Tea For Two! | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Tea For Two!

September 25, 2008

Tea For Two!

I recently mentioned that one set of Marie’s Sèvres services is on display at Petit Trianon. Sèvres is the factory that Louis XVI and Marie supported, as did Louis XV. The factory opened during the 1740’s. Read more about it here. I wanted to give you a quick look at the design of the delicate pieces. They are decorated with strings of pearls and elegant cornflowers. Georgiana has a set on display at Chatsworth and her set is a bit earlier, and I think Marie would have liked it as her own!

This set is from 1785, and she was aiming for things less lavish and luxe. The simplicity of the design as a whole describes this desire, the cornflowers seem to represent the aim for nature and its simple beauty yet at the same time are an exotic bloom (I believe from North America - correct me if you know anything on that). The pearls of course valued as jewels fit for a queen (Pearl Post Coming Soon!) yet they are jewels not shaped by the hand of a stone cutter, they are jewels in their most natural state.

This last image is the design of a different set she had, not on view at the Petit Trianon. It does give you an idea of designs Marie liked.

Just lovely!


  1. Antoinette's taste was exquisite yet simple.

  2. I love that about the first set! It is so basic without any frill. The colors are very simple too. Makes me want to order some classy service sets!

  3. Actually, Lauren, cornflowers are native to Europe and grow wild in wheat fields, hence the English name ("corn" in British English is what Americans call wheat.) They are simply called "bleuets" in French.

    Nothing exotic about these flowers. On the contrary, their popularity in the time of Marie-Antoinette illustrated the move towards more natural, home-grown themes.

    If you like this kind of motive, I believe Bernardaud has a lovely pattern (my grandmother's china, but it is still produced.) I will check it out.

  4. Thanks for the info Catherine, let me know what you find!