Old And Sold Antiques Auction & Marketplace

Antiques Digest Browse Auctions Appraisal Home

Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

Collecting Pottery:
Collecting Old Continental Pottery

Henri Deux Ware, Etc.
Palissy Ware
Paris And Its Environs
Glazed Pottery Of France

Stoneware Of Germany
German And Other Guilds

Stockholm, Rorstrand, and Marieberg

Delft: The Old Signs Of The Potters

Majolica And Luca Della Robia
Castel Durante
Naples, Rimini, Monte Feltro, And Forli
Siena, Monte Lupo, And Pisa
Fabriano, Viterbo, Rome
Venice, Treviso, Bassano, Milan, Etc.

Persia And Damascus
Persian And Other Tiles
Rhodes, Asiatic Turkey, Etc.

Hispano-Moresque Ware

Pottery - Lille

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

Lille, an important town in the Nord Department, seems to have commenced its pottery works in 1696, just a year before the Peace of Ryswick concluded the war between William III of England and Louis XIV of France. Jacques Febvrier, a potter of Tournay, and Jean Bossu, a painter of Ghent, were invited to establish themselves at Lille, which they did, and set about making wares in the Rouen style, decorated with arabesques derived originally from the East, and with baskets of flowers. These wares appear to be unmarked, unless we assign a monogram of the letters F and B to Febvrier and Bossu, though they are commonly ascribed to Francois Boussemaert, who in 1729 was the head of the firm, having succeeded to the fine establishment left by his father-in-law, Febvrier, in that year, though his mother-in-law continued to hold an interest in the business. Jacquemart agrees with a Lille authority, M. Houdoy, that F.B is the monogram of Boussemaert, to whom another mark, Lille 1768, also belongs. Ten years later than this date, Petit became the proprietor of these works, and maintained the high standard of faience in the French style.

Another manufactory was started by Barthelemi Dorez and his nephew Pellissier, in 1711, when Lille was in the hands of the Dutch. This continued under the Dorez's control until about 1755, during which period very beautiful pieces of ware were made, described as being more perfect than the contemporary delft, signed with D accompanied by a figure or by the name N. A. Dorez, 1748, when the grandson was the director. Hereng succeeded Dorez, and was followed in 1786 by H. F. Lefebvre, whose partner was Petit from the other pottery, which passed under the joint management of the two men. A curious disjointed P is said to be Petit's mark. Porcelain and faience were made at the same time, and received similar decoration of birds and flowers.

A third factory was founded in 1740 by W amps, whose successor, twelve years later, Jacques Masquelier, obtained permission to add to the tile-making, which had occupied the workmen hitherto, other faience in the style of Rouen and of foreign countries. Very little is known regarding the produc tions of this fabrique. Certainly that which was founded by Febvrier was the most famous, the manufacture royale of Lille, producing the wares with decoration in rococo designs in rouge de fer or iron-red, pale blue, lilac, and shades of green. The example shown in the illustration from Jacquemart, with two Cupids holding a scroll on which is written MAITRE DALIGNE is a plate painted with such colours, whilst on the back, in a medallion formed by blue and green palms, joined by a bouquet and surmounted by the royal crown, is found the inscription, LILLE 1767. Such remarkable and unusual plates seem to have been presentation pieces, given to the person whose name appears on them-a circumstance which would explain the extraordinary care shown in their embellishment. The other eighteenth-century potters at Lille require little notice. La terre de Pipe, or earthenware imitating that of England, and brown ware with tortoiseshell glaze, were largely manufactured in objects ranging from stoves to tea and coffee services.


