A royal gift!
ay it with flowers! And this is just what happened with this lavish French Restoration Sèvres dinner set with no fewer than 129 pieces, which fetched €320,186, in line with its high estimate. The set was given by Louis XVIII to Adrien de Montmorency (1768-1837), Duc de Laval, a soldier and brilliant diplomat whose loyalty to the Bourbons was thus rewarded. He was one of the first to present his compliments to Louis XV's grandson at Calais in 1814 on his return to France. The sovereign even granted him the title of prince, and Anne-Adrien-Pierre was then known as "Prince-duc de Montmorency-Laval". This dinner set was probably the king's last gift to his follower. The decision to present him with it was made on 16 August 1824. Begun in March, it was delivered to its recipient on 31 August by order of the Minister of the King's Household, dated 26 August. The signed receipt is dated 3 September… Louis XVIII died on "Thursday the sixteenth day of September in the year eighteen hundred and twenty-
Sèvres, 1824, porcelain dessert set containing 129 pieces with botanical decoration by the painter Gilbert Drouet, after Pierre-Joseph Redouté's collections.
Where ? When ? Who ? Paris- Drouot 8 October Pescheteau-Badin auction house How much ? €320,186
four, before midday," in terrible agony, as we know. Under the French Restoration, the policy was to soothe post-revolutionary tensions, and the theme of the service is based on the peaceful delights of botany. The plates of two collections by Pierre Joseph Redouté, "Les Liliacées", published in 80 deliveries between 1802 and 1816, and "Les Roses", published between 1817 and 1824, served as a model for the decoration of this set. At the Sèvres factory, Gilbert Drouet painted all the polychrome flowers and birds. The dinner set has remained in the Duc's family until now, and has been reverently preserved: of the 130 pieces delivered in 1824, only one of its hundred plates has disappeared… Sylvain Alliod
N° 19 I GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL