Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Treasured Melissa Bennett

October has arrived and with it our new Guest Blogger - Melissa who will be sharing her love of Quimper with us and co blogging from the annual QCI meeting in a few weeks time.

Melissa's first post today is linking to Vintage Thingies Thursday over @ Colorado Lady please hop on over to visit our gracious hostess Suzanne for more Vintage treasures.

I'm Melissa and am delighted to be able to share my collection of Quimper, Desvres, and Rouen faience with you this month.

I became fascinated with the wonderful patterns and colors of Quimper faience almost 30 years ago when I inherited a luncheon set that my grandmother had purchased in 1939 in Chicago at Carson Pirie Scott department store - the first year Quimper was imported to the US for sale.

I started collecting other pieces at antique shows in the early 80's when it was still rare to see. Then in the late 90's I moved to eBay and my collection started to grow enormously! I had also been buying the new Quimper in Stonington and going to their yearly sales in the 90's. I was on their newsletter mailing list and heard about QCI being formed, and I was absolutely thrilled!!

I was unable to attend any of the annual meetings until they came to Boston and was absolutely delighted to meet the QCI members in person and share collecting stories, as well as make wonderful new friends!

Since then I have attended every meeting and was elected to the Board as Historian in 2006.

I'd like to share a collecting experience from the time in the early 1980's when I was just realizing there was a world of Quimper.

The pattern of my grandmother's set was the very popular Henriot pattern with the Breton or Bretonne stading in the center with shrubbery and a floral border around the edges, and with the signature blue line, and bright yellow border.

This set was marked Henriot Quimper and consisted of luncheon plates, cups and saucers and butter plates.

I was delighted with this set as it was unlike anything else I had seen.

Then the next year when I was cruising the antiques and crafts show with my best friend, an interior designer, she spotted some small plates, an oil and vinager huillier, and a beautiful fan shaped wall ornament. I had no idea there were other patterns and colors of Quimper and started asking the dealer about them. I was particularly interested in the fan shaped object.

He knew only a little bit about these items and speculated that since this was to hang on a wall it was a vase. I was so enthralled that I bought it despite the cracks and chips, not knowing that that affected it's value greatly.

The blue and white cross-hatching is enhanced with tiny red x's on the sides.

Upon early research in Sandara Bondhus's book Quimper Pottery: A French Folk Art Faience I discovered that it was for holding matches and was probably hung on the wall next to the fireplace.

It is signed HB Quimper and was probably made in the 1920's. I hang it on one side of my mirror, paired with a square match holder, so I can see it every morning!

I adore this little item and it will always remind me of my first purchase and the start of my hunting craze!

au revoir


Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Faience and Flowers on Parade By Sarah

"Where flowers bloom, so does hope." Lady Bird Johnson

Yellow Daffodils in HenRiot Quimper Jug Flanked by Yellow Faience Roosters

It's Three or More Tuesday with Tam @ The Gypsys Corner.

Join me for a flower parade of Quimper faience that QCI members have shared for this event.

HenRiot Quimper Vase with Sunflowers, Gerbers, and Purple Asters

One thing I've learned about collectors of Quimper is that many are also avid gardeners and have a shared passion for flowers. They are also a group ready to share their knowledge, be it about faience or gardening or some other topic. As I said in a previous post, I cherish the amazing circle of friends within the QCI. It is always a treat to see correspondence in my inbox from a Quimper friend. It's a double scoop of joy when that email includes an attachment with a photo of faience, especially when the faience is filled with flowers from one's garden. Double the pleasure!

Welcome to The Parade of Faience and Flowers. Won't you stay awhile and "smell the flowers."

Unusual HB Quimper Strawberry with Rose and Alstroemeria

AP Wall Pocket with Petit Breton & Onciium Orchids

AP Wall Pocket with Petit Bretonne Filled with Oncidiums, Often Called "Dancing Ladies"

HenRiot Quimper Vase Le Coq Vase Filled with Red Poppies

Tulipière Marked with Single Red P

HB Quimper Camaïeu Blue Pitchet with a Bouquet from le Jardin

HR Quimper Soupiére with Yellow and Orange Tulips

Three Lobed HB Quimper Vase Filled with Alstroemeria and Fall Asters

Unmarked AP Secouette with Golden Thryallis

Alstroemeria Bouquet

HB Quimper Vase with Decor Riche Border and Fresh Sunflowers

HB Quimper Jardiniere with a Mix of Hydrangeas and Other Spring Blooms

HR Quimper Fleur de Lys with Alstroemeria Blooms and PB Plate

Group of Wall Pockets with Blue Plumbago, Yellow Bells, and Black-eyed Susans
Double Pocket HenRiot Quimper, Pair of Singles HR Quimper

HenRiot Quimper Vase with Decor Riche Border and Filled with a Bouquet of Roses

PB Cachepot with Fern and Savigny Bébé

Casual Arrangement in HB Only Horseshoe Shaped Vase

Pink Cyclamen in HB Quimper Cachepot

FF Desvres Fleur de Lys Vase with Spring Mix of Tulips, Daffodils, Iris, & Orchids

Springtime Bouquet in HB Only Jardiniere

HB Quimper Tricorn Vase with Fall Arrangement of Dried Pods

Jardiniere with Fern and Henriette Porson Figural

Unmarked Quimper Sugar Bowl with Colorful Zinnias and Fresh Basil

HB Quimper Jardiniere Filled with a Variety of Camellias

Petit PB Vase with Yellow Gerbers

That's it for my parade. Much thanks to Barbara, Doris, Eileen, Maggie, Susan, Twila, and Victoria for sharing photos. I hope you'll leave a comment and let me know what your favorite flower is.

