A Capodimonte cup and saucer, circa 1750. Photo Sotheby's

each piece brightly painted with moths and scattered insects within gilt formal borders, blue fleur-de-lys mark to cup (some restoration). Estimate 3,500-4,500 GBP 

PROVENANCE: With Finarte, Milan, 1968 

NOTE: For the butterflies and insects decoration the Capodimonte manufactory could problably rely on a collection of printed sources repertories including Joris Hoefnagel's Diversae Insectarium Volatium, published in 1630 (fig. 1). The lepidopteral decoration, adopted first by Meissen around 1740, was an artistic expression of the growing scientific interest which characterised the 18th Century. For a full discussion of the decoration " a farfalle e insetti" see A. Caròla-Perrotti, op.cit., Naples, 1986, pp.140-141.

Sotheby's. The Collection of Giovanni and Gabriella Barilla, Londres | 14 mars 2012