Limoges porcelain has withstood the test of time for centuries. The widely cherished ceramics named for the French city and commune in which they are made are synonymous with sophistication, elegance and refinement. Today, antique Limoges dinnerware, serveware, decorative objects and other porcelain products are coveted and collected all over the world.
The story of Limoges porcelain, which refers to porcelain made in the Limoges region of France — not by a specific factory — begins in 1768. The region is a rich source of kaolin, feldspar and quartz — vital ingredients to the production of this type of pottery.
Porcelain was first made in China and spread all over the world owing to the trade routes to the Far East established by Dutch and Portuguese merchants. Given its origin, English speakers called porcelain “fine china,” an expression you still might hear today. "Fine" indeed — for over a thousand years, it has been a highly sought-after material. Meissen Porcelain (Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen), which was founded in the Electorate of Saxony (now Germany), is one of the preeminent porcelain factories in Europe and was the first to produce true porcelain outside of Asia.
Limoges porcelain refers to porcelain produced in and near the city of Limoges — it does not refer to a specific manufacturer — and it’s distinctive for its luminous hue and bright white qualities, providing an ideal canvas for intricately detailed hand-painted decorations. (Revered Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir began his career painting plates in Limoges.)
It wasn’t long before Limoges porcelain captured the attention of King Louis XVI — the region’s first manufactory, established toward the close of the 18th century, was placed under the protection of the King’s brother, the Comte d’Artois. It was later purchased by the King and became Manufacture Royale de Limoges. The facility produced a variety of pieces, including delicate, gold-embellished trinket boxes, ornamental vessels, Rococo-style figurines and elaborate dinnerware service sets.
Following the end of the French Revolution in 1794, Limoges porcelain was no longer restricted, and the commercial porcelain industry ballooned.
By 1819, Limoges had four porcelain factories, and as demand for porcelain grew during the 19th century, the industry expanded in the French city. In 1853, American businessman David Haviland opened the Haviland & Co. factory in Limoges to export porcelain to the United States. The company produced several iconic serveware collections for many American presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes. Bernardaud opened in the early 1860s.
By 1900, Limoges had 35 factories, which employed close to 8,000 workers. In 1925, Limoges porcelain was shown at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts — the design fair in Paris that brought global attention to the Art Deco style — where it garnered international acclaim.
During the 20th century, Limoges factories such as Bernardaud collaborated with a range of notable artists and designers, including Franz Bischoff, Joan Miró, Raymond Loewy, Alexander Calder and Julian Schnabel, to name a few.
Find an extensive collection of antique Limoges porcelain on 1stDibs.
19th Century French Antique Limoges Furniture
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Early 20th Century French Limoges Furniture
1880s French Victorian Antique Limoges Furniture
Late 19th Century French Art Nouveau Antique Limoges Furniture
19th Century Unknown Country Antique Limoges Furniture
19th Century Antique Limoges Furniture
19th Century French Aesthetic Movement Antique Limoges Furniture
19th Century French Renaissance Antique Limoges Furniture
20th Century French Limoges Furniture
1930s French Expressionist Vintage Limoges Furniture
1870s Aesthetic Movement Antique Limoges Furniture
Limoges furniture for sale on 1stDibs.
Creators Similar to Limoges
- What is Limoges’ style?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Limoge rose to prominence for its regal and romantic porcelain designs. Royalty and the political elite all commissioned pieces from the region’s factories. Pieces feature rich colors and gold embellishments. Browse a range of Limoge porcelain pieces from some of the world’s top collectors on 1stDibs.
- How do I identify Limoges?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022To identify Limoges porcelain, study the marks on the bottom. Some pieces show the French government's official mark, which reads "Limoges Goût de Ville." Limoges sometimes added a variety of factory marks or artist names. Consult an authoritative online resource to research these additional marks. You'll find a selection of expertly vetted Limoges decorative objects and serveware on 1stDibs.
- How do I value Limoges?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022To value Limoges, seek help from a licensed appraiser who has experience evaluating porcelain ware. Only an expert can accurately assess the condition of porcelain to determine how much a piece is worth. Shop a range of Limoges porcelain on 1stDibs.
- Where is Limoges made?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Limoges is made in France. The name of the pottery actually comes from the area where the pottery originated and is manufactured to this day. Some companies may produce pottery that resembles Limoges in East Asia and other locations. You'll find a range of Limoges pottery on 1stDibs.
