BOOK REVIEW – Versailles

A Day at Versailles

Yves Carlier, photography by Francis Hammond

Flammarion; Box edition

ISBN-10: 2080301438

ISBN-13: 978-2080301437



This elegantly slip-covered book reveals some of the elegant interiors and ravishing objects found within this legendary, must-see palace of the French kings. It also shows the glories of the gardens, the Petit Trianon and the dairy farm created as an escape from court life by Marie Antoinette. It’s a delight of a book that you will dip into time and again.

The Grand Perspective viewed from the central window of the Hall of Mirrors. p.43:  © Francis Hammond

The Grand Perspective viewed from the central window of the Hall of Mirrors.
© Francis Hammond

Vincennes Porcelain Blue Celeste Oval Dish from First Louis XV Service Sells For £70,000

What is it about turquoise coloured Vincennes and Sèvres porcelain that make it so attractive and so sought after?  I think looking at this Vincennes Porcelain Bleu Celeste oval dish many will understand the reason why.

Vincennes porcelain Blue Celeste dish from Louis XV Service

What a dish it is too. Sold by Guildford-based Wellers Auctioneers for £70,000 after enthusiastic competition and setting a new house record, this dish comes from the first service made for Louis XV.  The service introduced Bleu Céleste as a ground colour and the shape of many of the pieces in the service were especially designed by Jean-Claude Duplessis who was created orfèvre du roi (King’s goldsmith) in 1758.  Duplessis had produced designs for the Vincennes factory since the late 1740s.  The service was delivered to the King in three stages between 1753 and 1755.

The successful bidder was La Maison Vandermeersch who specialise in French porcelain and European ceramics.  Speaking of their purchase Camille Le Prince said “We are thrilled for having discovered this exceptional piece, as its shape is very rare. It was designed by Jean Claude Duplessis and its’ drawing is now held at the archives at the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres. We are excited by this new acquisition that will no doubt endow our large exhibition of French porcelain scheduled for June 2014”