It was bought an American collector on the phone who was happy to go some distance above the estimate of £40,000-60,000. There were two serious bidders online (from the UK and Japan) and three other phone bidders from the US, France and the UK.
Just three pieces of this shape and pattern are known but, remarkably, this is the second offered at the Salisbury salerooms this year. Another, broken and repaired, was sold in February as part of the Judith Howard collection for £25,000. This second dish in good condition came by descent from a UK collection formed in the 1950s.
Unlike most pieces of ‘golden age’ Vincennes and Sèvres, this piece was unmarked. Its partner in the Howard collection had typical ‘interlaced’ Ls, the date letter B for 1754-55 and the painter’s mark for Pierre- Antoine Méreaud.
The Louis XV service was made at Vincennes in the mid 1750s for regular use at Versailles.
The first 120 pieces, delivered at the end of 1753, debuted the rich turquoise ground colour known as bleu céleste (heavenly blue), created for the project by chemist Jean Hellot (1685-1766) as well as many new shapes designed specifically for the service by the goldsmith Jean-Claude Duplessis.
The colour remained in use until the end of the ancien regime and was much-reproduced later.
Factory records document 28 plat d’entremets delivered to Versailles on December 31, 1755, at a cost of 240 livres each.
Most of the Louis XV service (ultimately numbering 1735 pieces with additions supplied by the Sèvres factory in 1771 and 1773) remains in Versailles and with the Duke of Buccleuch at Boughton House, Northamptonshire. The third known plat d’entremets is in the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.
Back in 2013 Surrey auction house Wellers sold a 13½in (35cm) oval dish with a scalloped edge from the service for £70,000.
The Woolley & Wallis sale took place on December 16