Sèvres cabaret service – €210,000 (£181,035) at Osenat.

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Topping the bill in the Empire à Fontainebleau sale at Osenat (25% buyer’s premium) on March 22, it features portraits of female sovereigns and other famous women including Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, Queen Christina of Sweden, Maria Theresa of Austria, Madame de Sévigné and Joan of Arc, all set against a chrome green ground.

Alexandre Brogniart, the director of the Sèvres factory, assigned the task of painting the portraits to the porcelain painter Marie-Victoire Jacquotot (1772-1855). She decorated three such cabarets on this theme of which this was the last, painted between 1811-12.

The service sold by Osenat was originally offered in June 1812 to the Empress Josephine but she sent it back to the factory. It was then delivered in December of that year to the Empress Marie Louise, Napoleon’s second wife, who gave it to the Comtesse de Ségur on January 1, 1813.

Offered with an estimate of €80,000-100,000, it was finally sold for €210,000 (£181,035).