These beautiful mounted plates were crafted in c.1830 in France. Designed in the Sevres style, the porcelain plates have been finely painted and set within elaborate gilt bronze mounts.
At the centre of the plates’ painted decoration are bust portraits of women. Inscriptions on the back of the plates inform us that these depict ‘M’e Hogier de Lusignan de Champignotier de Daubant’ – a noble woman from the House of Lusignan – and ‘M’lle Boussu Duchesse DeGuise’, a duchess from the House of Guise. Both houses had connections with French royalty.
The women wear 17th Century style costume. One woman wears her greying hair in a bun, and a crucifix hangs around her neck. She is decorously dressed in a purple gown, with a high lace collar. The woman on the second plate is younger. She wears a low-cut gown, and her light-brown hair falls on her shoulders.
These portraits are at the centre of white medallions, which are decorated with gilt laurel wreaths, and colourful floral motifs. These are framed by ‘bleu celeste’ borders, overlaid with gilt patterns. Colourful painted flower arrangements decorate the outer blue borders.
Gilt bronze mounts lift the plates off the ground. These are elaborate, Rococo style designs, composed of fruiting vines and foliage swags. Each mount is fitted with two scrolling, foliate handles, and is set onto three feet, which take the form of classical female masks.
These plates will serve as beautiful centrepiece garnitures. They could be used to display fine food, such as sweetmeats, nuts or fruit. Alternatively, they could be left unadorned and enjoyed as exquisite works of decorative art.