Friday, 8 January 2010

Q&A Friday.............Gay S

It doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced collector or a novice just starting out; from time to time we all have questions about Quimper and related faience.

This is an opportunity to pose a question, no matter what. (although I’m sorry, we cannot help with valuations) Beginners and novice collectors are very welcome, after all we all started somewhere. Your questions can be about anything French faience related at all. Questions (and answers) are welcome from everyone whether you are a Quimper Club member or not, we will all do our very best to answer.
We’ll be repeating this opportunity on a weekly basis – from now on Friday is Q&A day

Questions:: please post your Questions in the comments section of this post or alternatively send them to You can also send photographs (jpegs) to this email address.

Answers: If you think you may know the answer to a Question posted here please post in the comments section or email

To start the ball rolling I have a question of my own:
At the Club meeting in Dallas I found this figure: a chimney sweep.

In the UK Sweeps are a symbol of good luck especially at weddings: it is considered particularly lucky for a bride to see a Sweep on her wedding day. In addition it is thought to bring good luck if you shake hands with a Sweep or are blown a kiss by one – do you remember the chorus of 'Chim chiminey' from the musical, Mary Poppins:

Chim chiminey Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-oo!

Good luck will rub off when I shake 'ands with you

Or blow me a kiss

And that's lucky too

Back to my figure – I am wondering if this Sweep comes from a series? Is he a piece from a specific region of France? Do sweeps have any particular significance in France? (Apart from the fact that I believe you have to have a certificate to say your chimney is clean to validate your insurance!) The Sweep is a Henriot piece but what does the F mean?

PS. For those that are interested in UK traditions: This weekend in some parts of the country there will be the Wassailing of Apple Trees which is basically blessing the apple trees in the hope of getting a good crop later. Part of the ceremony usually takes place in the orchards, however very unusually the UK currently is blanketed in snow which has caused chaos (we rarely get snow and this is the worst snow for 30 years) so they will be very hardy souls that wassail in the orchards this year!


  1. Gay, I just love this web link to the traditions and customs. I just sent it to my cousin in Kentucky..who has apple trees..and they too are under snow and really cold, 11 F at 3 PM.
    I love it that you found that charming chimney was perfect that you got it, and of course I remember that song, and can sing along with you! Can't add anything to that F signature, but perhaps Judy or Lucy will know.
    Interesting and fun..and I have an item to ask about too.

  2. Gay, this is such a good idea. Your chimney sweep looks adorable and I do hope someone can answer about the F.

    Have heard about your snowy weather, some were afraid they might not be able to make it to the France Show at Earl's Court this week end.

    Love anything to do with apple orchards so will check out the Wassailing of Apple Trees link.

  3. I know nothing about Quimper, except that I love it, and your chimney sweep is no exception. He is so cute! I think I'll learn a lot reading these Friday posts. Great idea! laurie

  4. Great idea, Gay! I'll mention this on HFTS with my link to the club blog.
    Of course I remember the song, but know nothing about chimney sweeps. We have few here in TX. LOL Cute little guy you found, and thanks for sharing the site. Very interesting!
    Stay warm and cozy inside with a cup of hot tea. Hugs ~ Sarah
    Hope you'll stop by for a visit. I'm sharing chocolates today.