Pieces of civil gold which were destined for domestic and daily use reveal the tastes and customs of aristocratic and bourgeoisie societies.
During the 18th century, the etiquette of French table service governed the rules of dressing a table. Tables were adorned with silverware whose high costs of manufacture were rivalled by faience and porcelain which had reached their apogee.
The sampling of exotic beverages was an excuse to create new vessels: teapots, coffee pots, and chocolate pots, whose production gave goldsmiths the chance to demonstrate their full virtuosity. For the intimacy of private rooms they created refined accessories destined for grooming, such as the ewer and basin. The pieces collected by the Sabatier d’Espeyran family reveal the evolution of forms and decoration. In the 1770s, the flowing and curvilinear lines characteristic of the Rococo style slowly gave way to more geometric and purified designs inspired by Antiquity.