Limoges porcelain symbol of the decorative arts in France Antiques 09/12/2020


The history of the most famous French porcelain factory starts in the year 1768 , when in Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, very near Limôges, they discovered important deposits of kaolin . This delicate white clay will turn out decisive in the creation of a porcelain of such high quality that it will be reached to compare with the Chinese, then considered the finest in the world.

Thus began the development of a new ceramic industry in Europe. King Louis XVI will enact an edict to grant to the city of Limôges the exclusive permission to produce the porcelain for the kingdom of France. After the French Revolution they will be established various private porcelain factories in the city, each one being will identify with a different name or symbol.

The oldest of these factories will be the Royal Limôges . Founded in 1797 , in 1816 it will settle definitely on Rue Donzelot, very close from the river Vienne. The proximity to the river was very convenient for transporting the huge amount of firewood needed to feed your ovens. In this factory they prepared their own kaolin with secret methods and in a masterful way. From modeling to the final decoration, there are many savoir faire essential to achieve the whiteness, fineness and translucency that contribute to the world fame of this porcelain. Our experts in decorative arts they are always interested in pieces of this manufacture, both for online auctions like the on-site auctions.


Today, each of its designs is unique and devised by authentic artists. Your dinnerware, table accessories, and items as a gift they have had a huge success inside and outside the French borders, and many of his pieces are fabrications designed for a specific customer. Hotels international fame, such as Fouquet's Barrière or Le Meurice from Paris, or Häagen-Dazs cafes around the world, they have their own exclusive collections. There are even establishments that still have their vintage tableware like a treasure: This is the case of the famous Parisian Brasserie La Coupole, a symbol of the iconic Montparnasse district, which has a complete art deco tableware from 1927, which is still used in special celebrations.

In United States Limôges tableware will be a symbol of status Social. The fascination of the Americans with this porcelain arrived to the point that one of the most famous factories in the French house shall his creation to a New Merchant York: David Haviland will start exporting these French porcelain pieces to your store of the Big Apple, adapting its decoration to American tastes. The demand will be such that it will end founding the factory Haviland & Co , whose pieces will achieve great fame.

Limôges porcelain is manufactured in around twenty manufactures , all located in the department of Haute-Vienne. Bernardaud , Jacques Pergay , Raynaud , Royal Limôges , Médard de Noblat or < strong> Haviland SA are some of the names of the great families that continue to perpetuate the white tradition of this French city.

How to identify the authentic Limôges

Recognizing the authentic Limôges porcelain is very simple: All the objects of the French house bear the stamp of your manufacturer . Usually stamped in black or blue, this brand can give us very precise indications to date the piece.

On many occasions this seal was accompanied by that of the decorator . Much of the Limôges porcelain was made in white, and decorated later. So sometimes we can meet several overlapping stamps, which tell us about his date of manufacturing, possible multiples decorations Y provenance .

From 1900 approximately all Limôges stamps are associated with the word France , mandatory for export to the US and to be sold both in traditional auctions and in online antique auctions.