Want to flaunt your dainty porcelain boxes a la the beautiful noble damsels in the early 19th century? Think authentic Limoges boxes. Synonymous with exquisitely painted porcelain trinket boxes of the bygone eras, these traditional Limoges boxes are elegant, classy, pretty and yes—expensive too. |
However, before purchasing the same, you need to have a careful inside into the various marks and tell-tale signs that establish your porcelain’s French connection. Take a look.
Why do you need to have your guards up?
Dexterous craftsmen based in Sevres were the first to manufacture these beautiful pieces of craftwork-- from special white clay called Kaolin. Today, hundreds of manufacturers have got into the fray and are creating their own niche brands using the porcelain produced in Limoges (an area of France).
Like all other pieces of art, authentic Limoges boxes have also faced the butt of fraudulence –resulting in a flood of fake and low quality boxes being sold at unbelievably low prices. Read on for the marks that set them apart from the traditional Limoges boxes.
The maker's mark adequately denotes the factory in which white Kaolin was transformed into white-ware or “blank”-- via processes like casting and firing. In some cases, impressions are created on the porcelain before the above mentioned processes (called the Maker’s Mark).
This Factory Mark can be observed under the glaze and bear the words "Limoges France" or other numbers, scripts or colors—as preferred by the maker. You may sometimes come across specific figures like a bird, butterfly or star too. Decorator's Mark
The decorator's mark is visible over the glaze and appears in stamped, handwritten or printed forms. Manufacturers generally add a second mark on such pieces to showcase their own brand distinctly.
The decorator's mark showcases the ways in which the Limoges porcelain is designed or decorated by the craftsman. Hence, the two words “Peint Main” denotes hand crafted designs while “Rehausse Main” means that the piece is a combination of hand-made highlighting streaks and decals. On the other hand, “Décor Main” reflects that some parts of the decoration have been created by hand. Importer's Mark
Some famous importers such as Artoria Limoges, Chamart Exclusives Inc, Rose Décor, Sinclair, Rochard Limoges boxes, Chanille, La Gloriette and the likes, leave their Importer’s Mark on authentic Limoges boxes –to underline their association with the product on hand. Some of these marks point towards specific manufacturers and sets the box apart from the rest. So, before you proceed to buy traditional Limoges boxes, make sure that you go through all the marks and distinctive symbols present on the same. You would hate to put in your hard earned money into a fake piece or one that boasts of nil or negligible intrinsic worth. Right?
About Author: Paul Karrels has been interested in collecting small antiques from an early age by the inspiration of his grandfather. He has since improve his knowledge of antiques and design through research in the web and reading books. His recent articles and blogs on the authentic Limoges boxes have been very useful to antique collectors, antique lovers and traditional Limoges boxes dealers.
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