Limoges Porcelain Chess Set.
Offered here is an antique French Limoges Porcelain Chess Set, circa 1950. One army has a Black glaze, the opposing army wears a Pink-Rose glaze. The circular bases have fine gilt-decorated bands. The Kings and Queens are wearing gilt-trimmed crowns and holding scepters. The Bishops are depicted as Court Jesters. The, French name for the Bishop, “le Fou” (fool), is derived from “Fou du roi”, a Jester. Knights are bridled horses´ heads. Rooks are medieval Towers. The Kings stand 2-7/8″ Tall with a 1-1/4″ diameter base. Each of the chessmen is stamped “Limoges France”. The chess pieces are housed in a silk-lined, brown, simulated leather, fitted presentation case. The case measures 13″ square. The chess pieces are in mint condition.
A Short History of Limoges Porcelain
Marco Polo was credited with the discovery of the ceramic substance called “Porcelain” during his voyage to China. China was the only means of import for porcelain until the end of the 17th century. In the early 18th century, Marquise de Pompadour began importing from china and manufacturing porcelain in France. ‘Manufacture De Sevres’ began near Paris and became the largest porcelain distributor in Europe.
Originally, the white substance used to make the fine porcelain, referred to as Limoges, was discovered by a chemist’s wife in 1765 in hopes of being used as a soap. In St. Yrieixin, a town near Limoges, France, the substance was identified as a pure form of Kaolin. The soil of the area surrounding Limoges is rich in deposits of Kaolin and Feldspar. These are the essential ingredients for hard paste porcelain.
In 1771, Limoges, one of the oldest towns in the French kingdom, rapidly began constructing manufacturing facilities with wood burning kilns for the production of fine porcelain. The name of the city of Limoges has become synonymous with the high quality porcelain products manufactured by those early companies. The hand painting and decorating of Limoges porcelain was done by factory approved artists.