Delicate Porcelain Limoges Boxes
People like to collect things. To some, it may be classic cars or high-end motorcycles. However, to many people that have collections they keep it small. Things of artistic beauty or delicate wares make their way into the lives of many collectors. Some of the more imaginative displays for some people are porcelain limoges boxes. So what is a limoges box and why are they such a treasure to so many people?
Well, to describe a one you have to realize their heritage. They are porcelain in construction and derive their beginnings in, of course, Limoges, France.
Exceptional French Craftsmanship – Limoges Boxes
Limoges boxes are not the only pieces of work to come from this French city, but they are considered their most well known. The fact that this city was so popular for these porcelain pieces is because limoges is located near a hard paste clay known as Kaolin. Discovered in the early 1800′s, kaolin is perfect for making quality white porcelain and thus allowed the people of Limoges to create a design of craftsmanship indicative to their city alone. The luster of these pieces due to kaolin makes them a high prize to many a porcelain collector. By having access to such a fine material for making delicate porcelain, they were able to open up a new line of fine porcelain that could compete with the works coming out of Asia.
Not only are they porcelain made, but they are decorative in design as well. They become fashioned by hand and they heated in kilns at various points of paint application. The lids for these boxes are then metal-hinged. A few higher priced limoges box pieces are also decorative with gold inlay or expensive stones.
French Enamel Silver Limoges Box Signed By A. Ronhomme
Beautiful, But Functional – Limoges Boxes
These boxes are not only decorative, but they also are useful as well. early on, before their notoriety, Limoges boxes were used for holding a ladies personal items like perfume, jewelry and other dainties. To the lovelorn, these also were great at keeping ones private thoughts on paper discretely out of sight as well. It was not impossible to see the gentility of France carrying these boxes on their person as well. Thus, they were a potential centerpiece or part of a garment.
Porcelain hinged boxes did not become entertained as a purchasable ware in the US until 1950-1960. When they were beginning to be exported as a wholesale out of France. For someone to have one in America would only happen through someone shipping it as a gift or as a souvenir from a visit to the region in France. They were now available to everyone.
Although there are reproductions existing of these boxes, a true Limoges box will have a stamp on the bottom attesting to its being made in Limoges, France. A true Limoges is created with varying amounts of paint color and their designs display intricate detail as compared to their cheaper reproductions. To locate these works of art, one only has to go online to find them. Limoges boxes make a great part of any porcelain collection.