July 29 – This is my last entry as guest blogger for the Q Club, and so I'm taking advantage of the moment to share with you a few of my favorite pieces from our personal collection! Our collection tends to the eclectic – many pieces found us, rather than the other way around – and we have a reasonable tolerance for each other's preferences. At the moment, for space reasons, most pieces that are not Quimper have been packed away, so no photos of Desvres or Malicorne until the next time the Club asks me to blog!
I bought this octagonal sugar bowl at a flea market in Quimper several years ago, and just after I paid for it, I ran into one of Quimper's faïenciers, who confirmed that it was an apprentice piece, used for practicing cross-hatching. He told me that if he'd seen it first, he would have bought it ...
This matched pair of ducks is about 100 years old and was a gift to Marcel from someone in his extended family; it came from the estate of a painter in the Fouillen manufacture. I have a mini-collection of ducks in my office, but this pair has a place of honor on our mantel.
Several years ago, the Club did an article about Guy Trévoux; there was a photo of the PR brochure for a series of pieces with costume motifs that Trévoux designed to re-launch the American market. I realized that I had once seen a piece from that collection at Alain Le Berre's antiques shop in Douarnenez – it was a big oval tureen with its own platter, with a Bretonne and a border in green and pink, and it had the store mark of Lord & Taylor's. At the time, I didn't know about that series, but I was able to buy this plate not long after the article came out. I would like to find more of these, but I suspect that for once it's not an advantage to be in Quimper – there are probably many more on the other side of the Atlantic!
I also continue to look for Laget pieces with flowers from the Savoie. I have a number of pieces with the edelweiss and the cyclamen; this plate with the gentian came from a dessert service, of which each of the 12 dessert plates had a different flower, so I know there are other flowers out there.
I've already mentioned my lid collection – I'm sorry that the blog layout does not permit a wider photo. These lids represent a number of different decors, and in the back row, sort of in the middle, there is a good little rooster plate, which is the first piece of Quimper pottery I ever owned. My mother gave it to me 30 years ago; at the time, I thought, "well, that's nice", and that was about it. You never know where life is going to take you, do you!
I am a fan of a lot of the post-WWII productions, including Keraluc pottery (Marcel prefers the stoneware!). I bought this piece because the colors and style reminded me of Czech pottery, which I used to collect in a major way. Several years ago, I had a visit from Pol Lucas, whose father Victor Lucas founded Keraluc; he told me that his father painted this piece! As I have always admired the geometric aspects of many of Victor Lucas' designs, I was delighted to learn that I owned one. (And a funny note about that visit: Pol Lucas was the one who launched the Keraluc stoneware, and I was taking him into the garage to show him the pieces that we had in armoire out there. As we were going through the kitchen, he noticed that the cat's dishes on the floor were Keraluc ... oops – that could have been embarrassing! But he laughed and said, "Pas mal, ça!" – "Not bad!")
This piece came from auction several years ago, and I was quite taken with the colors and the portrayal of the figure; however, there was no provenance given when I bought it. I was delighted to see this month at an auction this identical decor on a piece that was attributed to Nicolas Eloury in the mid-19th century.
Henriot did child's services in a number of patterns, and the decors are generally designed with fast brush strokes without a great deal of detail – after all, the life span of pieces given to children to play with was expected to be fairly limited. But this miniature service by HB is painted in great detail! The cups are about the size of a nickel in diameter, so you can see how little it all is. I'm missing a saucer, and I wonder if there was ever a tray – this service lives on a little Quimper dish in my house, mostly so that I don't lose a piece of it.
At some point in the early days of this blog, people talked about pieces they lived with, and I mentioned this one. The photo does not show how beat up it is – it's a piece I bought by photo and it arrived in worse condition than I expected, certainly not in shape for resale without a lot of restoration. But I really liked the form and the pattern, and I was happy to keep it! I don't put hot things on it, but sometimes it's a great piece to put a vase on in the middle of the table!
It's been fun blogging with you. When the Q Club next meets in Quimper (in 2011, I hope), it will be a pleasure to share many of these things with you in person!! a+ ... judy