An Important 19th Century French Three-Piece Empire Coffee Service

An Important 19th Century French Three-Piece Empire Coffee Service

Paris, 1809 - 1819
Maker’s mark of Jean-Baptiste Claude Odiot

Together with the original presentation case

Height of coffee pot: 36 cm, 14.1 in.
Weight: 2,780 g, 89 oz 6 dwt

Comprising: a coffee pot, a covered sugar bowl and a cream jug, each on spreading circular base with a band of waterleaves, the stem and lower body flat-chased with calyx of waterleaves, the shoulders and rims with conforming decoration, the coffee pot applied with a figure of Hercules and a Bacchante, with a lion’s mask spout issuing from waterleaves and a scroll wood handle issuing from a satyr’s mask and stylized leaves, the flat hinged cover with bud finial, the sugar bowl applied with putti mounted on lions, with volute handles issuing from masks, and with paterae against a matte band at the neck, the flat removable cover with bud finial, the cream jug applied with a winged figure with a snake and another with torch and victory wreath and also with a bacchic mask within a wreath, with wood scroll handle issuing from satyr’s mask and with stylised leaves, marked on bases near rims and on covers, in original suede-lined leather case.

The records at Maison Odiot suggest that the present coffee service is the one ordered by Count Golovkine of Vienna, entered in the Odiot ledgers on July 20, 1819. An identical service was ordered by the Duc de la Varguyon on October 1 1816, when it was described as “une cafetiere a Gorge, un pot a crème et un sucrier Etrusque.” The three pieces together with the fitted case cost 650 livres. Another similar but larger service was commissioned by S.A.I. Prince Napoleon, and is illustrated in Les Grands Orfevres, Hachette 1965, pp.292-193.

Christie’s, Geneva, 9 May 1989, ex-lot 195;
A Private American Collection;
Christie’s, New York, 18 October 1995, ex-lot 216

Odiot L’Orfèvre, 3 Siècles d’Histoire d’Art & de Créations by Jean-Marie Pinçon & Olivier Gaube du Gers, p.127, illustrated colour plate 205

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