Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A few of my favourite things.................by Louise R

From time to time we will be featuring "one off, taster" blogs from QCI members who would like to try their hand at blogging.
This blog comes to us from Louise R who has been a member of QCI for 10 years.

Well, here goes, this is my first ever blog!
I've been collecting Quimper for about 25 years. I first saw it on my late father's dresser, some lovely, very old bowls (they disappeared when he died, probably thrown out by my stepmother or sent to the thrift shop, Gulp!)
My Dad was French, an antique dealer at Covent Garden Market in London. It was here that my son, Eddy, bought me my first piece of Keraluc pottery. It was a lovely vase in cream and brown with dancers on it. I was a dancer then too so loved it, and began to investigate Quimper ceramics.

I started, as I'm sure we all did, buying little domestic pieces, sometimes damaged, mostly cheap, bowls and plates; cups and saucers. As the collection grew I became more interested in the artists of Quimper, Keraluc and Brittany generally, especially the mid-century pieces from Fouillen and others.
My partner, Bryan, is a similarly enthusiastic collector of Japanese Woodblock Prints, and we have trawled fairs, brocantes, depot ventes, car boot sales and vide-greniers in France and Britain looking for bargains. Sometimes finding one, but often finding pieces that were quite expensive and completely irresistible!
I'm running out of space to display stuff in my small flat, shelves are full, as is every available bit of wall and flat surface. There are crates under the bed and sofas, I think it’s time for a sort out but I'm not sure if I dare!

My latest find was a huge HB Quimper vase. It stands 16 inches (41cm) tall and is decorated with peacocks and flowers, it dates to circa 1920. I discovered it in an antique shop in Suffolk, stuck at the back of a shelf behind some lamps. I clutched at Bryan, 'Look at that!' I breathed. 'Wow', he said, and we bought it along with a pretty HB Quimper jardiniere with a biniou player on it.

More goodies were found recently at bi-monthly fair at Kempton Park racecourse, a real dealers market. It starts at 6:30 a.m. but the atmosphere and prices are great!
There are quite a few markets and fairs around London and the South East area, not all of them well known or advertised, especially to visitors from abroad. I'd be happy to hear from anyone visiting London who would like to know where the best fairs and markets are being held, and to act as a guide. Hopefully we'll have a good summer with lots of outdoor events.
I hear that the 2011 annual meeting is going to be held in Quimper, Brittany, France and I'm delighted as I can't get to the US meetings, so will really look forward to this one!
Best wishes to you all,
We are linking this post to "A Few Of My Favourite Things Saturdays" a meme graciously hosted by Laurie @ Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie, where there are always lovely things to admire.


  1. Bonjour Louise,

    It sounds like it's time to plan a little trip across the Channel for some serious "chiner" activity! Your vase is splendid ...


  2. Hi Louise,

    How exciting it would be to visit all the places you speak of. I can just imagine spotting a real treasure behind something, and perhaps the owner doesn't know what he has. :-)

    Enjoyed your blog.

    Best Regards,

  3. Louise, you did a great job with your post. I am so in love with your vase! What a find! Oh how I wish I could come over there and get you to be my guide to the best places to shop. My Quimper collection is sort of like you described the beginning of yours - just picking up pieces when I find them at a great price, regardless of the artist or the quality of the piece. I do love what I have though. I'm so glad you linked this to Favorite Things Sat., and I hope my visitors will come over to see your beautiful treasures. laurie

  4. Louise, wonderful post. I look forward to more. Love that new vase. I have one in that same form, but the decor isn't as interesting as the one you have. Great find! ~ Sarah