The Sèvres Service 'des Arts Industriels' was made between 1820 and 1835, its fifteen year production spanning the reign of three Kings of France,
Louis XVIII, Charles X and Louis-Philippe I. It was finally purchased in 1836 by Louis-Philippe as a gift for Prince von Metternich, to whom it was
delivered on 16 May 1836. Today the service provides us with a remarkable record of early 19th century social history and an almost photographic
insight into the working and techniques of a wide variety of industries and crafts of this period, from the intricacies of making jewellery and the inner
workings of porcelain production at Sèvres to the hard labour of refining saltpetre.

Alexandre Brongniart, director of the royal manufactory at Sèvres almost certainly initiated this ambitious project, with his choice of subject matter
perhaps inspired by the Exposition des produits de l'industrie Français, which took place at the Louvre in 1819. Jean-Charles Develly, one of the most
talented painters at Sèvres, was chosen to compose the decoration for each piece working from preparatory drawings that, unusually, were taken from
life rather than engravings. Indeed an entry from the work allocations for 24 February 1820 stipulates that 'Monsieur de Vely (sic) will be paid for the
drawings according to the time spent on them, at the rate of 10 francs per day with a supplement for carriage expenses', indicating that Develly
travelled to different factories and workshops in and around Paris to observe and draw his subjects. Fascinatingly the archives at Sèvres hold records
of Develly's trip to visit the tobacco factory and his expenses relating to the trip. For each finished plate he received 100 francs with the first batch of
forty-eight appearing in the exhibition of products of the royal factories held at the Louvre on 1 January 1828.

The techniques of production for this service were somewhat unusual. The blue ground was applied first, then the gilding, only then did Develly transfer
his drawings on paper on to the centre of each plate. He did this by rubbing graphite over the back of each drawing and then applying this to the plate,
going over the drawing again from the front to transfer the design. This was then painted in at least two stages, the ébauche ou première peinture
(rough sketch), and the retouche (retouching). The plates went into the ébauche kiln and then into the retouche kiln. There could be more than one
retouche firing. Finally the plates went into the kiln to fire the gilt circle around each painting. Each plate cost 167.45 francs to produce and they were
finally sold for 200 francs each. By the time the delivery was made to Prince von Metternich in Vienna in 1836 one hundred and thirteen plates had
entered the sales inventory, one hundred and eight of which were sent to the prince, along with with sixteen fruit-bowls, six baskets, two ice-cream
coolers, four deep bowls, two sugar-bowls, covers and stands and four etagères at a total cost of 26,866 francs. This would suggest that the factory
kept five plates, including three that showed porcelain manufacture at Sèvres and were delivered directly to the ceramics museum at the manufactory.
The total number of plates recorded as being produced for the service is one hundred and nineteen and the present example would appear to be the
lone survivor of the six plates produced in 1834-1835 showing tobacco production.
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