Madame Pompadour, the mistress of Emperor Louis XV of France, once gave a garden party to her paramour. To charm her lover she created an indoor garden of summer flowers in mid-winter. The flowers were looking so natural that the king bent to pluck his favourite rose flower but lo, it was made of porcelain. The emperor, of course, was vastly pleased and purchased a good number of them by paying 80,000 French livres.
The factory which turned out those porcelain flowers under the fostering care and expert guidance of Madame de Pompadour is Sevres, situated between Paris and Versailles.