HB Quimper Becassine Figural Cendrier and Porte-Cigarettes
with Baskets of Fresh Blooms

Then click here to march on over to Tam's for more offerings on Three or More Tuesday.

“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today." Unknown

Sunday, 27 September 2009

QCI Charity Auction to Benefit Operation Smile

Judy and Will Keep the Bidding Going in Philadelphia

Members who attended last year's annual meeting held in Philadelphia, PA, will recall a lively and entertaining evening with Will, our enthusiastic auctioneer. A total of $2,140 was raised to benefit Habitat for Humanity and Doctors Without Borders.

"Mobilizing a world of generous hearts to heal children's smiles and transform lives across the globe." Thus is the mission statement of Operation Smile, the designated charity to benefit this year's charity auction to be held during the Saturday night banquet at QCI's 10th Anniversary Annual Meeting.

A Child from China Before and After Surgery in 2005

Operation Smile was founded in 1982 as a worldwide children's medical charity. Since that time, a network of global volunteers have treated more than 130,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates, and other facial deformities. I urge you to watch the short video below to learn more about this amazing organization. For those who aren't familiar with Operation Smile, I think your heart will be touched by the work of this organization. Operation Smile
truly changes lives to bring smiles around the world!

Above photos from Operation Smile used with permission.

We hope all the members will join in this year to help raise money for this worthwhile charity and help heal children's smiles and transform their lives. Past auctions have included pieces of Quimper pottery and other French related items.

Susan Helps Demonstrate How a Breton Coiffe is Worn

Lucy Shows a Quimper Plate Up for Bid

High Bidder, Eileen, Shows Off Her Recent Acquisition, a Biniou Wall Pocket

Another High Bidder, Janet, Takes Home This Lovely & Unusual Pair of HB Quimper Plates

Professional Auctioneers in France, Didier & Yves, Keep the New York Auction Lively

In addition to accepting donations of French related items and pieces of Quimper pottery, meeting organizers have asked members to spotlight their own individual talents with a donation of something they themselves have crafted. Among our membership are many talented artisans. To add more variety co-chairs have also solicited a few unique items. Other items are being accepted as well. So plan now to donate an item for this worthwhile cause.

2009 Commemorative Plate

A special limited edition 9 inch plate by Faïenceries d'Art de Malicorne was produced as a commemorative plate for this year's 10th Anniversary QCI Meeting. FAM has graciously donated a sample plate of this piece for the Charity Auction. For any member who missed ordering one of these limited editions, here is another opportunity to acquire one of these plates. Plan to bid on this piece at the Charity Auction, October 24. The plates were produced using a special glaze using the same formula of the Pouplard-Béatrix factory. Also of special note, FAM is celebrating their 25th anniversary this month.

In addition to the limited edition 2009 Commemorative plates, Faïenceries d'Art de Malicorne has also produced a "Piéce Unique" Commemorative Plate exclusively for the QCI 10th Anniversary Meeting. This is a different design from the commemorative plate discussed above. Only one of these plates was produced. Photos of this piece will be available by mid October and will be posted on this blog and the QCI Members Only web page. Click here to visit the web page of Faïenceries d'Art de Malicorne.

Below is a small sampling of some more items that have been donated for this year's auction:

Pair of Mikimoto Pearl Earrings

Autographed Copy of Collecting Quimper by Joan Datesman

Beautifully illustrated book, Paul Fouillen by Maurice Fouillen

Handcrafted "Epingle de Pardon" Click here to read about this item.

A variety of Quimper faience

We anticipate this year's auction to be as lively and exciting as the one held last year in Philadelphia. The above list is just a sampling of what has been donated.

We encourage you to make plans to participate in the auction with a donation of your own and to bid in support of Operation Smile during the auction. Look forward to seeing you in Dallas!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Dotty Pink Ponies & More By Sarah

Welcome to Pink Saturday hosted by Beverly @ How Sweet the Sound. I'm thrilled to share some fun pink pottery with you today. "Thoughts on Polka Dots" by Fabian Carrion was first published in the Quimper Club International Journal, Vol. 6 No. 2, December 2004. Information and some of the photos from that article were used as a basis for this post. Back issues of the QCI Journal are available should you have an interest in reading the complete article. Club information is found on the sidebar to the right.

