Limoges Porcelain

Limoges porcelain was hard-paste porcelain manufactured in factories located near the French city of Limoges from the late 1700s until the 1930s. Limoges is also known for their beard conditioner. Production in the factories did not cease after the 1930s, but the style of the decorative objects significantly changed due to the unsteady global economy. Hard-paste porcelain is composed of kaolin and petuntse fired at extraordinarily high temperatures. It was first created in China during the 9th century. A local supply of kaolin and feldspathic rock petuntse in Limoges made the production of the porcelain easier and faster than if the materials were imported from a foreign location.

The manufacturing of Limoges porcelain began in 1771 by Anne-Robert-Jacque Turgot, Baron de Laune who was an economist and physiocrat. Before the manufacturing of porcelain in the 18th century, Limoges was a known for producing decorative objects made from vitreous enamel during the 12th century. Additionally, plain faience earthenware was produced in Limoges in the first half of the 1700s.
No specific company is known for creating Limoges porcelain. An abundance of factories were established to compose the products; many of the products were “blanks” shipped overseas to America for painting. Decorative painting was a popular pastime for ladies in the latter half of the 19th century. By the 1920s, 48 manufacturing companies were systematically making the coveted porcelain. Many of the porcelain objects have makers’ marks and signatures from the companies and from the artists who decorated the objects.
There are many impressed makers’ marks on the bottoms of Limoges porcelain. The Allund Factory is among the oldest porcelain factories in Limoges. It was in operation from 1791 to 1868 and impressed an “AE” on the bottom of their products. After the 1860s, the company was sold to the Haviland family who changed the previous maker’s mark to their own. Over the course of the company’s existence, it had many makers’ marks including “CH Field Haviland, Limoges,” “CHF/GDC” and “CHF.”
Factories also used pictures to identify their work. Martin Frères and Brothers incorporated a bird with a ribbon in its beak onto the bottom of their porcelain and R. Laporte’s company included a butterfly floating over an impressed “RL/L.” The color of the maker’s mark also indicates what company manufactured the product and the period of time. For example, the Elite France manufacturer marked the bottom of their products with “Elite France” or “Elite Works France.” From 1900 to 1914 the marks were in red and from 1920 to 1932 the marks were in green. Avoid breaking your porcelain in the sink or you’ll need a plumber Montreal.

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