The Begginings of French Porcelain
Polo s famous 24 year trip to the Orient was where the notion of
porcelain and Chinese ceramics originated throughout Western Europe.
The Chinese were so distinguished for their porcelain production that
they influenced European style for centuries. The first Europeans to
bring porcelain making to Europe during the middle ages were the
Venetians and Portuguese. The most important ingredient to making
porcelain is Kaolin, which is a white clay that is a silicate of
aluminum found in China, Germany and Limoges France.
Europeans didn t think that such an ingredients could be found in the
earth and had their alchemists try to artificially make this
substance.For years Europeans used a soft fake substance for porcelain
that was more of a soft paste and like that of glass. They couldn t
find a substance like the middle East had made their fine porcelain
from. In the early 17th century Kaolin was
discovered in Germany and the secret to Chinese porcelain was finally
disclosed throughout Europe. It was in the mid to late 18th
century that Kaolin was discovered in Limoges France in 18 miles
southwest of Limoges at St. Yrieix. It is shortly after that time
period that the first porcelain Limoges box factory was established.
Louis XVI soon bought the Limoges Box factory, and French porcelain
box blanks were taken to Sevres to be hand painted and decorated.
Antique Porcelain in France and Porcelaine de
No one knows exactly when and who made the first
porcelain snuffbox figurine. The soft paste Faience trinket snuffboxes
began to be produced sometime around 1730 in France. These antique
can't either be identified by back stamp marks, for none were put on
them. Nor were they signed or dated. There is no easy way to know if a
antique snuff box is authentic beyond having a grasp of the
history of the styles they made in that time and the Four big factories
that made them, Chantilly(1725-1800), Saint Cloud(1677-1766),
Mennecy(1734-73), and Vincennes(1740-56), which became Royal
Sevres(1756-present). Sometimes a popular artist at the time would
place his signature on the antique snuffbox. The discovery of
Kaolin and the creation of hard-paste French porcelain in 1768 brought
many new companies into the scene who began creating Limoges porcelain
boxes in competition with the big Limoges porcelain box companies.
Identifying an 18th century figurine snuffbox is just as difficult for
they also did not mark their Limoges Boxes with back stamps and
competitors were producing knockoff's of one another and stealing one
another's porcelain formulas and enamel recipes. For back stamps were
used it is still difficult to distinguish for many companies in
competition would forge one another's french trinket box back stamps.
It is in
the 19th century that the soft-paste porcelain ceased to exist and only
genuine Limoges porcelain boxes were made of the special clay Kaolin
come solely into play. But in the 18th century snuff became unpopular
and the factories declined in snuff hinged box making and made more
other subjects with porcelain. It was at this time that the French
porcelain industry all centered in the actual area of Limoges and it's
Limoge? Lamoge? Limouge? Lemoge? Lamoges?
lemoges? Lamouge? Limgoes? Lomoges?
Limoges (LEEmozh) is the way you pronounce the
city in France where limoges boxes are made. It is not
pronouced with a plural Limoge, and always has a silent S.
Limoge, lamoge, and limouge ,limouges, lemoges, lamouge are all
mispronunciations. The plural form is always one Limoges
box, not one Limoge figurine box.
About Our Limoges Porcelain Box Figurines
Limoges Boutique only sells genuine French
porcelain boxes that are hand mounted, made, and hand-painted or
decorated in the Limoges, France region. Limoges is a porcelain region
that has been chosen by the French government. Limoges boxes are not a
brand name or a single porcelain factory per say for many factories and
studios within the porcelain production area may mark their porcelains
France to make our pieces authentic French porcelain gifts for trinket
collections of figurines.
What are Limoges Pill Boxes and
Boxes are a small hand-painted trinket box made of Porcelain
man-made in Limoges France. The Hinged Trinket Box was
Paris in the early 1700's, and were popular among the French
aristocracy as snuffboxes. The French Trinket Box virtually disappeared
the French Revolution and came forth again in the 1840's as the
aristocracy once again began to build. During the Victorian Era the
snuff collectible boxes lost popularity again until the 1970's when
to carry their pills in the porcelain figurines hinged boxes.
