What's Hot & What's Not: Porcelain Limoges

What's Hot & What's Not: Porcelain Limoges

If you’ve tuned in to our Radio show Amazing Appraising which airs live on WOR Radio every Sunday from 8-9pm you may have noticed, we have a very interesting segment called ‘What’s Hot and What’s Not’. In our previous episode we addressed What’s Not Hot on the market- that being Hummels, Limoges, LaLique, and Lladró pieces. 
Today we will be focusing on Porcelain, from the last 60 years, in specific, collectable Limoges pieces, which are not considered ‘Hot’ Items in present society. “Why not?” might you ask, well, to start, I would vocalize that these pieces aren’t being collected anymore for the main reason being that, in today’s world, these small, depictive, and often times, fragile pieces are not fashionably viewed as the decorative, handed-down, collectible family pieces that they once were. These pieces were once collectible gifts, that were acquired during vacations, travels, and gifts handed down or given.  
What are Limoges? Limoges is hard-paste porcelain produced by factories in and around the city of Limoges, France beginning in the late 18th century, but does not refer to a particular manufacturer. By about 1830 Limoges, which was close to the areas where suitable clay was found, had replaced Paris as the main center for private porcelain factories, although the state-owned Seyres France, near Paris remained dominant at the very top of the market. Limoges has maintained this position to the present day.Limoges had strong antecedents in the production of decorative objects. The city was the most famous European center of vitreous enamel production in the 12th century, and Limoges enamel was known as Opus de Limogia or Labor Limogiae. Limoges had also been the site of a minor industry producing plain faience earthenware since the 1730s. Biscuit Porcelain centerpiece for the Exposition Univereselle of 1855 at the Pouyat factory. The manufacturing of hard-paste porcelain at Limoges was established by Turgot in 1771 following the discovery of local supplies of Kaolin and a material similar to Petenuse in the economically distressed area at Saint-Yriex-la-perche, near Limoges. The materials, which were quarried beginning in 1768, were used to produce hard-paste porcelain similar to Chinese Porcelain.A manufactory at Limoges was placed under the patronage of the comte d’Artois, brother of Louis XVI, and was later purchased by the King in 1784, apparently with the idea of producing hard-paste bodies for decoration at Sèvres, although this never happened. Limoges maintains the position it established in the 19th century as the premier manufacturing city of porcelain in France.  
Reference Image of Hand Painted Detailed Limoges Trinket of 'Sleeping Cat'  Circa 1970s. 
Differentiating a real Limoges from a Fake
The counterfeiting of Limoges has been happening for quite some time and still continues to occur. One of the more obvious ways to validate a genuine Limoges piece is to check the stamp on the box. Furthermore, one of the most common identification marks for a genuine Limoges porcelain box is the factory stamp that is hand painted and located at the bottom or inside of  the piece. You will be able to see the 'Limoges, France' insignia clearly on any given authentic piece.
Below is an Image in reference to the hand painted 'Sleeping Cat' Trinket which features an authentic Limoges signage located inside the base of the Trinket.
The Value of Limoges

When valuing Limoges Porcelain,  dealers and collectors give high marks for top-notch decor featuring finely detailed, and skillful hand painting. Pieces signed by a notable artist are also more desirable. However, the value of these items has decreased due to less and less of a demand. Limoges that are not hand painted and decorated are not as valuable as those that are hand decorated unless the painting is very poorly executed. This can be present with some pieces that were decorated by amateur porcelain painters rather than the factory or more proficient artists. Of course, if an item decorated with transfers is extremely rare, then it can still be quite valuable. The condition also plays an integral part in determining value. This means that a piece should be free of chips, cracks, and damage to the painting. Pieces in pristine condition will be worth far more than examples with one or more condition issues. 


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