Musée d'Orsay: Edmond Lachenal Cup, "Mistletoe" service

Edmond Lachenal
Cup, "Mistletoe" service

Cup, "Mistletoe" service
Edmond Lachenal (1855-1955), Manufacture Keller et Guérin, Lunéville (Meurthe-et-Moselle)
Cup, "Mistletoe" service
Porcelain, gold highlights
H. 9; W. 10.2 cm
© DR - RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / René-Gabrel Ojéda

Cup, "Mistletoe" service
Cup and saucer, "mistletoe" service
Cup, saucer and jug, "mistletoe" service
Carafe, "Mistletoe" service

Tasse, service "Gui" [Cup, "Mistletoe" service]

For the year 1900, the Parisian magazine Les annales politiques et littéraires decided to offer a table service specially created for its readers, who could buy it through subscription. The magazine approached the Parisian ceramicist Edmond Lachenal to produce it. He had acquired something of a reputation since he presented a service commissioned by Sarah Bernhardt, at the 1889 Universal Exhibition. Lachenal accepted the commission on condition that the production was undertaken by Keller and Guérin porcelain factory in Lunéville, with whom he had worked since about 1893.
In order to take advantage of this exclusive offer, those interested had to pay 120 gold francs, which included the price of the subscription, the payment to the porcelain factory and Lachenal's fee. The price also included the option to have its number printed on all the different pieces. It was so successful that the following year Les annales politiques et littéraires repeated the experiment with a coffee service of the same design.

The decoration on the china was produced using a stencil. The pale green and mauve colours were applied using a diffuser with two compartments, which could spray the colours either separately or simultaneously. In addition, by manipulating the pressure of the spray, attractive variations in the intensity of the colour could be achieved. Finally, to make the design very sharp, Lachenal used stencils cut out from pewter sheets that adhered perfectly to the curved surfaces of the different pieces in the service. When these stencils were destroyed when German troops set fire to the Lunéville factory, at the beginning of the Second World War, production of the "mistletoe" service ceased. Thanks to the major Rispal collection, donated in 2005, the Musée d'Orsay was able to enrich its collection with many more pieces from this service.