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.



  1. Sarah,
    Thanks for another great article, I wonder what our visitors will think of these?
    a bientot

  2. WElcome and happy pink Saturday. What a beautiful post today and I love your blog. Have a nice day

  3. Welcome to Pink Saturday. Have a great weekend.

  4. What a fun collection!

    Happy pink Saturday!

  5. Welcome to Pink Saturday...Fellow Texan! I'm going to be on the look out, now, for HP Quimber PolkaDot unique and interesting. Thanks for the information and pictures of your collecting. I browsed a bit around your blog and enjoyed your Austin, TX trip to the French Embassy...oddly enough, I have a DuBois in my PinkPost today and Ceramics. Hope you can come by CollectInTexas Gal....You're going to have such a fun day....Sue

  6. What a fascinating article! I know only a bit about Quimper and was surprised that the pieces in the article were Quimper. Welcome to Pink Saturday!

  7. I'm in love with the pink pig! Have a great weekend.

  8. Sarah, some of these I have never seen. I didn't know there was a secouette in this pattern. Most interesting, and Fabian is always so knowledgeable. Good job all around.

  9. Hi and welcome to Pink Saturday! The elephant and the rocking horse are my favourites! Have a wonderful weekend.


  10. I must admit, I have not had any exposure to this. I think they are all adorable and now I will keep my eye out. You just never know what you may find, Happy Pink Saturday, Char

  11. Wow! You have quite a collection! I kind of like the pink elephant best! Thank you for sharing them all!

    Welcome to PINK Saturday!
    Erin :)

  12. i just love all those dotty figurines. I have never seen anything like it before. Great Post!!! Happy Pink Saturday. Terry

    What an interesting and informative post. I am aware of this pottery, but I know much more about it thanks to you!

  14. Love to learn new things, I have never seen this pottery,,but now Ill know when I see it.
    Thanks for sharing

  15. So whimsy Thank you HPS!

  16. Hi and welcome to Pink Saturday. I so enjoyed your beautiful post today..and well be back to see more. Have a lovely weekend.

  17. Sarah, this is such a wonderful post. I was not aware of the polka dot decor pieces. They are amazing.

    Thank you for sharing. And, happy Pink Saturday to Quimper Club International.

  18. I've never seen these before. They have a childlike charm about them. What a fun collection! Welcome to Pink Saturday, I hope you have a great time!

  19. What a great collection. I especially love the jockey and the duck. Happy Pink Saturday!

  20. I am not familiar with this line. I do really like them. Happy Pink Saturday.

  21. What a wonderful post. Not only were your pictures terrific you gave us information about the pieces as well. I really like that. I hope you are having a wonderful day and will visit Pink Saturday often.

  22. Thank you for sharing your quimper collections! Happy Pink Saturday!! Vicki

  23. These are so pretty and so unique, Sarah!...Christine

  24. I just love it all, I love the cute seahorse...
    Happy Pink week..

  25. Sarah, this is so interesting. I've never seen these types of Quimper. They are so unique and so charming. Are these all from your collection? I still think the cigarette holder lady that you used in your tablescape is just one of the most charming pieces. Thank you for showing me a different type of Quimper. I enjoyed seeing all of it. laurie