Friday, 6 November 2009

HAVING THE a good thing, by Cerelle.

This week I'm linking Cerelle's post to the blogs of two very gracious hostesses Smiling Sally and her Blue Monday get together and Mary's Mosaic Monday gathering @ the little red house.

Cerelle's first trip to Paris continued.....................

There was another "first purchase" that started a collection on that Paris trip so long ago. During the last weeks we were in Paris, a woman appeared sitting on the corner of Boulevard Saint Marcel near our bus stop on Avenue des Gobelins.
She had several items she wanted to sell, sort of a "Sidewalk Vide Grenier".
One thing caught my eye from afar. It was a large blue and white plate, and as we got closer, I could see that it was beautifully painted. I thought right away that my mother would love it. This was the gift I wanted to take to her!

When I asked, "Combien?" the answer was the equivalent of $25. Not too bad in the money of those days..but still a lot for me.

The budget was getting pretty low, and we still had a couple of weeks to go. Each day we passed that way as we walked home from the bus, and each day the answer was the same. I was determined to buy this if I could only scrimp and save enough money until the end.When our last day came, I was pleased that she was there, still with her plate..and it was mine!

Leaving was hard, and packing everything was really difficult. Finally the plate went into the middle of the clothes in my trusty old Samsonite suitcase, and though I had to sit on it to make it close, the plate survived all the way back via boat train, and aboard the Flandré, and then on the bus to St. Louis.

At Christmas, when I at last got home to Phoenix aboard yet another Grayhound bus, it was still intact. I proudly presented it to Mother, and she considered it one of her treasures all the rest of her life.

We knew so little about it. Just that we liked it. It had plenty of marks on the back, and words painted on the front too, but source books on ceramics were unknown in our library, and so we just wondered.

Seems so strange now, with the internet and our access to so much information...but for many years we just loved it...and wondered.

When at last, Bill and I made our first trip to Europe together thirteen years after we were married, we started out in Delft.

There we visited the de Porceleyne Fles factory and museum.

With a photo of the plate and the marks on the back, we finally discovered the name of the artist and the date of the plate.

The words on the front, "naar Th. de Bok" are not the painter's name but mean "after a painting done by Théophile de Bok" (or Bock). The peaceful scene of a fisherman on a quiet stream was painted on the plate by Eugen Florian Bodart in 1897. I have since found that he is a highly respected artist, especially for his more innovative works done later. But this plate, in its simple pastoral setting, is a favorite still.

It is interesting how many wares have been made in this camaïeu bleu style. The beginning was the popular blue and white ware which was brought in by the Dutch East India Company, and then in the early 17th century, these were imitated by numerous other ceramic makers. Quimper was among the many who produced and still make designs in the camaïeu blue palette.
So even though my collection has de Porceleyne Fles Delft representatives, they blend very well with the many French faïence items.

Even unidentified hand painted plates attract me. This one from a French faïencerie is signed, but we do not know its origin. No matter, if you love it, you love it!

This blue and white palette is loved for its fresh and restful qualities, as was recently viewed in the homes in Dallas visited by the Quimper Club members.

Having the blues is a very good thing!

à bien tôt


  1. Cerelle, another interesting blog about your trip and how you came to acquire the plate and then later, find out it was Delft. Once I was told by the late Fran Bannett that some people only collected the blue and white Quimper, not the more colorful.

    Look forward to more of your posts.

  2. Wonderful post. Very interesting. Very pretty blues.

  3. great details!

    To start the week, I am sharing our walk in the park last weekend.

  4. Your header with all the different pieces is just beautiful! I love all the different colors! Reading your post was so interesting. I am not much of a blue and white collector, but I love to look at it. I look forward to coming back to your blog!

  5. What a beautiful post and a stunning blog! Thanks for sharing and enjoy your BLUE MONDAY!

  6. Interesting collection. thanks for sharing.
    My Entry

  7. What a lovely peek into the mind of a collector. Your post is wonderful and I learned something while reading your blog. I like that. I hope you are having a wonderful Blue Monday.

  8. That's certainly the way to have the blues! I love the photos and the story.

  9. What a fabulous story! It makes your beautiful plate even more special; knowing the story behind it. All of your pieces are so lovely~Cindy

  10. I enjoyed your story about the plate. Your mosaic is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!


  11. Cerelle... what a great story. I enjoyed every word, and I love all of your beautiful blue plates and dishes. I love the fact that your mother cherished her plate till she died and the history on that piece.

    That fleur-de-lys in Quimper in that collage on top takes my breath away. It's my favorite. Just stunning!

    Happy Blue Monday...


    Sheila :-)

  12. those are really cool photos and great story! thanks much for sharin!

    u may view mine if u have time

  13. I love your blue and white collection. It's so special. How wonderful that your mother got her blue plate. Happy Blue Monday to you, Cerelle!

  14. Such beautiful pieces! Love them all! Hope you are having a great week and Happy Blue Monday : ) Sherri@lavenderfields

  15. Your pieces are just beautiful! I also love your carved cabinet. Thanks so much for sharing!

  16. Wonderful collection of plates. Great photos and I love the blue.

  17. Cerelle!!

    What a wonderful treat to see this blog! I adore reading your stories of France, how your love affair began... the photo of you!!

    Your collection of exquisite artwork on plates is breathtaking. Seeing them here pulls me into your home and brings forth so many wonderful memories.

    I love how you've woven into your history the artwork of our Native American Indians, the work, the timing, the eye for colors & design... the beauty of those mastered skills passed down from generation to generation.... and shown how it's possible to compare those time honored talents & gifts.

    I love this... and love knowing the young Cerelle! =-) Thank-you!

    Please give a hug to Bill for me.

    All my love,
    Lynda Field Cote'