It is rare that a virtually positive attribution to a royal purchase can be confirmed through the Sèvres factory’s sales records; however, the listing for Louis XV's purchase of a simply described déjeuner losange in 1763 apparently cost an astonishing 528 livres. This sale price for a small service is close to double the next most expensive déjeuner produced by the manufactory in the 1760’s, identified as having a colored ground at a price of 300 livres. And although the words rose marbré do not appear in the straightforward business account, the high cost indicates that the service was decorated with an expensive technique such as rose marbré.
The application of the rose marbré ground was tedious, involving the application of a blue ground over a fired pink ground and the scraping away of the blue to reveal the pink below in a desired marbled pattern. Often subtle differences in the treatment of the rose marbré decoration on the long and short sides of pieces of form were used. Given the difficulty and expense of its execution, the factory produced rose marbré for only a few years, with almost all marked pieces executed between 1761 and 1763. The decoration reserved on this elaborate ground includes dreamy depictions of flowers, landscapes, and birds. The trophies found on the present service are the least common, more evidence of it being a rarity and the example made for Louis XV.
The trophy decoration is almost certainly the work of Charles Buteux l'aîné. A specialist in trophy painting, Buteux is recorded as a painter at the manufactory from 1756 to 1782. Marked examples painted with trophies similar to those found on the present déjeuner are known. For example, the straw hat with its distinctive plumes found on the teapot is also found on an indistinctly marked green-ground tea cannister (boite à thé) dated, the property of a nobleman, sold Christie’s, London, 16 November 2009, lot 145. A variation on that hat, the plumes removed, a row of scallop shells denoting the hat as that of a pilgrim, can be found on a green ground Corbeille Triangle à Ornements of 1759, sold Christie’s, Paris, 6 November 2012, lot 31 and on a vase ‘Indien E’ of 1760, sold Christie’s, New York, 23 October 2012, lot 58.
For a similar example of rose marbré with trophy reserves, see The Art Institute of Chicago, Sèvres coffee cup, saucer and tray, ref. no. 1994.421a-c.