An 18th Century Mennecy Porcelain `Pot a Jus` and Cover Decorated with Flowers.
Condition: Very good, small loss to the stalk and leaf on top of the cover.
Size: Height : 9 cm (3 1/2 inches)
Provenance:The Darblay Family Collection of 18th Century Mennecy Porcelain. This important collection of Mennecy porcelain was formed in the 19th century by the Darblay family, especially the paper magnate Ayme-Henri Darblay (1854-1899). The family lived near Mennecy and built up an extensive collection of porcelain from the factory. Ayme-Henri published `Villeroy, Son Passe, Sa Fabrique de Porcelaine et Son Etat Actuel` in 1901. This sumptuous book is still an important reference guide to Mennecy porcelain.
References:For similar 18th century polychrome Mennecy pot au jus see : Custard Cups, Pots a Jus (Ulla Stafford, Ulla Stafford,Undated. ISBN 0 9539439) Page 19 lower Photograph. For other Mennecy pot au jus see `Sold Items` stock numbers 19183, 217851, 22259.
Pot a Jus : `Pot a Jus` are Small Cups with a handle and cover and are a French innovation dating to about 1730. Ulla Stafford Writes in `Custard Cups, Pot a Jus` (Ulla Stafford, undated ?, pages 11 and 12) “The pot was designed to contain hot juice or soup, the cover kept it hot and the handles enabled the diner to drink the contents. It contained hot meat juice from the roast which formed a thin but exquisite and highly concentrated soup : a consomme, also known as Bouillion. The meat juice was served in ready filled cups on small matching trays from which the diner would select. A very civilised way to drink this delicious soup was direct from the cup”.
Mennecy Porcelain :
The factory was started by Francois Barbin under the protection of Louis-François-Anne de Neufville, Duc de Villeroy (1695-1766). Barbin had been making faïence under Villeroy`s protection, he was also making porcelain in Paris from 1734/35. He had to move to the grounds of the Château de Villeroy, near the village of Mennecy (Île-de-France) in 1748 because Francois Barbin did not have letters of patent from the king and so was refused permission to produce porcelain in Paris. A monopoly was enforced with legal action taken to prevent anyone producing porcelain “in the manner of Saxony” (i.e. Meissen porcelain), this monopoly was granted to the manufacture of porcelain at Vincennes. Legal action was used to close down the Paris factory, this included impounding the porcelain and then reselling it. The earliest porcelain produced at Mennecy (1734-1748) is so far unidentified. The porcelain made after 1748 tends to be rather light and the glaze often has a pearl like appearance. Most of the production consists of small pieces of porcelain for the table and dressing sets, small boxes and small porcelain figures were made too. The pieces are often but not always marked with an incised `D V` to the base for the Duc de Villeroy. Mennecy porcelain was copied/faked by the 19th / 20th Paris firm of Sampson, these pieces also often carry the incised `D V` mark.