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Sauceboat and Stand (one of a pair)

A work made of gilt silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gilt silver.


c. 1794-1819


Martin-Guillaume Biennais (French, 1764-1843)
Probably designed after Charles Percier (French, 1764-1838) and
Pierre François Léonard Fontaine (French, 1762-1853)
Paris, France

About this artwork

This sauceboat and stand is part of a vast service made for Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister Pauline on the occasion of her marriage to the Roman nobleman Camillo Borghese, Sixth Prince of Sulmona.

In the years after the French Revolution, architects and designers adopted the visual language of ancient Greece and Rome to express the new imperial order. Napoleon, hoping to promote Paris’s luxury trades, commissioned several silver dinner services as gifts to be sent abroad. The slender outlines and smooth surfaces of the vessels in the Borghese service contrast with the rich decoration.


Currently Off View


Applied Arts of Europe


Martin-Guillaume Biennais


Sauceboat and Stand (one of a pair)


Paris (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Gilt silver


MARKS: “[lozenge with seated monkey and two pellets above B, maker’s mark],” above waisted foot on flower front body of sauce boat (mark partially defaced); “[head of Apollo with 1 in oval shield, unofficial Paris assay mark 1794-97],” above waisted foot on lower front of body of sauceboat (mark partially defaced) and under surface of loop handled (mark defaced); “[cock in vertical octagonal shield with 1 at lower right, Paris assay mark 1798-1809],” proper right side of rear of sauceboat to right of handle; “[ear form punch, Paris recense mark 1809-19] / [male head in circular punch flanked by 8 and 5, Paris excise mark 1798-1809],” lower rim of foot of sauceboat; “[helmeted dexter head of Minerva in circular punch, Paris excise mark 1803-19] / [cock in horizontal octagonal shield with 1 at lower right, Paris assay mark 1809-19],” on underside of stand INSCRIPTIONS: “[Borghese armorials surmounted with Napoleonic Crown],” engraved on center of sauceboat


H.: 29.2 cm (11 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Charles V. Hickox

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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