Originally Limoges snuffboxes were considered apart of ones wardrobe
and we made in all kinds of designs and shapes.
They were carried in one 's pocket like a fancy cigarette case. In the
20th century they became popularly used as pillboxes.
went out of style long ago. These Limoges boxes in the modern era have
developed into a friendship and love collectible decorative objects or
the most part French Trinket Boxes today are used as A special
figurines porcelain gifts
between lovers and friends and used for aesthetic and symbolic value
Limoges Porcelain Box French Factory
Many studios operating within the Limoges area
may mark their porcelains Limoges France The number of factories
producing Keepsake Boxes currently estimate at about 35 different
companies. These factories employ anywhere between 6 and 400 workers.
These companies can be identified by the marking on
the bottom of every trinket or figurine box.
Collecting Porcelain Limoges Box
French porcelain hinged figurines can become an addiction.. Whether you
groups of dogs or cats or fruit. it's important to know what you are
getting. Trinket Box is a small hand-painted box made of Limoges hard
paste Porcelain that has been man-made in France.
Plain white porcelain Limoges boxes were very popular in the early
years for their simplicity and translucent white beauty, but now most
porcelain from France now are hand painted or with transfers
The porcelain Limoges Box artist works with special thin powdered
paints. Authentic french hinged figurine boxes are always
hinged . Because porcelain
shrinks during firing and each box is hand painted, each collectible
slightly different, and the metal hinges that are put on Limoges Boxes
must be be fitted by hand. No two Limoges boxes are exactly the same.
What is Limoges or Limoge porcelain
paste porcelain is a high
that was first developed in China and later used in Europe. This hard
paste Limoges porcelain uses the clay called Kaolin. Kaolin Limoges
clay is translucent, durable, nonporous and pure white. consists mainly
of silicon oxide and aluminum oxide, with a low content of iron oxide
and other metallic oxides. White-firing China clay, an essential
ingredient of Chinese and French porcelain. Limoges porcelain is a
special kind of pottery made with the clay Kaolin that is hardened by
heating. It consists mainly of silicon oxide and aluminum oxide, with a
low content of iron oxide and other metallic oxides. Limoges porcelain
combines a very fine, pure, white clay (kaolin) with pulverized
feldspar and quartz. The milling, sieving, and kneading of the clay is
a laborious process. Limoges porcelain is often very translucent and
consistently smooth in texture and often rings when it is struck.
Limoges Hinged Boxes Hand Mounted
true Limoges Boxes for trinkets
have hinges or a hinge. Today's hinged are made of copper or a copper
alloy and are dipped in chemicals to give the appearance of different
metals. They also have a decorative clasp. Often a Limoges will
appear defective because the hinge is off center or is doesn't close
tightly. This is not so, for Limoges firing shrinks the boxes and the
hinges have to be hand mounted making the matching of the hinge of the
box naturally different for each individual box.
More About Authentic French Limoges
Boxes from France
authentic a Limoges figurine box must be made of Limoges kaolin
porcelain. A back stamp saying Limoges France is a great
indication if the box is authentic. There was a law that was passed in
1841 stating that all French porcelain keepsake boxes must be stamped
this way. Some keepsakes are better quality that other depending on the
detail and quality of the painting, the complexity of the sculpture,
and the colors which depict the knowledge, as well as number of
firings. A Limoges box of greater value will always be hand-painted and
marked on the bottom peint mein ("painted by hand"). Trinket Boxes that
hand painted are decorated by transfers or decal process and can be
very lovely themselves. Trust your own taste and judgment when picking
out a figurine Limoges box. Look for a piece that is painted well and
detailed nicely. Look at the name of the manufacturer and ask for a
certificate of Authenticity. Look at the craftsmanship of the box and
judge whether you enjoy the artistry or not. This is what is really
important isn't it...if you enjoy it.