In the same department as Lille, Bailleul had its pottery. A soup-tureen and cover in the Cluny Museum bears the mark C.I.H., for C. Jacobus Hennekens, and its date is 1717; whilst the words ghemaeckt tot Belle (made at Bailleul) bear evidence of its Flemish origin. Gournay describes other faience, not decorated like this piece in relief, but in the Rouen style. He says it equals Rouen ware in beauty, and has the further advantage of resisting the fiercest fire. At the same time the workmanship was good and the price was moderate. The usual obstacle lies in the way, preventing its identification: it is so like Rouen faience that at present it cannot be separated from it. We might repeat this regarding other French fabyiques, where the same style was copied-Desvres, for instance, which had a pottery in 1764, founded by J. F. Sta. Here the commoner wares were made, which were hawked about the country by men who took rags, bones, and old metal in exchange, just as they do in rural England in our own-days.

St. Amand-les-eaux

Pierre Joseph Fauquez had a fabrique at Tournay, and another at St. Amand. When he died, in 1741, his son Pierre Francois Joseph succeeded him at the two centres, and made porcelain in 1785, continuing during the whole of his life to produce three kinds of faience, for which he acquired a high reputation. The productions were often marked with a complicated monogram, composed of his initials, with or with out the letters S.A. These initials S.A. were used on fine faience.

The first kind was a rather thick pottery, covered with a bluish-tinted white enamel, decorated with designs in the Rouen style in white, after the Italian sopra bianco manner, or in colours in the Strasburg style with bouquets. The bluish tint of the surface enamel affected the brilliance of the colours, deadening it, and converting the rouge d'or, the red from gold, into purple, so that these painted pieces have a close resemblance to certain Swedish pottery.

Next, there was a thin ware, very carefully worked, which possessed qualities equal to the best productions of Rouen, being painted with foliage and flowers in blue and iron-red, rouge de f er. Such beautifully decorated ware bears a mark which differs in form from that used on the other pieces. Though the same initials are used, they are not arranged in the same way.

The third class consisted of painted faience or faience porcelaine, in which forms chosen with great care were excellently ornamented in colours. All the metallic oxides which could not be decomposed by their combination with lead in the kiln, adhered to the glaze, which contained lead and tin. The development of this process was coincident with the employment of a temperature less than the full heat of the grand feu, so these colours were fired in the hard muffle oven or the demi-grand feu, in an operation which did not require the direct action of heat. This process yielded very satisfactory results at St. Amand, for its bouquets, tulips, carnations and roses, delicately painted in colours, are charming, and the presence of violet, rouge d'or, and a lovely copper green heightens the effect. The best-known flower-painter was Desmuraille ; the landscape painter Gaudry framed his medallions with emblems; and another artist was S. Joseph, a relation of the Fauquez family.

In addition to the ordinary faience, earthenware or fine faience was manufactured in large quantities. This ware, known also as terye de pipe, was painted in camaieu or in various colours, and gilded with fillets. Vases and other ornamental pieces secured great success, and they were marked with the maker's monogram with S.A. as before.


Francois Louis Dorez, son of Barthelemi, the potter of Lille, built a fabrique at Valenciennes about 1735, which continued to prosper under the direction of his widow from 1739 to 1742, when C. J. Bernard was appointed manager; but his lack of business capacity led to the resumption of the control by the Dorez family, whose representative was Claude, another son of the potter of Lille. In 1748 a trustee for his creditors gave a receipt for the advances made by the magistrates of the town, after which history becomes silent as to the fate of the fabrique. The decoration of the faience produced here was in the Rouen style, and the monogram of L.D. and another letter, a script D, are attributed to Louis Dorez and the Dorez family.

From the resemblance between the wares of Dorez of Lille and of Valenciennes and those of Delft, Brussels, and Tournay, it is very difficult, in the absence of marks, to separate them. They are produced from the same elements, and the decoration does not supply material for differentiation. This applies to nearly all of the wares made in French Flanders, which are often assigned to Delft.

Other towns in that district had potteries, Cambrai, Douai, and Dunkerque amongst them; but information and marks are wanting. We meet with one name only which is found at another factory-Louis Saladin, who was at first authorised in 1749 to open a fabrique at Dunkerque, where he was a merchant, actually did establish one at St. Omer, about twenty miles southwards, under a licence granted in 1750.


