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Style Other / Ref.12440

"Egoïste" service of the Vienna Manufactory

Width: 14'' ⅛  36cm
Height: 6'' ¼  16cm
Depth: 11''   28cm

Austria, 19th century

Good condition.

This hot beverage set was made in the Vienna porcelain manufactory between 1820 and 1827. Presented in its original case, it is decorated with a neoclassical décor in pastel pink and purple tones, enhanced by golden ornaments. Characteristic of the early 19th century production at the Vienna Porcelain Manufactory, the neoclassical theme regularly showed paintings depicting mythological scenes enhanced by a decoration of golden motifs and lines as is the case on our service. These paintings are reproductions of paintings made by the great Italian masters of the 16th century. One can recognize Danae and the golden rain of Titian on the sugar bowl, Venus and Adonis by the same painter on one of the pourers, or a detail of Leda and the swan of Correggio on the other.
Intended for one person, hence its other denomination of selfish service, it consists of a tray decorated with a pierced golden marli, again characteristic of Vienna's production, a cup and saucer, a sugar bowl and two pourers.

An important part of the production of the Vienna manufactory during the second half of the 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th century was the realization of tea, chocolate and coffee services of very high quality. The fashion of drinking hot drinks in Vienna shared similarities with the French habit and was opposed to the customs of England. In particular, the habit of drinking tea, coffee or chocolate in the solitude of a cabinet or boudoir. This way of consuming led to the creation of services known as solitary, or selfish, containing the necessary equipment for one person. The consumption of these hot drinks often accompanied by pastries was assimilated at court and among the aristocracy with the French breakfast, so these services for one person were also known as "lunch". The caskets in which these services were stored were sometimes described as travel caskets. However, the reality is quite different, since services of this quality were much more often displayed in homes and very rarely, if ever, used, their main purpose was decorative, they allowed to indicate the status of their owner.