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In 1738, almost 30 years after first European porcelain was produced in Meissen, the successful attempt to create soft paste porcelain was undertaken in French Vincennes. This year Marquis Orry de Fulvy obtained from the king Louis XV a licence to manufacture porcelain. The factory from the very beginning operated as the "Manufacture royale". In 1751 Marquis Orry de Fulvy died and the king obtained 25 percent of the factory. Early French porcelain imitated Meissen pieces.

In 1756 the factory was moved to the village of Sèvres and gained its own unique style. In 1759 Louis XV took over the entire Sèvres porcelain factory. Until 1780 the factory was granted a monopoly of multicolor painting of porcelain.

In 1772 the production of hard paste porcelain started. The company was in serious troubles after the French Revolution (1789). The porcelain made in Sèvres was meant for aristocracy and royal families. Unfortunately for the manufacture, the revolution ended the monarchy in France. Finally in 1798 the company was overtaken by the French government. The government appointed Alexander Brongniart to run a business. Under his administration the company managed to cater to a new group of wealthy clients.

The company continued to thrive through the Napoleonic era and in the rest of 19th century.

The porcelain made in Sèvres is most often marked with two blue-painted interlaced letters 'Ls'. The manufacture nationale de Sèvres is still one of the principal European porcelain manufactories.

Dating 18th century Sèvres porcelain

Letters Year Example
A 1754  
B 1755  
C 1756  
D 1757  
E 1758  
F 1759  
G 1760  
 H  1761  
I, J 1762  
 K  1763  
 L  1764  
 M  1765  
 N  1766  
 O  1767  
P  1768  
 Q  1769  
 R  1770  
 S  1771  
 T  1772  
 U  1773  
 V  1774  
 X  1775  
 Y  1776  
 Z  1777  
 AA  1778  
 BB  1779  
 CC  1780  
 DD  1781  
 EE  1782  
 FF  1783  
 GG  1784  
 HH  1785  
 II, JJ  1786  
 KK  1787  
 LL  1788  
 MM  1789  
NN 1790  
OO 1791  
PP 1792  
QQ 1793  
Red Sevres mark
Detail

The red enamel mark Manufacture Nationale Dore a Sevres. AP is a date 1982

Napoleon Sevres mark
Detail

Dore a Sevres gilding mark, N stands for Napoleon, 57 is a date - 1857 

Dore a Sevres mark
Detail

Dore a Sevres, a mark of gilding, 91 stands for date 1891

RF mark
Detail

Manufacture Nationale RF Dore a Sevres 1904 gilding mark

Green triangle mark
Detail

Pâte ancienne porcelain mass made in 1900

S48 mark
Detail

S.48. Sevres mark used in 1848 on whiteware

SV 47 mark
Detail

SV. 47. Sevres mark used in 1847 on whiteware

RF 1917 mark
Detail

Manufacture Nationale Dore a Sevres 1917 gilding mark

DA mark
Detail

S 1913 DA pâte ancienne porcelain mass made in 1913

S37 mark
Detail

S.37. Sevres whiteware 1837 mark

1844 Sevres mark
Detail

1844 blue Sevres decoration mark

Tuileries mark
Detail

Chateau des Tuileries 19th century Sevres palace mark

1973 mark
Detail

1973 Sevres mark

AG mark
Detail

The red enamel mark Manufacture Nationale Dore a Sevres. AG is a date 1973

N 56 mark
Detail

Dore a Sevres gilding mark, 56 is a date - 1856

S56 mark
Detail

S.56. Sevres mark used in 1856

Dore mark
Detail

Dore a Sevres N 60 gilding mark used in 1860

S59 mark
Detail

S.59. Sevres whiteware mark

1903 mark
Detail

Manufacture Nationale RF Dore a Sevres 1903 gilding mark

S94 mark
Detail

S.94 Sevres hard-paste porcelain 1894 mark

 
 
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