Tureen with cover

Edme-Pierre Balzac (1705–ca. 1786, master 1739, recorded 1781)

French (Paris)
H. 10-1/4 in. (26.0 cm.); W. 9-1/8 in. (23.2 cm.); L. 15-3/8 in. (39.1 cm.)
(not assigned)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Catherine D. Wentworth, 1948
Accession Number:
  • Description

    This tureen belongs to a large silver service that has a long and complicated history. The service appears to have been ordered initially in the late 1720s by an Englishman living in France. It was acquired eventually by the duc de Penthièvre; in 1821, it was inherited by his grandson Louis-Philippe, duc d'Orléans. Additional pieces were made for the service throughout the eighteenth century in a wide variety of styles, which makes the Penthièvre-Orléans service—as it became known—one of the most complex and least unified of all French silver services.
    This tureen is one of a pair made for the service by Edme-Pierre Balzac, a leading silversmith in Paris who also contributed round tureens, wine coolers, and cruet stands to the Penthièvre-Orléans service during the years 1757 to 1761. Balzac's tureens are notable for their highly sculptural finials; in this case, a stag is being pulled down by three hounds—perhaps an allusion to the type of stew the tureen might contain.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Marking: [1] Crowned fleur-de-lis, 2 grains de remède, E P B, device a cinquefoil (maker's mark)
    [2] Crowned A (Paris charge mark for large silver, 1756-62)
    [3] Crowned R (Paris warden's mark, 1757-58)
    [4] Crowned S (Paris warden's mark, 1758-59)
    [5] Woman's head (Paris discharge mark for large silver, 1756-62)
    [6] Shell (Paris discharge mark for gold and small silver, 1756-62)
    [7] Boar's head (Paris restricted warranty mark for silver, 1838-79)
    [8] ODIOT/A PARIS (maker's mark)
    [9] O above a lighted roman lamp, in lozenge (maker's mark of Charles-Nicolas Odiot, registered 1826)
    [10] Old man's head, numeral 1, in vertical octagon (Paris mark for first standard silver, 1819-38)
    [11] Head of Ceres, in a circle (Paris large excise mark for silver, 1819-38)

    Location of marks:
    [1] inside on bottom of tureen, on insetting rim of cover, on bottom of liner
    [2] inside on bottom of tureen, inside cover, on bottom of liner
    [3] inside cover
    [4] on bottom of liner
    [5] on bottom of tureen and on bottom of liner
    [6] on insetting rim of cover and on leaf of finial
    [8]-[11] on circular attachment bolted to inside bottom of tureen

  • Provenance

    [ Jacques Helft , 1941; sold to Wentworth ] ; Catherine D. Wentworth (until 1948; to MMA)

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History