Bol Sein de la Laiterie de Rambouillet
In June 1787, Louis XVI surprised his wife Queen Marie Antoinette with the gift of a dairy - The Laiterie at Rambouillet. Inspired by Rousseau and a desire to return to nature, fanciful dairies were very fashionable among the aristocracy of Europe during the [period], but this Neoclassical dairy designed by Richard Mique would surpass all others. The king had hoped that Marie Antoinette would please herself at Ranbouillet playing Dairy maid while he was at one of his favorite things to do, hunting.
65 pieces of Sèvres “Etruscan” style porcelain were delivered to Rambouillet in two shipments in 1787 and 1788. Included the 1788 delivery were a set of four Breast cups made for drinking milk from. Famous today because the cups are said to have been molded from the Queen’s own breast!
The cup is in the shape of a breast painted flesh colored with a pink nipple at the bottom. The porcelain breast rest in a Greek style tripod with the head of goats terminating in hoofed feet. The late 18th century Sèvres breast cups makes reference to the traditional Greek mastos cup (from mastos = breast, udder) itself modeled on a breast.