Thursday, 20 August 2009

HB Quimper broderie Maggie Bryant

From comments posted on my last blog post it would seem that I am not alone in admiring Breton costumes and coiffes.

Gay reminded me that author & guest blogger Adela Meadows wrote about the Traditional Costumes of Finistere in Vol 8 and Vol 9 of the Journal and that there are back issues available if you do not have them already.

You may remember that last month past President Judy Datesman wrote two blogs about the wonderful Fête des Brodeuses in Pont-l'Abbé, the photographs made you want to be there yourself.

If you have just discovered our Club blog then why not take a moment or two to read the very interesting posts of our previous bloggers.

In the 1920's the Grande maison de la Hubaudiere began producing a new line of faïence pieces decorated with wedding, christening and market scenes, peopled by men women & children all wearing traditional costumes.

What made these pieces special however were the intricate border decorations, inspired by the embroidery used to embellish costumes such as those worn by the participants in the Fête des Brodeuses.
Some pieces were decorated solely a la poire such as this large platter that resides upon the mantlepiece in my dining room. It has a diameter of 55 centimetres and weighs approx. 5 kilos!

Close up of the centre of the large platter above.

The technique of applying the paint to the surface of the piece was known as à la poire, perlé or tubé décor and was acheived with the aid of a small rubber pear shaped tool, the poire, which had been designed specifically for the task. Small beads of coloured glaze were applied to the surface of the piece creating an effect similar to raised icing on a cake.

Many chargers, vases, and plates were produced bearing striking Celtic motifs such as hearts, grapes & vines.

The pink, green, white and ochre glazes contrasting beautifully against the deep cobalt blue or sometimes brown background.

Post WWII a new variation of the decor emerged incorporating gold accents, however, due to the rising costs involved in such a labour intensive process, manufacture of the decor ceased in the 1950's.


  1. Thank you Maggie, interesting and I do not own a single piece of this decor. It piques my interest.

  2. You've reminded me I have three plates with a broderie border still to where did I put them ?
    I was once enjoying a picnic with friends deep in the English countryside when my French friend Chantal produced a broderie plate out of her bag 'a la Mary Poppins'. She then asked me if I would like to buy it, of course the answer was yes, it is a very simple design but I have never seen another like it.

  3. Maggie, I don't have any broderie pieces in my own collection. It's nice to see these and read more about this decor. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Maggie, you show some of the most fabulous pieces of broderie I have yet seen! That basket is incredible, as is that big plate which you also show in a close up view. Lovely! And I loved the pieces of Doris's collection. That woman has exquisite taste, and arranges things so beautifully..and how I envy her garden gems! I have just finished pulling out all the plants that met their demise in our 113-115 degree seiges this summer! Sigh...Nice to see all this beauty. Thanks, both of you!

  5. Maggie,

    Personally, I think this pattern is unique and labor intensive, I have always wondered
    why not too many people collect them, including me. With all the years of collecting
    quimper I only own 1 piece of this kind, and it's a big size vase too. I am glad
    you do a blog on this. Thanks.