What is Limoges Porcelain?

March 25, 2019

What is Limoges Porcelain?

Click here to see this amazing piece 

Translation: Hi, this is Jennifer with City Farmhouse Antiques and I am here with this week's find of the week. This is a beautiful Limoges tankard or ewer.  So, some wonder, is Limoges a place?  Is it the name of a type of porcelain? What exactly is it?  Yes, it is a place. This piece was produced between 1890 and 1910. Limoges France which is about 250 miles southwest of Paris and actually sits on a river which was huge for exporting and transporting these goods back during this time.

This beautiful piece is about 12 inches tall by 5 inches wide.  You can see it is a charcoal color.  Limoges porcelain is known for its translucence. It is an upper end elite porcelain always collected by the wealthy of society, particularly royalty because of it's translucence and the quality of the porcelain.  With the kaolin that is found in the soil there, that was used with pulverized feldspar and quartz to make the hardest of porcelain pastes.  These attributes characterize Limoges porcelain contributing to its value. Other contributing factors are the shapes of the pieces made, and it goes without saying, the hand painting which is artwork all of its own. This piece is actually signed and marked on the bottom which I will show you. Here it is marked A.K.D. which stands for A. Klingerberg and Dwenger.  Klingerberg started his company in 1880 and then merged with Dwenger and then Dwenger ended up taking over the company after Klingerberg passed on. The company thrived until 1910 when it closed making it easy to date this piece between 1890 and 1910 with the marks on the bottom.

This piece is in exceptional condition for its age and like I said is about 12 inches tall and hand painted with this beautiful peacock. You can see the translucence in the piece.  It is a little hard to see since it is a video, but you can see the hand painted peacock here which has been painted in an opalescent paint so it has that pearlescent sheen. You can also see all the attention to detail on this piece. 

The interesting part is that Haviland which you will see on the bottom of many pieces of Limoges porcelain went from New York to Limoges in search of getting the exportation of the Limoges porcelain to the United States back in the mid 1800's.  Haviland really was the one that kick started the exportation of Limoges porcelain to the United States.  The demand increased for these pieces as they were sought after for their beauty and quality. It wasn't until the Civil War broke out,  the demand halted and the United States could no longer afford  to have massive quantities exported to the United States. Causing these porcelain companies to really struggle to stay in business. The company collapsed, unfortunately, and no longer survived as of 1910.

You can see that in addition to being hand painted this piece is very ornate in the shape, and has a footed gold gild scalloped base as well as gold gild on the inside and  atop the handle.  The signature is on the bottom.  This piece was  lucky enough to have been signed.  Stamped A.K.D. France and signed Mable Bassford.  It is just an exquisite piece.  Really all the Limoges porcelain pieces are. These are the type of pieces that are showcase pieces.  High quality, very old showcase pieces especially in this type of quality.  You can see where there is a little bit of wear to the gold gild which I would expect being as old as it is and this piece has its own patina.  You can see it has a mild small scratch to the enamel, but overall it is an exceptional piece.

I know I am always guilty of saying this, but it is one of my favorite pieces I have ever purchased.  I can't believe I have had it for a while. Not to worry, if it does not have a home to go to, she has a home here with me. I just love this piece and am glad I was able to share it with you. That is a little history lesson on Limoges porcelain and how it got its name. We are getting new subscribers every day to the channel so keep it coming.  Keep the comments coming.  I love your great comments.  So many people are enjoying the channel.  Be sure and check us out on our website where all these beautiful pieces are listed and we have more than just antiques and go over and give us a like on Facebook. 

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