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Covered Tureen on Stand (Pot-à-oille couvert)

Covered Tureen on Stand (Pot-à-oille couvert)


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Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier

(French, 1695-1750)

designed by

Pierre-François Bonnestrenne


made by

Henry Adnet

(French, 1745)

made by


Overall: 36.9 x 38.4 x 31.8 cm (14 1/2 x 15 1/8 x 12 1/2 in.); Average: 35 x 38.4 x 31.8 cm (13 3/4 x 15 1/8 x 12 1/2 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1977.182


Designed by one of Louis XV’s official architects, this tureen exemplifies rococo style, an artistic movement that developed in Paris during the early 1700s. In contrast to classical, controlled symmetry, rococo forms—inspired by natural objects like seashells and leaves—morph, twist, and spill into the space around them. Emphasizing ornament over structure, Meissonnier encased this tureen in a picturesque arrangement of vegetables and other ingredients, thus transforming a utilitarian object into a decadent display of wealth and panache. This masterpiece of silverwork is from a set of two tureens commissioned by the English duke of Kingston during an extended sojourn in Paris. Today the second tureen is in a private collection. For centuries historians believed the tureens had been lost or destroyed, and they were known only by their representation in an etching by Gabriel Huquier.

See also
Decorative Arts
Type of artwork: 

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