Thursday, 27 August 2009

French faïence Rooster Maggie Bryant

This is a first for the QCI Blog, we are joining in a Rooster blogparty being hosted by Barb @ Bella Vista. Click here to see over 200 blogs participating in the fabulous event today.

Lovers of French faïence surely know about the long standing love affair between faïence& le Coq. Think Sonny & Cher, Lennon & McCartney or Simon & Garfunkel (o.k. I'm a flower child of the '60's, what can I say?)

For any Rooster party bloggers who may be visiting us today there follows a short lesson:

History of Le Coq, 101.

The Gallic Rooster (Coq Gaulois), or cockerel, is the French national emblem, as symbolic as the stylised French Lily. From the very roots of French history, the Latin word Gallus means both "rooster" and "inhabitant of Gaul". The French rooster emblem adorned the French flag during the revolution. With the success of the Revolution in 1848, the rooster was made part of the seal of the Republic. In 1899, it was imbossed on a more widespread device, the French 20 franc gold coins. The Coq Gaulois has often been the symbol on French stamps over the years, although now (in 2006) the generic French stamp depicts a stylised "Marianne".

"A chicken in every pot" is more than a political slogan — at the beginning of the 17th century, King Henri IV is supposed to have said "If God allows me to live, I will see that there is not a single labourer in my kingdom who does not have a chicken in his pot every Sunday" (Si Dieu me prête vie, je ferai qu'il n'y aura point de laboureur en mon royaume qui n'ait les moyens d'avoir le dimanche une poule dans son pot ) here

Le Coq & French faïence.

In the December 2003 issue of the Journal QCI member Jeffrey Ruthizer wrote a very interesting and informative article about Quimper faïence from WWI and WWII.
"at the end of WWI the Henriot factory in Quimper began to make the patriotic plates for the famous "Cercle du Soldat" series.
The back of each plate shows the title "Cercle du Soldat du Vie art 1917", the factory mark" HR Quimper and a person's name, either the student artist who designed the image on the plate or, more likely, one of the few remaining artists at the Henriot factory who painted the art student's design."

These are just two of the amazing decors produced, see the full article for more fascinating details about the Cercle du Soldat plates and other patriotic faïence.

Le Coq was also a very popular decor used on snuff bottles and in a tutorial, to be found in the Spring/Summer 2008 issue of the QCI Journal, entitled "Snuff and Secouttes: A History of Compatible Companions" Quimper author & expert Sandra Bondus explains thus:
"Faïence snuff bottles were very affordable. Due to their diminuitive size they were also easy to carry home in pockets and purses as souvenirs of a trip to Brittany. The faïence snuffs became very popular as tokens of affection and friendship.
Thus the heart- shaped form and little books with crowing roosters inscribed with the phrase
"Quand ce coq chantera, mon amour finira" (when this rooster crows, my love will end)
"Quand ce coq chantera, mon amitie finira" (when this coq crows, my friendship will end)."

These four book shaped snuffs do not bear a manufacturers mark but are believed to be

L to R: Quimper; AP; Malicorne & Desvres.

But don't worry, in case you are thinking that these these phrases mean the love or friendship offered is a fickle thing, they are in fact positive affirmations.

Since the snuffs are made of faïence this coq will never crow, therefore the love or friendship will be everlasting!


  1. Maggie, this is terrific! I think I need that Blue Rooster!
    Thanks for joining the party!
    Hugs ~ Sarah

  2. Great post...I think the rooster on the 'war' plate is among my favorites....

  3. The rooster plates are so unique and such gorgeous colors!

  4. Hi Maggie, goodness, these are just lovely and the colors are so pretty!

    Thank you for joining and helping us to celebrate the day.

    Barb :-)

  5. Learned something new here. I haven't heard of Quimper before.

  6. My eyes lit up when I saw the name of your blog. I knew you would have roosters to love. And, I was right. Fabulous.

  7. Hi fellow party goer, Great rooster collection!, Have a sweet weekend!x

  8. Maggie, love the roosters. I've never seen a plate like the one with blue. Would love to have a collection of the 'war' plates.

  9. Your plates are beautiful. I love Quimper although I don't have any. I will definitely be back to visit again!

  10. Love the rooster plates. They are just gorgeous!

    Irma :)

  11. One word- beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us. Your Quimper is stunning.


  12. I adore your roosters. They are so beautiful and very different for me. Thank you for sharing. Blessings, Janet

  13. For those leaving comments who have never heard of Quimper or don't have any...that problem can be fixed immediately! Most Quimper Club members have a piece or two...hundred! It's addictively charming!!! Love the blog, Maggie!

  14. Great roosters ... this surely has been the best blog party and the longest!! Thanks for sharing.
    Sandi - My Roosters Party On

  15. Well, THOSE were something to crow about! Yes, I am another rooster lover, and I loved all of your blogs, Maggie!

  16. Hi I love yor Roosters, Yes I am still trying to get to all the great party's.... I am having a give-a-way to celebrate my 1 month Blogoversary.... Please stop over at my place to celebrate ...

  17. Hello Maggie,

    So sorry I am late arriving. Due to my work schedules, I am still working my way through all the participants of the rooster party. I do not want to miss anyone!

    I love the roosters. I do not recall ever seeing a plate like the one with blue. Would love to have a collection of the 'war' plates. Thank you for sharing!

    ~ Tracy