Our mouths fell open in the very first gallery, when we came face to face with this giant, gleaming white urn. For scale, check the figure of the man in the lower left back of the photo.
Over the centuries, designs, colors and techniques produced an extraordinary array of these urns...from this 18th century example...
...to this beauty on the left, designed by Hector Guimard, whose Art Nouveau designs grace so many metro stations in Paris...
...and to this portrait of snarling tigers from the Art Deco period.
Moving into the adjacent galleries, we strolled among the displays, all of them on a somewhat more manageable scale! Even so, the thought of watering my garden with this delightful porcelain watering can, made me smile.
As we meandered through the rooms, I was struck at what an important role porcelain (and paintings and other art forms as well, of course), played in recording life at the time.
...even guilds, such as this printing press shop...
...and this confectioner's atelier. It was like looking at 18th century photo albums!
Instead of having their portrait painted on canvas, some of the landed gentry chose to have their likeness reproduced on tea cups, and their stately homes on fine china plates.
I particularly liked these purely decorative figures, so full of movement and joy!
As well as all the ornamental pieces, there were, of course, dozens and dozens of examples of exquisite "utility" pieces, like this classic Sèvres serving tray.
And this fabulous tureen with lions' heads for handles.
Really, though, at the end of the day, I decided that one of the joys of these pieces, whether you are Catherine II of Russia, with your own personalised china...
...or you and me, sitting down to dinner at home -- one of the joys is that when you eat off a pretty plate, the food always tastes better!
So, I came away from the museum appreciating all that we had seen, but also being grateful for the good taste and generosity of parents and grandparents in passing on their treasures to their children. Having admired all these wonderful pieces, I will have an even greater appreciation of my own "best" china at home!
Before we left, we had a quick look at the buildings behind the museum, where Sèvres pottery is still made today. Based on the prices we saw in the gift shop, it is still a "luxury" item!
Right next to the museum, we noticed an overhead tramway system, the T-2, which runs around the the city on the outer edges.
So, we jumped on board and rode around the south-west edge of Paris, enjoying the views out of the glass doors and huge windows. We transferred somewhere in the 15th arrondissement onto the #39 bus, which took us clear across the city and dropped us at our front door!
Hooray for the beauty of Sèvres Porcelain, and for the outstanding French public transportation system!