Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Dallas 2009 Collections

Mid May and the count down is on! In case you hadn't heard, the 10th Anniversary Meeting of the Quimper Club will be in Dallas, Oct 21-25. Sarah Anderson and I are looking forward to seeing you in Big D!

One of the highlights of every Q meeting, is the peek into private homes to see the beautiful, sometimes large, sometimes small, collections of faience belonging to our members. This year, 2009, my home is on the "official" tour. I will explain...

In 2002, the Q Meeting was held in Dallas and we were slightly ahead of schedule while on our collections tour. Some on my bus asked to stop at my home, a couple of blocks away, to make a quick run through. I guess they caught me at a weak moment and I agreed. You must know that as an organizer, I dashed out the door early that morning for the Stoneleigh Hotel where members were staying and I left everything behind in "as is" condition... and my husband, John, was "home alone." Scary!

I phoned John from the bus and gave him frantic orders to put away the breakfast dishes, pick up newspapers, make the bed, repaint, just kidding about the painting, but at that moment, I was wishing he could do some quick touch up and ready the house for the imminent arrival of two bus loads of people!

The group arrived and they spread like ants around the house to get a 10 minute look, upstairs and down, at the faience. It was rather humorous! John did a fairly good job of arranging the morning chaos, but sadly, I didn't notice the aroma of fresh paint!

This year, we will be an"official" stop on the tour and I can assure you, the beds will be made, dishes will be put away and "l'aire du paint" will be wafting throughout the house!

In our new home, the faience collection has been "refined", the term I use rather than admitting that there are still three boxes full of faience in the attic that remain homeless! Down-sizing and losing a bedroom, study, bath and quarters, does have it's down-side! Pieces are now concentrated in the kitchen and in my closet, with a light dusting in the den, living room, dining room, guest room and hallway. In print, that looks like a lot of "dust!"

The pieces now on display in my home are personal favorites! Some are quirky and most may have limited appeal to the average collector, but as we all know, every collection is different and interesting! In general, I am most drawn to the production of Malicorne, CA and because of the color and motifs, F Caen production, as well. Over time, I have also realized that animal figures and the forms made to look like something from life, not usually made from clay, i.e. a creel, basket, boat, fish, fruit, birds, horse shoes, horses, etc., are appealing to me.

As far as my collection goes, I will begin with possibly my quirkiest and likely one of my favorite pieces, the singing frog.
A few years ago, I saw a CA form in a private collection and at that moment I knew I had to find a frog! He is a charmer, as he sits belting out a tune straight from the bottom of his little heart, but I also know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! This CA piece is marked "A.B" and is signed "Pau" below the Henri IV crest.

His buddy, is Boulogne-sur-Mer production, marked "H D" and according to Emmanuel Delavenne, is a rare piece. Emmanuel caught a fleeting glimpse of "Kermit" during the "underground" tour through my home in 2002.

The ermine form, symbol of Anne de Bretagne, was likely produced by many factories. Pictured are two examples from Boulogne-sur-Mer. One ermine holds the crest of Anne, a gold fleur-de-lys with a blue background, marked "H D Blois" c.1920 and the other ermine holds the crest of Brittany and is marked "V J", c.1903-1917.

A salamander may not be charming to all, but Francois I (1494-1547) and I like it! The first example is white and covered with multi-colored fleur-de-lys and is unmarked. It was likely made in Desvres. The second salamander, all green, is marked "CA Langeais" behind the shield.
According to Millicent Mali's research, "when Francois was ten years old, his mother, Louise de Savoie had a medal struck for him. His head was portrayed on one side, the salamander was on the other. This fabulous lizard which thrives amid flames became Francois' emblem and it decorated his livery, his fireplaces and doorways."

When you visit my home, besides the animals, you will also see a couple of treasured Pecheur plates, PB botanicals, WWI plates, a kitchen cabinet built to hold my treasures and the desk/display cabinet in my closet, as I mentioned above. Where else could I see my CA faves first thing in the morning!?!...and it will the the first ever closet tour during a Q Meeting!

The other four collections we will visit in October belonging to Twila M, Betty O, Ann S and Beverly S, were not on the collection tour in 2002. In fact, Beverly's collection practically began with some purchases made during the 2002 Meeting! You will have to see it to believe it!!! Be sure to book your return flight in the evening, so you can attend the Sunday Brunch hosted by Pierre Deux and see the Sherman's collection afterwards. Truth be one wanted their home to follow that collection!!!

See you in Big D!

The next blog will focus on the early French settlement in Dallas.


  1. Susan, thanks for all the interesting and informative posts! I look forward to reading about the early French settlement in Dallas.

  2. Susan, I am enjoying your posts as well, should have taken time to say so! I am always particularly keen on collections, and I'm sure yours is a most interesting one. Love the pieces you have shown. I know everything in Texas will be superb!

  3. Love your SINGING FROG! I have a little CA pitcher with a frog perched on the rim..which you would like too. Super fun! Great blogs!