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Triumph of Neptune Tray

Date : 1726

Donated by Delamarre, 1929

The subject depicted on this tray, the Triumph of Neptune, is taken directly from an engraving by Jean Bérain (1640-1711), from his collection entitled ‘Ornements peints dans les appartements des Tuileries (Painted Ornaments in the Tuileries Apartments). The rarity of this example of the great ornament draughtsman’s direct and identifiable influence on faience has long been recognised. The niello ochre border is animated by little figures that come from engravings inspired by those of Claudine Bouzonnet-Stella, among them the cherub to the lower right, comically surprised while relieving himself.

Originally this tray would have been set into a small table called a cabaret, used for serving the ‘exotic’ drinks fashionable at the beginning of the 17th century: tea, hot chocolate and above all coffee.