a fine gold band and a garland of roses in a unique color known as “cameoed carmine” and punctuated by gilded, Louis XV-style scrolls. The color, quite rare at the time, explains the higher cost of the service despite its seemingly simple appearance as well as the prominence of gold which enlivens the deep fuchsia tone of the design. This pattern could only be destined for a royal service.
The four deep fuchsia and gold monograms arranged in a star pattern at the center of the pieces emphasize the regal nature of this service.
Many of the original pieces remain at the Fontainebleau château.
The “Age of the Enlightenment” was extremely fond of flowers, as demonstrated by this design produced in the last decade of that period by the Clignancourt Manufactory.
Flowers have consistently been the motif of choice of painters and have decorated the crowning jewels of tableware design. The style enjoyed renewed favor: foliage became less formal, bouquets looser, twigs and cut flowers arranged romantically, poetically. Straight lines bring structure and discipline to the exuberance of small intertwined branches, whilst golden accents illuminate the design and emphasize the delicate hues of the flowers.
Perhaps the last vestige of a regime recently abolished by the Revolution, a golden crown mischievously encircles the well of the plate.
Original pieces from this sumptuous Roseraie pattern, may be found at the Montmartre Museum in Paris.
The first prestigious service produced by the Royal Manufactory after it acquired its royal status, the A La Reine service was issued in 1784 and the original pieces can be found today in the collections of the world’s greatest museums. The curves of its “Comte d’Artois” shape are characteristic of the elegant lines given to precious objects at the time.
Its floral decoration is characteristic of the second half of the 18th century and the reign of Louis XVI. The design includes bouquets and swathes of flowers - honeysuckle, roses, tulips, carnations and daisies - painted au naturel and in saturated colors. At the time, their studied spontaneity was designed to conceal slight imperfections in the porcelain caused by wood firing. A thin blue band at the rim highlights its gilded, scalloped border design.
Many of the original pieces are held by the Adrien Dubouché National Museum in Limoges, France.
The Elysée service was produced by the Sèvres Manufactory in 1832, for the personal use of King Louis-Philippe at the Tuileries Palace. From the very start of his reign, Louis-Philippe preferred to entirely replace the table settings of the royal residences rather than make use of pieces inherited from his predecessors.
In response to such sizeable orders, the Sèvres Manufactory came up with a technical innovation and around 1842 adopted the plate calibration method that is still used to this day.
Retaining the gracious curves of the Empire shape, certain pieces in this service are nevertheless inspired by the purest Classical style: a gravy boat that evokes an ancient oil lamp or a creamer that draws its inspiration from an antique French water pitcher. Its decoration consists of a frieze of palm leaves in burnished gold set against a pale blue background and this contrast of colors bestows the design with magnificent splendor.
The original dinnerware service is held by the National Museum of Ceramics in Sèvres, France.
Created in 1793 by the Sèvres Manufactory, the Jardin du Roi service was inspired by the illustrations found in « L’Histoire naturelle des oiseaux » (The Natural History of Birds) by Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon (1707 – 1788), a naturalist, mathematician, biologist, cosmologist, and French writer from the 18th century. As steward of the King’s private natural history collection, he devoted his life to the study of nature, and his ten volumes of « L’Histoire naturelle» have been an invaluable asset to French scientists.
Amongst the 1008 illustrations from the book, this service represents examples with the most fantastic plumage and striking colors.
The shape of this superb service is characteristic of the Empire style: the coffee pot with its recessed lid, the twin-ringed sugar bowl, and the creamer, which is a diminutive version of an Etruscan hanap, or goblet. The black border design stands out strikingly from the yellow rim that shows to advantage these creatures from around the world.
The original pieces of this dinnerware service are proudly displayed at the Buffon Museum located in Montbard, France.
Queen Marie-Antoinette’s service was delivered to the Versailles palace on the 2nd of January in 1782 by the Royal Sèvres Manufactory. Its gracious “Comte d’Artois” shape, enhanced by its “pearl and cornflower” decoration, is enchanting in its delicate simplicity, its decoration placement seemingly improvised.
The cornflower, a simple wild flower, was a favorite of the queen. It was the color of her eyes and she would gather them in fresh bouquets at the country retreat of her hamlet in the Petit Trianon. The restrained alignment of the strikingly realistic pearls reveals to us the sovereign’s innate penchant for luxury. The pattern of cornflowers is placed between two rows of pearls, set against a green background, and highlighted by golden filets. Looking as if they have been freshly gathered, a simple bouquet of wild cornflowers decorates the center of the plate.
Only two of the original pieces from this celebrated dinnerware service can still be found as part of French national collections: one is held by the Versailles château and the other by the Louvre Museum.
A hunting enthusiast, Louis XVI acquired the Rambouillet estate in 1783. To make the estate more attractive in the eyes of his wife, Marie-Antoinette, the King had a charming dairy farm constructed.
Designed by Jean-Jacques Lagrenée, artistic director of the Sèvres Manufactory, the porcelain service is composed of daring shapes, decoration and colors for the period… Produced by the Sèvres Manufactory two years before the French Revolution in 1789, the collection illustrates the refinement of French luxury before the fall of the Ancien Regime.
The originals pieces are housed in the National Ceramics Museum in Sèvres, France.