Thursday, 1 July 2010

Auction Time Again!! by Judy D

Bonjour à tous et à toutes – it's the summer auction report!!! Traditionally, the major auctions for Quimper pottery in Brittany have taken place around Easter, in July, and at the beginning of December. That has started to change in the last couple of years, no doubt in large part due to the increased availability of Quimper pottery on the Internet almost all the time, but the July auctions are still the big ones. And so as the catalogues arrive, first on line and then on paper (yes, there still is nothing like a well-done print catalogue, and I see that there are a number of past Quimper auction catalogues for sale on eBay), I spend time browsing to see what's new and what's not. The auction houses generally include other items related to Breton culture, and it is a treat to see such interesting offerings, which often include costumes, furniture, folk art, and paintings.

This summer, Morlaix kicks off the first auction. 

What a splendid Paul Fouillen vase on the cover, and inside I see a beautiful star plate, an Henriot service from the 1930s (services can be very good buys these days!), an unusual pair of PB Quimper serving bowls, a number of interesting figurals (including a number of Sévellec little people), a rare plaque possibly by Kervella of a Breton village scene, a beautiful pair of platters by Paul Fouillen (which I like better than the vase on the cover!), a variety of saints (Antoine Maigné's book has certainly been responsible for the increased interest here) ... In paintings, there are seascapes, ladies in costume, designs for interior decoration, and even the Eiffel Tower; the works are mostly from the late 19th- and 20th-centuries. There is also a collection of works by an artist named Jean Jointer, and the proceeds of the sale of his works will be donated for cancer research. There are handsome costumes, épingles de pardon, and heavy cape buckles. And among the furniture offerings, there is a small pyrogravé table by Paul Fouillen.

Following close behind is the Adjug'Art auction. (Note: this is a big file, so the download may be long.)

The cover is most unusual – it is a detail of a costume for sale that is believed to be the oldest dated Breton costume known ... surely a museum piece! The first 74 lots of this sale are all sorts of fabulous Breton costumes and pieces thereof – just visiting the exhibit will be like going to a museum.  The pottery looks good too – an unusual Caussy desk set, several rare platters (including a political one related to the Dreyfus affair), an entire oyster service (three platters, one sauceboat, 12 plates!), two Porquier Beau trial color plates, handsome Odetta vases, a one-of-a-kind Yvonne Jean-Haffen statue of a bird eating figs, pretty snuff bottles. The folk art section includes all sorts of wooden kitchen implements, fishing lures and hooks, and a set of 18th century wrought iron candle holders. There are charming sketches and designs, and the paintings include some beautiful landscapes of Brittany and scenes of Breton life.

Next week, Thierry-Lannon holds their annual summer auction in Douarnenez.

This selection includes a major group of saints and Virgins, a number of Micheau-Vernez figures, and a Porquier Jacquot.. I see photos of two large platters with scenes and broderie borders as well as an unusual Odetta coupe in the form of a gorse flower. The catalogue has only a few photos, but with over 200 lots, I am sure that I will discover many more surprises when I visit!

There is one more auction later in July whose catalogue is not out yet. However, in looking at the listing on line, it appears to be the biggest Keraluc auction to date – somebody's entire collection is going up for sale, I would say.

Preview visits are coming up, so stay tuned!!


  1. Welcome back Judy,
    I know eveyone looks forward to reading your auction reports and having received both the Morlaix & Thierry Lannion catalogues,once again all tastes are catered for.
    I just wish we were coming down next week!!

  2. Judy, looking forward to the auction updates. That piece on the catalog cover is truly fabulous! Have fun! ~ Sarah