What is it and What’s it Worth?

Do you recognize the style or the maker of these plates? They sold for $57.77 in August 2018.

Do you recognize the maker of these beautiful plates pictured above?  Notice the bold primary colors, the floral designs, the geometric designs, the peasant women, and the single stroke borders. These characteristics are all indicators that you might have a piece of Quimper pottery on your hands. Quimper, a town in France, has been home to various pottery firms for over 300 years.  Our Worthopedia has over 35,000 Quimper pieces listed! Learn more about Quimper pottery and take your ceramics knowledge to the next level.

Background

Quimper (pronounced cam-pair) is a town in Brittany, France.  It was and is home to several manufacturers of tin-glazed, faience wares.  Pottery production dates back to Gallo-Roman era.

HB HenRiot

This vibrant vintage HB Henriot Quimper France coffee pot sold for $65 in August 2018.

Grande Masion HB-Henriot, located in Loc Maria, a Quimper suburb, was a country pottery that specialized in the production of tobacco pipes made from white clay.  The 1865 arrival of Jean Baptiste Bousquet from the Moustier region resulted in an expansion.  Working with his son Pierre, Jean Baptiste produced the first faience pieces in 1708.  Bousquet received a royal manufacturing license from King Louis XV.

In 1731, Pierre Bousquet’s daughter married Pierre Bellevaux from Nevers. Bellavaux decorations were inspired by blue and white Chinese porcelain and other Asian motifs. After Bellevaux’s death in 1743, Pierre Clement Caussy, a Rouen potter, assumed control in 1743.  He introduced polychrome decoration.  In 1771, Caussy’s daughter married Antonie de la Hubaud1ére.  De La Hubeudiére purchased the factory in 1809.  The firm became Hubaudiére-Bousquet.

Competitive competition increased when Henriot bought out Porquier.  Over 100 artists such as Bazin, Goit,and Berthe Savigny created colorful stoneware pieces for the Odette line.

In the 1920s, Julie Henriot worked with Rene-Yves Creston from Air Seiz Breur, an artistic movement founded in 1923 to revive Breton arts.  Henriot also worked with Mahurin Meheut, who had his own factory and workshop and employed artists such as Geo. Fourrier, Jim Vevellec, and Micheau-Vernex.

HB installed electric ovens following World War II.  In 1968 HB merged with HenRiot.  Each firm retained its own marks.

Sales dropped significantly in the 1970s.  In 1983, the company faced possible liquidation.  Paul Janssens, a Hollander who controlled the import of Quimper to the United States, assumed control of the company and renamed it “The New Quimper Faience.”  The company revived.  In October 2003, Pierre Chiron and 14 stockholders bought the company from Janssens.  Michel Merle assumed the management duties.

Eloury / Porquier

This beautiful French faience Quimper letter holder has the letters “AP” on the bottom for Adolphe Porquier and sold for $118 in August 2018.

François Eloury established a rival firm in 1772.  Charles Poquier acquired the firm, eventually passing its ownership to his son Adolphe.

In 1872, Adolphe’s widow began working with Alfred Beau, the artistic director.  Beau introduced detailed painting on pieces and created the famous little Breton man and woman figures.

Henriot Quimper

This hand painted HR Quimper biscotti plate and matching cup sold for $10.49 in June 2018.

Guillaume Dumaine established HR (Henriot Quimper), a third rival firm in 1778.  In 1884, Jules Herniot took over the Dumaine factory.

HenRiot

Porquier and Henriot Quimper merged in 1913.  In 1984, an American couple bought the company.  In 2011, Jean Pierre Le Goff purchased the company and renamed it HenRiot.

20th Century Firms

Paul Foulillen, who previously worked for HB Faiencerie, established his own firm in 1929.  Paul died in 1958 and was succeeded by his son Maurice.

Kéraluc Faiencerie closed in 1984, after his son Pol Lucas and sister spent 20 years trying to keep the firm afloat.  HB Henriot bought the molds and trademarks.

A number of pottery artists also opened individual studios in Quimper.

What to Look For

Quimper manufacturers specialized in pottery pieces featuring Breton peasants and sea and flower motifs. This pair sold for over $1500 in 2014.

Quimper manufacturers specialized in pottery pieces featuring Breton peasants and sea and flower motifs.  The motif occurs on a wide variety of forms from figurines to plates.  Quimper pieces are identified by the use of primary colors, single stroke brushing to create floral and other designs, and concentric banding on the borders.

In addition to decorated pieces, the Quimper firms produced utilitarian household items such as bowls, pipes, platters, and salt tubs.

Collectors specialize.  Time period, company, and form are the most common specialized categories.  Because of the high quality of their artwork, Fouillen pieces are a favorite.  Large dinnerware services and artist signed pieces sell well.

Quimper manufacturers also copied pottery made in Marseille, Nevers, and Rouen.  Art Deco designs are not popular with collectors unless they incorporate a peasant motif.

Because of the large quantity of pieces made, collectors focus on pieces in fine or better condition.  Small glaze flakes that occurred during the manufacturing process are acceptable and do not impact value.  Missing covers greatly reduce the value of any pieces.

Reproduction Alert:

Many companies such as Blue Ridge, Japanese firms, and Romanian factories have copied Quimper.  Beware of pieces with a brownish wash over a crazed glaze surface.  Malicorne, near Paris, produced Quimper copycats (stylistic copies).  These have a “PBx:” mark.  Some unscrupulous dealers have removed the “s.”

Quimper factories continue to produce pieces based on old forms, shapes, and designs.  These are sold in department stores and specialty shops throughout the world.

Marks

Shown at the bottom right is one of the many marks used on Quimper pieces.

Fish swimming to left divided into two parts, “QUIMPER” beneath.

“HB /QUIMPER”.

“HR”.

“Henriot / Quimper / FRANCE”.

Script: “HB HenRiot / Quimper France/ Peint Moig”.

Triple border equilateral triange with “H” in center, fleur-de-lis above H, anchor like design flanking “H” on each side.

Oval inside of which is PORQUIER / A / QUIMPER”.  Mark for Adolphe Porquier.

Monogram “PA” with top of “P” formed by cross arm of “A” extending out to the right and looping back to top of “A”.

Monogram reverse “E” to left using right stem of “P” as common element.  Mark of Eloury-Porquier.

“P” with upside down “B” at base of top of “P.”.  Mark of Porquier-Beau.

“VATOFEU / “B” with an arrow through it from left to right / QUIMPERE”.


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