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Appraisal values for LIMOGES CHINA


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Limoges Haviland china setLIMOGES CHINA refers to porcelain chinaware & dinnerware made in the region of Limoges, France. Over the last two centuries, there have been more than 300 independent chinaware manufacturers and porcelain decorating studios that operated for a number of years, many of which are still in business. The vast majority of Limoges china is decorated with simple and elegant designs and are rarely gaudy or overbearing. The color palette of choice on Limoges china is usually in pastel hues and incorporate matching shades and tones that create a very pleasing effect that often appeals to even the most discriminating of tastes.

Although some Limoges companies, such as Haviland-Limoges, produced thousands upon thousands of chinaware and service sets, the vast majority of Limoges china manufacturers & studios had a limited output. A common practice in Limoges was also that many studios would purchase blanks (undecorated whiteware) from nearby Limoges china factories and then had them decorated by hand or using decals prior to sale. This explains why we often see two or even three separate Limoges marks on many items. In most cases, the dates that these Limoges marks were in use are close together. However, at times, some remaining inventory of a company that closed may end up being purchased in bulk by a Limoges Porcelain Decorating Studio at some later time, who then, in turn, decorated them and sold them a few decades after the original manufacturer produced them.

The quality of Limoges China is exceptional and rarely disappoints. Most Limoges porcelain is fired at high temperatures, which contributes to their durability and long life. Any subsequent decoration that is applied is also fully and carefully glazed, and while usually quite transparent and thin, preserves the entire item and prevents crazing or other age-related wear, even with frequent use over a prolonged time. For these reasons and obviously for their stunning beauty, Limoges China is the preferred chinaware or dinnerware in many homes. Additionally, Limoges China is not particularly expensive, especially as compared to other dinnerware of similar quality made elsewhere. This has expanded their popularity, especially amongst middle-class buyers who seek a relatively inexpensive alternative to other known pricey brands such as Meissen, Rosenthal, Sevres, Doulton etc.

The name of Limoges comes from the official name of the town and region of Limousine in France, located about 200 miles south of Paris. This region is also known as Haute Vienne due to the river Vienne that runs through this region. The presence of this river and the discovery of rich deposits of Kaolin at nearby Saint Yrieix, an essential element of making porcelain, attracted many Potters and Porcelain companies to establish their operation in the area since the 1770s. Historically, the first Limoges Porcelain factory was established in 1770 by Massie, Grellet & Fourneira, which however did not do too well financially and was forced to close a few years later. Limoges china from this company can now be seen only in Museums and is extremely rare. Nevertheless, other entrepreneurs and skilled artisans quickly flocked to the area and begun producing some of the finest porcelain chinaware of the time. This tradition has continued intensely to this day without any significant stoppages other than during WW I & II.

Although the general design style of most Limoges china remained fairly constant throughout the last two centuries, we often see some influence of the artistic norms that prevailed at certain periods, such as the Art Nouveau or Aesthetic Movement (ca 1880s - 1920s) and Art Deco immediately afterwards.

When appraising Limoges China, it is important to consider the marks stamped on their underside. These reveal not only the maker but also the period that they were made. To accurately identify Limoges marks and properly authenticate Limoges China marks, please see our Porcelain & Pottery Marks Guides. Note that many Limoges marks are not necessarily those of their makers, but rather of trading companies that engaged in exporting those to other parts of Europe and particularly to America. In fact, many marks on Limoges china refer to US-based Importers in New York, Chicago & elsewhere, but can help in estimating their age.

Appraisal values of Limoges china depend heavily on condition, completeness of the Set, and very importantly the specific elegance of its decorative designs. Prices at auction do not vary much between similarly sized or decorated Limoges china sets, but tend to be higher for older pieces or richly decorated wares. See below for some examples from our Antiques Price Guides or view items in specific categories such as LIMOGES PORCELAIN BOXES or LIMOGES PLATES and LIMOGES VASES.

To read more on Limoges in general, please see one of our articles on Limoges Porcelain Marks.

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  • Partial Set Hand Painted Limoges China 2
    dinner plates 1 luncheon plate 8 salad plates 6 bread plates 7 saucers 8 cups creamer and sugar ... [more like this]
  • (lot of 66) Giovanna Amoruso Manzari hand
    painted partial table service for Limoges painted partial table service for Limoges, decorated with fruit, flowers, and butterflies, comprising (7) dinner plates, 10.35"dia, ... [more like this]
  • 4 Sevres, Limoges & Mottahedeh Porcelain
    Trays The Sevres hand-painted with birds in a green surround, the underside with a blue mark, the Limoges examples in pink and yellow with flowers and butterflies, the undersides ... [more like this]
  • Group of Royal Doulton, Wedgwood and Limoges
    Porcelain, including thirteen pieces of Royal Doulton "Sovereign" dinnerware, eleven Wedgwood dinner plates, and six J.P. France Limoges saucers and five matching teacups, ... [more like this]
  • Limoges Hand-painted Porcelain Partial Breakfast
    Service, France, early 20th century, retailed by Delvaux, Paris, each piece enamel-decorated with red poppies, blue cornflowers, yellow crocuses, and gilt accents, a covered ... [more like this]
  • Vintage Limoges Porcelain Partial Luncheon
    Set: Thirty Eight (38) Piece Limoges Porcelain Hand painted and Gold Encrusted Luncheon Set. Includes 14 plates 8-5/8", 10 handled cream soup bowls, 14 saucers. Signed. Condition: ... [more like this]
  • LIMOGES PORCELAIN LAMP, circa 1890 with
    hand painted cartouche of a partially nude woman and winged cherub and with floral spray on verso; height: 22 inches Condition: Minor surface grime; no restoration, ... [more like this]
  • A French Porcelain Partial Dessert Service
    in the Aesthetic Taste, late 19th c., probably Limoges, comprising 4 compotes and 12 plates with various molded and gilt leafing patterns, marked with incised "C" over "R", ... [more like this]
  • 48-PIECE ASSEMBLED FRENCH PORCELAIN PARTIAL
    DINNER SERVICE. late 19th century, Rouen and Limoges. Including: ten dinner plates, eleven luncheon plates, ten salad plates, eleven dessert plates, serving platter, two cups, ... [more like this]
  • 20th C. Limoges porcelain partial fish service,
    twelve pieces: all dinner plates graduating white to apricot orange with hand-painted fish at center, gilt crimped trim, signed "A. Rico" LR, minor gilt loss, expected surface ... [more like this]
  • Fourteen-piece Limoges Hand-painted Partial
    Porcelain Service, with sky blue and gilt decoration and floral cartouches, consisting of twelve dinner plates, a covered serving dish, and an open serving dish. Estimate ... [more like this]
  • (lot of 34) French Limoges porcelain partial
    dinner service, Georges Boyer, retailed by Galerie Urban, late 20th c., in the limited-edition "Renoir" pattern, numbered 84/100, with hand-painted polychrome floral border, ... [more like this]

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