- Paris, c. 1772
- Inv. 1076A/B
Pair of coffee jugs
This pair of coffee jugs demonstrates how the rocaillestyle was gradually being abandoned as from the middle of the eighteenth century. The Louis XVI style is now evident in the simple forms, the geometrical handles (based on architectural elements from classical antiquity) and the oval decorations bordered by laurel crowns where the feet meet the body. The only engraved decorations are extremely delicate garlands held by cords and tassels, while the lids are smooth and end in pine-cone finials.
These pieces were commissioned by Catherine II of Russia and were part of the famous ‘Orloff Service’, which the empress gave to her favourite and would reacquire after his death. The Imperial Russian coat-of-arms engraved on the body of each piece was presumably added at that time. The pieces were part of the Imperial Russian Services before being purchased by Calouste Gulbenkian.
Prince Gregory Orloff; Catherine II, emperess of Russia; Russian imperial palaces (Orloff Service); Hermitage, St Petersburg. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian through the Antikvariat, April 1929.
Relações entre Portugal e a Rússia. Séculos XVIII a XX, exhibition catalogue. Lisbon: Instituto dos Arquivos Nacionais/Torre do Tombo, 1999, pp. 154–5, no. 278.
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2001, p. 140, cat. 116.