Sèvres Manufactory (French, 1740–present); Decoration attributed to François Hallion (French, active 1866–96)
H. 19 3/8 in. (49.2 cm)
Purchase, Friends of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Gifts, 1990 (1990.238ab)
This large standing cup was known in the factory archives as a "Coupe Couty," named after its designer, Edme Couty. It was one of two models of standing cup produced by Sèvres that was chosen by the French government for presentation to the winners of the first prize at the 1878 Exposition Universelle, which accounts for its prominent inscription "Exposition Universelle Internationale/MDCCCLXXVIII/Paris."
Like the "Coupe Chenavard" (2003.153), it is designed in a Neo-Renaissance style that draws upon silver cups of the Renaissance for its form. Its dominant decorative scheme of scrolling arabesques in white on a blue ground recalls Limoges painted enamels of the sixteenth century. However, the large scale of the cup, the lavish use of gilding, and the dense ornamentation that covers most of the surface reflect its late nineteenth-century date of manufacture. The Sèvres factory produced objects in a Neo-Renaissance style throughout much of the century, but it constantly found ways to be creative within this historical revival vocabulary.