- What is special about Limoges?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertJune 15, 2023Limoges is special because of its place in the history of ceramics. The widely cherished ceramics named for the French city and commune in which they are made are synonymous with sophistication, elegance and refinement. Today, antique Limoges dinnerware, serveware, decorative objects and other porcelain products are coveted and collected all over the world. On 1stDibs, find a selection of Limoges pieces.
- What is Haviland Limoges China?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Haviland Limoges China is a type of porcelain first imported to America by Charles Haviland, an importer of English porcelain. When he discovered Limoges porcelain, Haviland imported blanks and trained a group of painters to decorate the China by hand in a combination of French and English styles. Limoges fine porcelain is white and translucent, allowing for clear markings. On 1stDibs, find a variety of Haviland Limoges China pieces from top sellers around the world.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022The Limoges enamel technique involves layering molten glass and painting on them. Then, artisans paint over the surface with white to mute the artwork. This method of creating pottery and decorative objects dates back to 12th-century France. Find a selection of Limoges enamel ware 1stDibs.
- Are all Limoges pieces marked?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022No, not all Limoges pieces are marked. While most Limoges include the factory's production and decorating marks, some pieces will have no mark. That’s why it is important to purchase from a vetted seller or vendor to ensure authenticity. 1stDibs partners with only top-vetted sellers to offer authentic pieces that come with a buyer protection guarantee.
- 1stDibs ExpertMay 5, 2023To know if a Limoges is real, look for the marking that indicates the maker. The widely cherished ceramics named for the French city and commune in which they are made are synonymous with sophistication, elegance and refinement. Today, antique Limoges dinnerware, serveware, decorative objects and other porcelain products are coveted and collected all over the world. On authentic pieces, you will see the words “Peint Main," which means "hand-painted." Authentic works will also say "Limoges, France." The finish is also a good indication of authenticity. Most real Limoges pieces will have a dull patina. Objects with a glossy or shiny finish are most likely reproductions. Shop a range of Limoges pieces on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Limoges porcelain is made of kaolin, feldspar and quartz, making it the finest hard-paste porcelain in the world. It is the addition of kaolin that makes the porcelain so sought-after and also gives it the distinction of being bone china. Shop a collection of Limoges china from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Limoges is an area in France known for its production of fine porcelain and china. Limoges china was first produced in the 1700s and modeled after Chinese fine, white porcelain. Due to its proximity to kaolin, the key ingredient in porcelain, Limoges is still home to several porcelain factories. Find a variety of Limoges porcelain on 1stDibs.
- How do I identify Limoges china?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022There are a few ways to identify Limoges china. There are certain marks that should be present on the bottom of the pieces as well as the keepsake boxes. Look for an official mark from the French government, a studio or manufacturer’s mark and the artist’s name. It’s important to purchase from a vetted seller or vendor to ensure authenticity. While Limoges has at times inspired knockoffs, 1stDibs partners with only top-vetted sellers to offer authentic pieces that come with a buyer protection guarantee.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Limoges is a type of decorated porcelain. Authentic Limoges items will have the phrase “Peint Main” or “Peint a la main” hand-painted on the bottom, which means it was painted by hand. You can also look for the Limoges France insignia. Shop a collection of vetted Limoges china from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022One of the first steps to authenticating your Limoges porcelain is to check the bottom of the piece for the maker’s mark or signature. If you spot the ‘Limoges’ mark, this is a good sign. Shop a collection of properly vetted Limoges porcelain from some of the world’s top dealers on 1stDibs.
- Is Limoges china bone china?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022No, Limoges china is very similar to bone china, but it was not until the late 1700s that the ingredient kaolin, which is integral to bone china, was discovered near Limoges. Therefore, Limoges china made before this point is not truly bone china. Shop an array of authentic Limoges china on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertJune 15, 2023Whether Limoges France porcelain is valuable depends on a number of factors, including the condition of the piece in question. Limoges porcelain has withstood the test of time for centuries. The widely cherished ceramics named for the French city and commune in which they are made are synonymous with sophistication, elegance and refinement. Generally, collectors are willing to pay more for Limoges porcelain objects that feature a high level of hand-painted detail. Pieces with machine-transferred decorations are typically less valuable. A certified appraiser or knowledgeable antiques dealer can assist you with determining how much Limoges pieces are worth. On 1stDibs, shop a range of Limoges porcelain.
- 1stDibs ExpertSeptember 28, 2021Haviland Limoges China could cost you at least $100 - $200, it can go much higher, depending on the style, its condition and much more. They are used as serving pieces like platters, soup tureens, pitchers in various shapes and gravy boats along with tea sets. Find a range of vintage and antique Haviland Limoges china on 1stDibs today.