It is almost impossible to collect Quimper pottery without developing an appreciation for Breton (and other) costumes ... the figures on the various pieces serve as references for the costumes of different areas at different eras. So it is not surprising that the pièce de résistance at a pottery auction last weekend was a costume, and in fact, it was the costume whose details are on the cover of the catalogue for that sale.
As I noted in my previous blog, this costume is thought to be the oldest dated example of a Breton garment. It is black heavy felted wool, with red embroidery, including the buttons and dated 1811 - it would have been a special order for a well-off Breton. Costume collectors are as fierce faience collectors: the estimation fo the costume was 1200-1500 euros, but the bidding shot up to 5000 euros in pretty short order. At that point, there was a pause while an absent bidder was tracked down on the phone, after which the bidding climbed to the final gavel price of 6000 euros (to which a buyer's fee of 19% must be added!). This piece made yesterday's paper, including a comment from the auctioneer that the jacket will remain in France.
For all of its historical significance, the black jacket is extremely sober, too much so for my personal taste.
On the other hand, this bridal costume (of which the back is shown here) of Plogonnec (west of Quimper) from about 1880 is full of color and texture, including wool, ribbons, embroidered lace, and glass beads. It sold for 1500 euros, and it is stunning!