Sèvres soft-paste porcelain ice pail, estimated at $5000-7000 at Taylor & Harris.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

A former decorator at the rival Chantilly porcelain factory, Buteux arrived at Sèvres in 1745. A document surviving in the Bibliothèque et Archives de la Manufacture Nationale de Porcelaine de Sèvres records his physical description as ‘cinq pieds trois pouces’ (5ft 3in), with grey eyes, brown hair and an ‘aquiline’ nose.

While he painted a number of typical rococo and neoclassic vignettes, his particular forte was painting the type of musical motifs seen on this ice pail. According to the archives, he painted more than 400 of them a year.

The piece, fitted with a removable liner and lid, has an estimate of $5000-7000 at Taylor & Harris of Gardena, California on August 27.