Tureens, or 'pots-à-oille', were the most expensive elements of dinner services. The word 'oille' is derived from the Spanish 'olla,' a type of stew made from several kinds of meats and vegetables. This recipe, along with other Spanish traditions, was introduced in France following the marriage of Louis XIV to Marie-Thérèse of Austria, daughter of Philip IV of Spain. The shape of this tureen is ascribed to the creative genius of Jean-Claude Duplessis, the artistic director and chief designer of the factory, and it is related to the first service produced for Louis XV. Its deep turquoise color (bleu céleste), which was extremely difficult to achieve, became one of the prides of the factory. Invented in 1753 and used for the first time in the Louis XV dinner service, it was inspired by the bright turquoise glaze found on Chinese ceramics of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973