Sèvres during the Revolution
On 6th October 1789, the workers of the Sèvres factory saw the King, the Queen and the young Dauphin escorted by a crowd of thousands angry people coming from Versailles though Sèvres on their way back to Paris. _ What a contrast to the royal family’s previous visits to the factory to inspect the establishment or to purchase porcelain. Time would become difficult for the factory, loosing its wealthy clientele. The factory never closed its doors but the workers were either not paid in full or not at all. The factory remained the property of the King until the foundation of the Republic in August 1792 when it came under the control of the Ministère des Contributions Publiques.
In 1793, the Ministre de L’intérieur, Dominique-Joseph Garat ordered the destruction of the molds and models related to the Royal family. The director of the factory, Antoine Régnier, dispatched seven workers who spent one day smashing the stock with royal connections. The interlaced L’s mark was replaced with an RF mark for République Française, alone or with the word Sevres.
During this dismal period the factory was used to spread the political revolutionary propaganda.
New models of biscuit group were designed by Boizot. No more l’Education de l’Amour, one of the most charming groups by Falconet but l’Education du Citoyen, la France gardant sa Constitution, La Liberté et l’Egalité. Charles-Nicolas Dodin painted also republican allegories during this period. The Musée des Arts decoratifs in Paris has two gobelets litron with beau bleu grounds entitled l’Egalité and la Liberté, painted in 1793. The Musee Carnavalet in Paris has two vases dated 1794 representing La Force guidee par la Raison and La France gardant la Constitution.
As can be seen on our two Gobelets à anses étrusques, a shape created by Boizot for Marie Antoinette’s dairy at Rambouillet, revolutionary emblems became part of the painters’ repertoire. Our examples both bear the new tricolor painted on flag and ribbons. The cap of liberty - bonnet phrygien -inspired by the hat worn by the freed Roman slaves is found together with the Roman bundle of fasces and the freemasonry equilateral triangle, symbol of equality and reconstruction.