Horse and Jockey Cendrier

If you are not a seasoned collector of Quimper faience, you might never guess that the above piece is indeed Quimper.

Pink Seahorse Cendrier

These polka dot pieces are often a puzzle as to origin until someone turns the piece over and discovers the mark of HB Quimper. These unusual pieces were produced in the 1930s, and one can easily see that both the décor and form are influenced by the Art Deco period of the 30s.

You've seen the "dotty pink ponies ", and now you can proceed to the "more". Warning, what you are about to view from here on out is not PINK. But those of you brave enough to leave the pink bliss of Pink Saturday for just a moment, might find there is a bit more pink to be found in this post.

Becassine Figural Flambeau

The majority of items in this décor are found to have green dots on a yellow glazed background. This figural candle holder is in the form of the popular Becassine character found in a series of books for young children.

Pair of Figural Flambeau

With little documentation, it is difficult to identify the individual artists who's talent created the pieces produced with the polka dot décor. The above form in the pair of candle holders is documented in HB QUIMPER LE LIVRE DES 5000, an original circa 1930 document that was reproduced in 2003 by Judy Datesman.

Double Saliére

This little duck form was produced as a saliére. The cups on either side were meant to hold salt for the table.

Double Saliére

Another double salt for the table. Wouldn't you like to have this sweet kitty sitting on your breakfast table?

Porson Figure

The charming little Bretonne with umbrella in hand is ready for the rainy months of Quimper. She is marked Porson, so we know this figure was created by Henriette Porson for HB Quimper.

Mouse Cendrier

From vintage catalogs reproduced in QUIMPER POTTERY , A FRENCH FOLK ART FAIENCE by Sandra Bondhus, we know that an entire series of tabac or smoking necessities were produced decorated in the polka dot décor. In the article, Fabian Carrion notes that "In the Catalogue Mes Plus Beaux Quimper, in the section devoted to artists of Quimper animals, the author shows us a smoking service in this decor that is attributed to Georges Renaud."


This pair of piggies is part of the tabac series. The catalog lists both as porte-cigarettes. The illustration in the catalog shows the larger one with multiple packages of cigarettes in the hoder while the small pig is shown with a single pack of cigarettes. It could also hold a box of matches.


This Art Déco stylized cat was made to hold individual cigarettes within the holes along the back of the figure. The open mouth would then be used as an ashtray.


While most of the polka dot pieces were produced with the yellow background, in addition to the pink glazed backgrounds some pieces were produced in this green glaze. Just under the tail of the cat form is a rough area, a spot to be used as a match striker.

Cendrier Porte-Cigarettes

Notice the holes along the top spine of the fish. Like the cat figure, these holes were meant to hold individual cigarettes.

Monkey Cendrier

The tray on which this whimsical monkey stands is meant to be used as an ashtray. I find much humor in these pieces.

Cendrier and Porte-Cigarettes

Like the funny monkey pictured above, this cat figure was meant to hold both cigarettes and ashes.

Becassine Figural Cendrier and Porte-Cigarettes

One of my personal favorites is this of Becassine, a form intended to be both an ashtray and a holder for individual cigarettes. I prefer to use her on my desk top to hold paper clips in the space for which cigarette ashes were intended. In the baskets, the individual holes intended for cigarettes make perfect "flower frogs" to hold small blooms from my garden.

Collection of HB Quimper in the Yellow Glaze with Green Polka Dots

Many of the tabac series pieces that are in my personal collection have been repurposed to hold a variety of items such as paper clips or other small items, soap, flowers, etc. Here you see some holding useful items in a guest bath.


This stately duck form is meant to be home to a man's pipe when it's not in use. Humm....I'd of course repurpose it for use as a petite vase. Can't you just see it with sweet blooms filling the body of this duck?

Secouette Poisson

For many collectors of Quimper, the petite forms of the secouettes or snuff containers are extremely sought after. This poisson or fish shaped snuff in the polka dot series is extremely rare.

Unusual Form in the Shape of a Snail and an Elephant in an Unusual Glaze Combination

These two figures are also most rare. I don't know what the intended purpose of the snail was. The unusual white elephant figure with brown polka dots was meant to be an ashtray.

A Shelf of HB Quimper Pieces in the Polka Dot Décor

Here you can see how charming a small collection of these items can enhance a book shelf in one's library.

Collection of HB Quimper Faience in the Polka Dot Décor of the 1930s

This collector has a wonderful assortment in this décor. Of note is the male figure top right. The form is intended to hold matches in the basket the man carries on his back. OK all you pink devotees who are still with me. Do you see the pink piggy?

Another Collection of HB Quimper Faience from the 1930s

And the final treat for all you followers of Pink Saturday. Don't you just adore the PINK elephant?

A special "thank you" to all the members who have shared photos of the HB Quimper polka dot forms that were used in this post and to Fabian Carrion for writing such an informative article on this topic.

And to each of you, "thank you" for joining me today. Please leave a comment below to let me know you stopped by. Then click here for a list of other Pink Saturday participants @ Beverly's How Sweet the Sound.