What is Limoges?

February 07, 2017

What is Limoges?

Limoges is more than just a special city in France. The word is synonymous with fine porcelain. Until the end of the 17th century China was the only country producing porcelain. It was not until Marquise de Pompadour in the beginning of the 18th century that France began manufacturing their own.

The substrate known as kaolin, a silicate mineral clay, was found in high levels in the surrounding soil of Limoges, France.  It was discovered by a chemist's wife who had high hopes of using it to make soap. Much to her chagrin, it was found to be a key ingredient in making fine, hard porcelain paste. It subsequently put Limoges on the map, making the town known for the most sought after porcelain in the world still to this day.

In the late 1700's kilns and factories began springing up everywhere to meet the high demands of the sought after porcelain. One of the most famous factories founded was the factory started by the Haviland family. 

Many beautiful pieces were produced such as pitchers and tankards to chocolate pots, chargers and trays all most famously known for their unique and beautiful hand painted displays making each piece a work of art. Many mold styles and variations were produced over the years.  The finest Limoges being produced between the 1700's to 1930.  

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