Tea and coffee service

ARTIST / MAKER: Johann Gregorius Höroldt (painter)
Meissen porcelain factory (manufacturer)
DATE: 1723 (made)
PLACE: Germany (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Porcelain painted in enamels and gilt, velvet, metal and wood box

The fashion for nécessaires de voyage, or travelling services, occurred in the late part of the 17th century, when European aristocracy acquired a taste for tea, coffee and chocolate. These services in porcelain, silver and gold became an essential part of the common toilette sets used by the elite in the occasion of travel. Large cases with fitted compartments enabled valuable pieces to be safely stored and transported, and often included secret pockets for jewels and coins. The fashion for such sets originated in France, where nécessaires were customarily gifted to a lady on her wedding day.

Comprising seventeen pieces of porcelain and six silver-gilt spoons, this travelling tea and coffee nécessaire features a leather-bound, fitted case lined with green velvet. The set is decorated with Chinoiserie figures taking part in leisurely activities, including tea-drinking. Each piece is hand-painted by Johann Gregorius Höroldt, one of the most skilled decorators employed by the Meissen porcelain manufactory.