This coin tray was made in blue glazed faience in the 19th century by the manufactury of Sèvres, after an artwork of Joseph Gustave Cheret (1838-1894). This sculpture represents a putto with two Greek comedy masks.
The first one, sitting at its foot, is a women mask of a courtesan called "pseudokoré". The putto is holding the other one in his arms, it is the mask of a bearded man called "pornoboskos".
The putto is partially covered with a drape. At his feet are sevrals musical instruments : a flute, some bells and a tambourine, with the signature "Joseph Cheret Saw". Another mark "CH FICQUENET. - Sevres" is on the side.
Cheret is an important sculptor of the 19th century. He was trained by the famous Carrier-Belleuse. This very gifted student eventually marry one of the daughters of his mentor in 1868. Since 1863 he regularly presented works in different Fairs and Exhibitions. We owe him the first salamanders design, which he realized in collaboration with the Chaboche Compagny.
This object is inspired by sculptures depicting putti or young satyrs having fun with Greek comedy masks. Very popular in the imperial Rome period, these images are experiencing a revival during the Renaissance and then in the 19th century during the eclecticism.
It is particularly representative of the 19th century taste, espacially by its material: a blue glazed faience. At that time, ceramic techniques are very popular. This blue can be compared to "Deck blue", used by Théodore Deck at the same time.