Thursday, 2 September 2010

Inkwells ~ A Favorite Form by Sarah

I suppose many of us who collect French faience tend to favor certain forms or decors from time to time. Once a particular interest is sparked a collection within a collection begins to form. This group of Quimper ink wells was gathered together over many years. I've grouped them on a tray that moves about our home. Each of these date to around 1920 - 1930.

The heart shaped one is the first piece of vintage Quimper I acquired. It was a birthday gift from a group of friends given to me in the 1980s. This little heart was the piece that fueled my interest in antique and vintage pieces of French faience.

A souvenir from a California vacation one summer, this little faience charmer is new production from the 1980s. It is simply marked France Decor Main.

It opens to this sweet little flower shaped stopper covering the well.

More faience ink wells can be found sitting among books on shelves in a guest bedroom. These three were produced by Alcide Chaumeil and are known simply as CA faience because of the mark.

I first saw this square example in the collection of a fellow QCI member. A year or so later I was fortunate to find one for our collection.

It appealed to me because of the mechanics of this box. The ceramic lid pivots across to reveal the well for the ink. I suspect this is a rare form.

Another interesting form is this CA figural of a Breton fisherman pulling in his catch. The coiled rope is the lid to the inkwell.

A French market find, this rather large piece is unfortunately missing its lid. I found it laying in a box of assorted things at a weekend brocante. The price was too good to pass it by, so it too resides among the others, sans hat as Debbie @ Confessions of a Plate Addict says. You can read about her French ink well find here.

This little pair of bunnies were an eBay purchase. One holds the quills and the other the ink well. They are Desvres production.

A limited edition piece, this handsome ink stand was produced in 1990 by HB Henriot to commemorate the tricentennial of the faience of Quimper. The hand painted scene depicts the city of Quimper and the Odet River. The soft blue glaze and the fine detailed painting make this a remarkable piece.

A documentation card provided with this piece shows the other limited edition pieces that were produced for this special occasion.

If you are a collector of Quimper or other French faience, the bi-yearly QCI Journal is an excellent resource for those interested in specific forms or decors produced through the years. The colorful publication, free to members, includes the standing feature, Forms and Decors in addition to informative articles on various topics related to French faience. To join the Quimper Club International click here and begin receiving your copies of this publication. Back issues are also available for purchase. More information about both QCI and the Journal can be found on the sidebar.

So what collections within a collection can be found in your home?

These French faience ink wells are a few of my favorite things.
To see a list of others who are sharing some of their favorite things click here to join

Also linking to the following parties:


  1. Oh they are so lovely Sarah!
    I really enjoyed seeing your wonderful collection.
    You have so many interesting pieces and it sure make me want to learn more.
    Happy labor day weekend,

  2. Oh My Goodness, These a wonderful! I LOVE everyone of them... You have "Sparked" me now into keeping an eye open for these treasures... They are SO Beautiful! I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE the plates on "Your Opening Act"!
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Hugs, Donna

  3. What a fantastic collection you have! I am also a big fan of Quimper though I only have a couple of pieces.

  4. What a neat collection, I am sure they are very rare cause as much as I shop, even in antique shops, I never see them. That makes them even more precious. Thanks for this great write up and info, Sarah!..Christine

  5. Sarah, what a beautiful collection. I do not have a single ink well, and I am oooing and ahhhing over all of yours. The fisherman is a favorite of mine, but I also love that last special edition piece. What a beautiful painting on it! I'm so glad you linked this to Favorite Things Saturday. laurie

  6. HI Sarah! What beautiful ink wells you have and to think they're all Quimper! I don't have or do I know much about Quimper except it's just so lovely! Thanks for sharing these.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  7. Beautiful Collections you got there.

  8. What a terrific collection you have. I love the blue colors.

    Happy Blue Monday, Sarah! Check out my book giveaway.

  9. I am more of an appreciator than a collector. Your pieces and knowledge of them is delightful. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  10. I think these blue ink wells are charming. I remember my mother always wrote all her letters with an ink pen. She was left handed and had the most beautiful hand writing.
    Thanks for sharing. these.
    Happy Monday of blue

  11. All so very unusual-haven't seen anything like them.

  12. This collection is TO. DIE. FOR. pretty, Sarah.
    Just beautiful.
    I have admired Quimper for quite some time. I don't know anything at all about it ...just that it is lovely.
    Thanks for sharing your pretty collection.
    xo bj

  13. I collect rag dolls and hubby cartoon glasses I love your collection of inkwells I did not know there were so many different kinds

  14. This is so lovely! I love dishes...Yours are so precious! Thank you for linking up!