Faiences de Desvres (France)

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Faiences de Desvres (France)

Post by denbydump on November 29th 2014, 10:06 pm

The small town of Desvres is situated in the Pas-de-Calais departement
of France, south of Calais, east of Boulogne-sur-mer.
Pottery using local clays, dates back to the 14th C, and faience was made
there from the mid-18thC onwards.
Though famous for it's distictive Faience, Porcelain, Barbotine, Stoneware
and Cracklewares were also produced there,

My first visit to Desvres, was I think in the 80s. There were 3 Faienceries
running, producing a huge variety of pottery from decorative wares, tiles,
tableware, crested ware, commemoratives, and even bathroom suites.
The main theme was the distinctive "Decor Rouen" initially produced in the
Rouen area of Normandy, but then mainly in Desvres. They also made some
Faience items in other styles of eg. St Omer, Strasbourg and Moustiers.

During later visits, it all seemed to be winding down, transfer decoration
was in evidence in the factory shops, and at my last visit, in maybe 2005, it
was all gone. What remained was the unedifying spectacle of seeing the
"Artisans de Faience" sitting in shop windows around the town, hand-
painting plates, The plates, which you could have personalised with names
or celebrations etc. were the taken to the remains of one of the potteries
to be fired, and probably then sent through the post. All a rather sad end to
a long tradition of Faience, but only similar to what has happened to the
potteries of Staffordshire and elsewhere.

However the futuristic museum "Maison de la Faience", which was built at
about the same time as the closures is well worth a visit, with some
fabulous examples, including some gigantic exhibition pieces.



(Website under reconstruction)
http://www.desvresmuseum.org/

Dating can be awkward, generally the earlier items have a pinkish hue to
the clay, seem to be higher-fired, with a distinctive "ring", and numerous,
cryptic, coloured, hand-painted marks and numbers and some place names.

Modern items were often moulded and used standard white clay, often
just with Fait-main / France / Rouen, or a tourist place name, in black.

There were lots of short-lived potteries, ownerships and mergers,
but it is these 4 main ones that seem to turn up in the UK.

FRANCIS MASSE / MASSE FRERES 1903-C21st.
FOURMAINTRAUX 1867-1948 (then merged with MASSE).
GEO MARTEL 1900-C21st.
MOSANIC. Before WW1, a London buisnessman, Max Emmanuel, ordered items
from Desvres, and other potteries, and required them to be marked just with
"Mosanic", named after his previous ownership of a Bavarian porcelain factory.

Thanks to Francois Piton for his excellent book "C'est du Desvres",
which is in both English and French.

http://perso.infonie.be/vieux.rouen/english_version/indexus.html

As far as I can recall, all my items were bought in the UK.
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FOURMAINTRAUX

Post by denbydump on November 29th 2014, 10:20 pm

A selection of FOURMAINTRAUX items, by far the most numerous.

















A small selection of typical marks:



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GEO MARTEL

Post by denbydump on November 29th 2014, 10:23 pm

Only 2 items, with marks.



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MOSANIC

Post by denbydump on November 29th 2014, 10:27 pm

A few MOSANIC pieces with some marks.





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Re: Faiences de Desvres (France)

Post by denbydump on December 4th 2014, 10:14 pm

A blue and white Delft style inkwell. Only a "Rouen" tourist mark, but almost certainly
from one of the Desvres manufacturers.





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Re: Faiences de Desvres (France)

Post by denbydump on December 24th 2014, 3:33 pm

A modern wall plate.



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Re: Faiences de Desvres (France)

Post by NaomiM on January 23rd 2015, 12:49 am




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Re: Faiences de Desvres (France)

Post by denbydump on January 23rd 2015, 1:15 am

Nice Geo Martel, still with it's lid Naomi!
"A ma vie", does seem to be the most common inscription on the crested pieces
if there is no place name as such.
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Re: Faiences de Desvres (France)

Post by NaomiM on January 23rd 2015, 2:08 am

Excellent

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Re: Faiences de Desvres (France)

Post by NaomiM on January 29th 2015, 11:34 pm

Saw a pair of these today, nice but a bit too pricey for me.





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Re: Faiences de Desvres (France)

Post by denbydump on January 30th 2015, 12:16 am

Cheapskate! though it depends how A/F they were.
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Re: Faiences de Desvres (France)

Post by NaomiM on January 30th 2015, 12:48 am

A bit rubbed on the edges, I think.
If they'd been bigger,  or if that had been the price for the pair rather than each, then maybe I'd have taken a punt.

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Re: Faiences de Desvres (France)

Post by denbydump on January 30th 2015, 8:47 am

Oh, I thought that was for the pair Naomi. I always understood most faience
collectors were prepared to accept damage, commensurate with age, given the
delicate nature of tin-glazed earthenwares. Many pieces in my collection have
nibbles and flakes. Repaired pieces are best avoided, tall candlesticks being by
far, the favourites for being restored.
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Re: Faiences de Desvres (France)

Post by NaomiM on January 30th 2015, 11:36 am

Oops, rereading the label it was for the pair. Oh well, never mind :)

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Re: Faiences de Desvres (France)

Post by denbydump on August 8th 2017, 3:49 pm

A modern wall plate, probably 1980s. Decorated in the "Moustiers" faience style,
but produced at Desvres.




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