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This was presented to Queen Marie-Antoinette to mark the birth of the Dauphin, as revealed by a handwritten mention underneath the saucer: A Marie Antoinette en 1780 pour la naissance du Dauphin né en 1781, peintre Nicolas Bulidon – whose decor included oblong medallions with gold bouquets of fruit ringed by lilies and roses; with gilding by Etienne Henry Leguay.

The cup paid punning tribute to the nascent heir to the throne with two dolphin handles and a lid topped by a crown incorporating four more dolphins. Few other examples of this cup and saucer are known; one is in Versailles.

A soft-paste Vincennes porcelain sugar-bowl or sucrier à la Reine (1752-53), marked with a double L and standing 43/4in (12cm) tall and featuring painted birds within white medallions, went to a quintuple-estimate Fr220,000 (£21,000) at the same sale.