Friday, 4 December 2009

At Morlaix on Sunday ... jd

4 December 2009 – Sunday's auction at Morlaix has a fairly small quantity of faïence, but it features the sale of a collection of pottery from the Colonial Exposition of 1931 in Paris, and it is this collection that has already attracted so much interest that the auction house has had to reprint the sale catalogue.

According to Marc Pasquiou, Quimper pottery expert for the Morlaix auction house, the decision of the Quimper faïenciers to participate in the Colonial Exposition led to the improbable meeting between Africa and Brittany. La Grande Maison HB and the Ets Jules Henriot exhibited in the Pavillon des Sections Métropolitaines. It was an occasion to show the talents of other artists working with themes rather different from the traditional Breton decors. (In its Spring 2008 issue of the Journal, the Quimper Club featured an article by Michel Roullot about the Colonial Exposition.)

The collection for sale includes 16 pieces, not a huge collection, but every piece is splendid, and that is the only word for it! Here are two photos of the pieces on display at the auction house, mostly to give you an overall idea.

For close-ups and descriptions of the individual pieces, visit the web site of the auction house – their photos are much better than mine! It should be a historic moment in the sale of Quimper pottery – you may remember that one version of the bust "Femme de Fouta Djallon" by Anna Quinquaud brought 65 000 euros at a Morlaix auction in 2007 ...

Of course there are other things for sale on Sunday! There is a splendid small group of costumes, including a Bigouden's outfit:

and these mourning cloaks, about 100 years old, from the Trégor or Léon region of Brittany.

And this showcase has two épingles de pardon, as well as several handsome silver buckles and Breton hearts. The set of demi-tasse spoons was made by Kelt, also in the heart shape.

To return to the pottery, there is a showcase that is mostly filled with Savigny figures. One of the staff who manages the set-up of the room told me that it was like having an orphanage - we all see things differently!

And to end on a light note, there are these two pieces ...

They are actually part of Mon Village, a menhir and a dolmen, and these were done by Yvonne Jean-Haffen. Now I have seen a complete Mon Village a couple of times, and these fit in quite nicely with the overall decor. Probably someone out there will be thrilled to complete his or her Mon Village, which lacks only these representations of monolithic stones. But I have to say that sitting by themselves in a showcase, they look for all the world like a couple of little extraterrestrials that were dropped in from outer space by accident.


  1. Judy, thanks for another interesting report. How I'd like to be there Sunday! I am one of those who would love those little pieces from Yvonne-Jean Haffen, as my Mon Village is not complete.

    Have a great week end.

  2. Judy, from my view..those little pieces look like an interesting mushroom and a chunk of some good cheese..not bad things at all! And how could anyone call those darling children orphans?! We know many who will be trying to adopt them!
    Good luck at the auctions..