Thursday, February 16, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake: French China and Porcelain

Image via Flickr

One of the many beautiful things in the world that inspires us at La Fleur Vintage is French china, particularly Limoges brands Bernardaud and Haviland, as well as Gien. There are hundreds of beautiful sets and patterns within those three brands alone, and we wanted to show off a few we've been loving lately.

Limoges porcelain is revered for its lustre and translucency, qualities that are a result of a particular ingredient: kaolin. Kaolin is a soft white clay mineral and had long been the secret of stunning Chinese porcelain before being discovered and put to use by French artisans in Limoges in 1768.

Surely even Marie Antoinette would have loved this floral patterned cup and saucer?
Image via Pinterest

A lovely vintage Haviland pattern

Snaps to the vintage-minded lady who turned this Haviland plate into a temporary dessert stand.

Gien produces faience, or white glazed earthenware pottery, which spread in popularity after Louis XIV ordered all gold and silver dinnerware to be melted down and the nobility had to find alternate materials for table settings. King Louis preferred faience even over his extensive collection of fine Chinese porcelain, and soon faience became a favorite amongst wealthy French citizens.

Sweets for the sweet: a set of Gien dessert plates

Gien's 'Millefleurs' pattern

Beautiful china is meant to be used and loved - there's nothing that makes a simple meal or cup of tea feel more special than using such gorgeous dinnerware. Do you have a particular pattern you collect or long for? Prefer English china to French? We want to hear about it!

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