Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Au revoir........from Maggie

The end of the year is fast approaching and so is my time here as QCI blogmistress.
January 2011 will herald in a new Board of Directors for the Quimper Club and so we say goodbye to Cerelle who has been the 2nd VP responsible for web activites and hello to Katie who steps up next.
You will have "met" both of these women here on the blog when they did their bit for promoting the Club and shared their love of all things faience related.
Many other Club members have volunteered their time, sharing their collections and collecting experiences with us, 253 blog posts to date.
I, for one, have learned a lot from them since I began the blog back in February 2009.
I suppose like many of you, I always take time as the year draws to a close to review the past 12 months and so I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all the guest bloggers.
There wouldn't have been a blog without you, ladies.
To celebrate our success and say a last farewell I would like to share with all our blog visitors and followers a personal favourite blog from each of them.
Click on their names to reread, or discover anew, the original post.
In no particular order:
This is likely to be the last post on this blog, the future is a little uncertain as the new Board may go in another direction and develop things in a different way, we shall have to wait and see.
However, rest assured, this blog will stay forever in blogland to serve as a resource for all Quimper fans and lovers of French faience.
In the meantime you can always visit me at my own blog Normandy Life

and I leave you with one of my own favourite posts from earlier this year.

au revoir

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Not quite the Last Post by QCI President Gaynor.

Earlier in the year I submitted a post called ‘Last Look’ this was mainly pictures of my collection prior to having some work done on our house which included a small extension…….
It had taken a total of 3 years to get planning permission to do this work with several plans being rejected and many changes along the way…..

The work commenced at the end of March, and at various times we were without a sink or hot water…not much fun….especially when everything is covered with layers of dust.
For several weeks I was washing up in a bowl set upon a table under a gazebo in the garden, it seemed endless…however we love the new space we have created, so it was worth it

The downside is that even after all this work I have less space for my collection, so I have had to be ruthless, lots of items are in the loft in boxes: we want to keep this space light and airy so it’s a case of ‘less is more’.

On display on the dresser are a set of re issued plates by Creston (which I have owned for about eight years but never displayed) and above them the Pornic plates decorated with birds that my parents gave me.
On the next shelf sit my favourite figural pieces and on the top the old lady is joined by a mere youngster….with a few children between them.

On the other side of the room more traditional Quimper décor, takes pride of place.
Bretons mix with Normans after years of being segregated!
On the lowest shelf are works by Quimper artist Brisson, and on the top of the shelves are Desvres pieces.

I have added a couple of pieces, most recently a couple of ‘trial’ plates and a tiny Fouillen box

At last I have somewhere to display my Valerie le Roux pieces, including a poster which was much admired by the picture framer. Valerie has a studio in Concarneau and shares a building with the family creperie, well worth a visit if you are the area.
(Next year the Quimper Club meeting is in Quimper and a fabulous program is ‘in the works’. Why not join us there? )

In the kitchen a new niche holds a few Ivoire Corbeille pieces, and beneath them a couple of cockerels and a hen.

As the year draws to a close, so too my term as President of the Quimper Club comes to an end – I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all those that have volunteered their time and expertise to Club and particularly to Maggie who not only had the imagination to start the Quimper Club blog but has run it for the past two years.
We have enjoyed a stellar variety of posts ever since the blog started and that is entirely due to her tireless work. She has dedicated countless hours to making sure that the blog runs smoothly and has interesting posts that keep us all checking in to read and enjoy the world of Quimper pottery. She has a true volunteers heart!

I know I speak for many Quimper blog readers when I say a wholehearted thank you to her.


Lastly, I'd like to take the opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and the very Happiest of New Years!

A bientot

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Mini QCI rendevous in Brest, Brittany.

This past week saw the Thierry-Lannon December Quimper auction take place at l'Espace Port de Plaisance de l'Hotel des Ventes.

We met up with Dale, Anne-Marie & Judy beforehand for lunch, which was a lively affair as we caught up with each others news and reviewed this years QCI meeting in Savannah with Dale who hadn't been able to attend.
Dale is the 1st VP elect, and his main responsibility, from January 1st, will be the planning of future annual meetings.

We got the inside track on his ideas for meetings in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015!
I could share this information with you here but then I'd have to kill you.
I'm sure it won't be long before you're hearing it from Dale and the rest of the new Board in 2011.
There were some lovely items up for sale during the auction and prices were very reasonable.
One treasure that appealed was this large melonnière with swan neck handle, finely hand painted with the figurine of a lady dressed in the traditional costume of Normandie, carrying an umbrella (of course) and assorted floral decors.

This Henriot Quimper piece was originally produced in the 1940's, as a holiday souvenir to be sold in the seaside town of Le Tréport, and now, fittingly, it's back home in Normandy.
As we were preparing to leave the auction house I was approached by a young French man, a QCI blog follower who had also attended the auction.
Imagine! He had some very kind and complimentary things to say about the blog, too.
He mentioned that he finds our posts very informative overall, always enjoys seeing our collections and learning about the variety and history of faience from other collectors.
I didn't catch his name and he isn't a member of the QCI, yet (!) but I believe he plans on joining in 2011 in order to meet up with us all again next year at the annual meeting in Quimper.
Just think, if we all recruited a new member from time to time in this way the membership would soar!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Sunday Favourites Rerun with Chari.