A fabrique was erected here by the Lallemands, the lords of Aprey, who, between 1740 and 1750, engaged a potter from Nevers, one Ollivier, who at first directed the works and afterwards owned them. He obtained the services of a skilful artist, Jary or Jarry, whose paintings of birds and flowers made the reputation of this faience. The early productions, in which the paste, enamel, and decoration reached the highest point of excellence, were never marked. Later, when the manufacture underwent the routine of supplying a market, the letters AP were adopted to distinguish the Aprey wares, and to them were added the initial of Jary or of the other painters employed. Several of these are shown in the marks.

St. Omer

Louis XV., " the well-beloved," King of France from 1715 to 1774, issued letters patent to Louis Saladin to establish a f abrique for manufacturing faience at St. Omer after the one he had founded at Dunkerque was closed on the demand of Dorez of Lille. As this is a type of others to which reference has been made, we quote from Jacquemart its chief provisions: " Louis, etc. Our well-beloved Louis Saladin, merchant at Dunkerque, has shown us that he has found the secret of making fayence as beautiful and as good as that of Holland, which besides has the advantage of standing the fire, and plates and dishes of stoneware which imitates that of England; that having been informed that there is no f ayancerie in the greater part of Amiens, he has formed the project of establishing in the town of St. Omer a manufactory for making there these kinds of fayances and stoneware, the said town being the most suitable place for such an enterprise, as much because of its canal and its proximity to the sea-ports, as because of the quality of the clays which to him are necessary and of the white, soft wood which is found there in abundance. The aldermen, after experiment, knowing that this f abrique will be very useful to their town, have pressed us to order it by a decree sent to our council, April 14, 1750.

"We have allowed, and shall allow the said M. Louis Saladin to establish in the town of St. Omer, or the suburb of the said Haut-Pont, a manufactory for making there during twenty consecutive years, and to the exclusion of all others, faience in the style of Holland, fit to stand the fire, and crockery in stoneware in the English style, on condition that he shall make the said establishment in a year counting from the date of the said decree, and shall have at least one kiln always in operation . . . prohibition to build any other establishment within three leagues of the environs of St. Omer, etc." This was registered on July 9, 1751.

The fabrique was soon at work, and its existence in 1791 is shown by its appearance in the list of French potters, who in that year protested against the treaty of commerce with England. We are not certain as to its general productions --probably they have been confounded with Delft and with English stoneware; but a certain soup-tureen of cabbage form, like one in the Cluny Museum, and resembling others made in England, France, Holland, and Germany, was distinguished from them by the mark-a Saint-Omer, 1759.

Mention has been made of Desvres, but there are other places which manufactured faience in this district: Aire, Boulogne, Hesdin, and Montreuil-sur-Mer being of the number whose records are not yet forthcoming.


About forty miles south-east of 5t. Omer lies Arras, once celebrated for its tapestry, and noted as the birthplace of the brothers Robespierre, of whom Maximilien met his fate by the guillotine in 1794. Just ten years previously his native town had commenced the manufacture of porcelain. Two unmarried women, the sisters Deleneur, traders in faience, were financed by the intendant of Artois and French Flanders for the purpose of competing with the cheap china of Tournay. Probably the specimen of faience in the Cluny Museum was from their fabrique. It is a cruet-stand decorated with open-work and painted with bouquets and foliage in imitation of Strasburg ware. On the reverse is a mark composed of two V's forming a cross. The porcelain was marked with the letters AR and the decorator's initial.

The map of France shows many towns of which no particulars are given with regard to the pottery produced in them. But to some potter in every one of them letters patent were granted upon application duly made. It may be that some of the applicants pursued the business no further when they had received due authority; it may be that they made ware which was copied from the best-known French manufactories ; and it maybe that certain of the marks, such as those found upon specimens in the Rouen style, were used by them and have not been separately identified.

Bookmark and Share