Sunday, 12 July 2009

Little Charmers ... judy datesman

July 12 – A collection is made up of the pieces that we choose (or that choose us, sometimes!) to enhance our lives in some way. For instance, our personal collection has no platters in it, but it has an inordinate number of cups and saucers (that's Marcel, not me ...). When I started collecting pottery (which was Czech), my mother told me to always buy odd lids when I see them; it's a habit I've continued, and now I have a display shelf just for my collection of lids. Although I don't want to own everything, there are lots of pieces that I like to look at, hold in my hand, ponder the technical aspects, and imagine the lives they've already enhanced. And auction previews are a great place to do that!

From the auction at Morlaix last Monday, here are three pieces that particularly spoke to me.

Quite frankly, I'm not generally a big fan of the Savigny babies. But this one in her unusual flowered dress is absolutely adorable (do the clothes make the baby??). Actually, now that I look closely, I see that the pattern on the dress is quite reminiscent of some Czech pottery patterns ...

In my office, one window with a very wide sill is devoted to my mini-collection of French faïence ducks, a collection which has evolved all by itself. It includes old and new ducks, Quimper, Desvres, Malicorne (there was a Vallauris one, but it was too much of a cartoon duck to live with my rather more classic canards). The Malicorne ducks are the best – they have those great big webbed feet, expressive eyes, and a turn to their heads that is so appealing. I have two in my collection, but mine are pretty new – these that were at Morlaix were old ones – so cute!

And this was a discovery ... The Jolly Cook pitcher on the left in the photo is the medium size. The one in the middle is the miniature, and I always thought it was the smallest size. So the surprise was the one on the right – it was only 2" high!! There were several for sale, but they were in lots with other mini-pitchers in the shape of heads which I did not want to own, so now that I know that this size exists, I'll have to keep an eye out!

A note to Doris: no, the plates are not mine. We own exactly one Pêcheur piece, and it's a saucer ... this plate came up hors catalogue (a late entry not listed in the catalogue) last week, and I thought it was a particularly good-looking one, with a handsome border:

Cerélle Bolon intended to take over the blog this coming week, but I'm having so much fun that I asked her if I could finish out the month, to which she graciously said yes. You will be able to tune in to Cerélle later on, and I will be able to go off on a tangent or two, like the Fête des Brodeuses, which is on today's program!


  1. Thanks Judy for sharing a little of your collecting philosophy with us. I find it fascinating to discover what "speaks" to one person can turn someone else off altogether! I'm not a fan of your ducks but that pecheur plate would be in pride of place on my shelf, although I'd probably have to fight Doris for it!

  2. Judy, thanks for the photos of these interesting finds. Like you, it's the dress that catches my eye. The ducks are pretty cute, but you know my tastes goes to the rooster form. Wish you were here in Santa Fe with me. This is the weekend of the International Folk Art Festival and Market. Too wonderful for words!

  3. Judy, I am going to check back later as a couple of the photos aren't showing to me right now. The pecheur plate is indeed a nice one! I too, like the pitchers and do not have the large one.

    And Maggie, if it was one I didn't have in the pecheur plates, we might be in a 'tug of war' for sure. :-) But if Beverly were to be there too, we would have to say 'au revoir'.....

    Judy, thank you for your perspective on collecting, it is always most interesting to hear... and that you don't particularly like the heads!