For Chari's Sunday Rerun  @ Happy to Design this week I'm sharing once again a wonderful post about Porquier Beau plates byJudy D.
I will be lucky enough, next week, to attend this years auction and after browsing the catalogue I know that there is a little something that I would like to add to my ever growing collection of Normandy related Quimper souvenirs.
Wish me luck. I'll be blogging about our trip to Brest on our return.

December 2009 - It would appear that the market for Porquier Beau botanical pieces, particularly plates, is having something of a comeback. At yesterday's auction, there was a splendid series of early PB botanical plates – not only did they have the blue intersecting P and B, but they also had PB impressed in the clay – and there was much interest and a lot of bidding. There were two major bidders on the phone for the whole series (and one in particular now has some very nice additions to his/her collection!), and at times there were as many as four phones going. The glaze on these plates was exceptionally good, as was the quality of the painting. They all came from the same collection, but when and how that collection was constituted was never mentioned. (Sometimes you can figure out where some pieces come from, and other times it remains a mystery. It is very bad form to ask!)

The estimates ranged from 1000 to 2500 euros, and almost every piece went over the estimate. Here are some of the winning bids ... gavel price (not including the buyer's fee).

My personal favorite – I like the snail (but only on this plate; I do not want to see him in my garden) – 1150 euros.

This plate has a splendid pineapple as well as two insects – 2300 euros.

A bird with a red crest, a rather exotic decor – 3200 euros.

A very nice pair of beetles, called scarabs – 2250 euros.

And this thrush was the high point of the sale of PB plates – 3700 euros.

This butterfly is a lovely blue one – 2700 euros.

And the seahorse was the lone denizen of the watery depths represented in this sale; he is rarely seen on the market – 3100 euros.

My thanks to Thierry-Lannon & Associates for letting me take and use photos of this sale!

We'll be making a quantum leap of about 50 or so years into other cultures for the next auction ... stay tuned!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Vehicle-Free and Loving It…by Adela Meadows

Ahhh…the life of an antiques dealer…after spending many years traveling across the U.S. in a fifty-one foot long rig…a motor home for us with an attached cargo trailer for the antiques…it feels sooooooo good to be vehicle-free! At least that’s our status when we are in Paris.

We walk everywhere for most things…
Cars metropolitain …but the Parisian subway…called le métropolitain…or métro for short…is never more than a couple of blocks away and, with its fourteen different lines crisscrossing beneath the city, it’s a very convenient option. The stations are a world within themselves…art exhibits, cooking demonstrations by Michelin-starred chefs, scores of daily concerts by talented musicians…the sanctioned musicians in the Paris métro must first successfully go through a series of auditions, after which they are assigned to the various stations based upon their level of proficiency…and of course, traveling by the métro gives one the opportunity to catch up on all the latest fashion trends…Cars metro
…Nope, I’ve heard that supposedly the big shoulders of the ‘80s are back, but I really don’t see myself wearing anything like this little number any time soon.

Should we want to travel a little farther afield, longer distances are handled via the train…only one hour and twenty-three minutes and I’m eating a gauffre in Brussels…
Cars gauffres
…hmmm…decisions, decisions…a plain gauffre is good, but one with strawberries and cream is so much better…

…a trip to Rennes, the capital of Brittany, currently takes two hours and eight minutes…but higher-speed rails are being installed and it will soon take even less time! For a longer journey, Jean-Pierre hops into his travel bag and it’s all aboard for the overnight sleeper to Venice, Italy…and to think it used to take us three days of practically non-stop driving just to get to Texas!

The opening of the railway line connecting Quimper with the rest of the world was a pivotal moment in the region’s history…
Car pb guengat jardiniere …and as can be expected, train travel was immortalized in Quimper faïence.

aloposter The railway company effectively advertised the virtues of Brittany and the outside world was suddenly not so far away. To the newly-industrialized population, the previously isolated Bretons were deemed to be quaint and soon hoards of artists and voyagers came to paint and gawk respectively.

By the time the automobile was invented, Quimper was considered to be  relatively cosmopolitan …kings and queens and heads of state had visited and paid their respect.

Like most inventions suddenly introduced to rural societies, the Bretons were frightened of the automobile at first…
1205rencontre diabolique
…but it wasn’t long before the townsfolk of Quimper began to embrace the horse-less carriage. And the newfangled contraption did not escape the attention of the potters in Quimper…here are some examples…

…an HR version…

…a sporty 1930s Henriot convertible…a pièce unique by Emile Compard (1900-1977).

Also from the ‘30s, a faïence bank in the form of a racing car by the HB factory

…this sports car raced out of the Henriot factory in June of 1927

The potteries in Malicorne were right in there as well…this racing car is by La Faïencerie Paul Lecomte…
…one of a series that were used to promote the famous “24 hours” automobile race at nearby Le Mans.

By the 1950s, the success of the automobile as a common mode of transportation created worldwide consternation regarding the adaptability of traditional headgear…across the United States, men and women alike began to stop wearing hats…

…and, of course, the same was true of Brittany!


Flash forward and vehicles continue to get smaller and smaller, especially here in France…a fact that formed part of our decision to hoof it everywhere…not wearing a hat was one thing, but what could poor Mark do about his long legs…not to mention no room for Jean-Pierre!