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Then a fine process of milling, pulverizing, heating, molding and firing begins.
Europeans consider this product porcelain only if it retains a translucent quality. Many crack or break during the process and must be discarded. The shape is there, but an artisan then has to decorate the individual object, add tiny hinges if needed, to any one of the figurines, pill boxes or other porcelain product you’ll find bearing the Limoges porcelain marks.
It didn’t take me long to find something that could commemorate just about any holiday, major life event, and collectible category (mini hats, shoes and bags, for example).
Even the women from the Moulin Rouge have been spun off into a Limoges collectible.
Then the intense firing process that forms the superb glaze that cannot be penetrated by the elements and gives Limoges porcelain that exquisite translucence.
Finally, an abundance of skilled artists and the French flair for aristic design set a standard that other Europeans and American porcelain producers struggle to emulate.
It had to scramble to pick up export business to other countries, which eventually helped a little.
Today, Limoges Porcelain marks carry a designation by the French government.
This long production process is what makes Limoges porcelain collectible.
Moreover, the city was lucky enough to have a grand forest in Limousin, which could supply the extensive amounts of wood needed to fire the kilns used in the production of antique Limoges porcelain. Workers flocked to the town, and by 1819, four porcelain factories graced the land.
By 1861, this would increase again to 27 factories, supporting some 3,166 workers.
The French Revolution brought an end to these restrictions and Limoges flourished in the wake.
Once again, its physical placement played a huge role: a mixture of its proximity to the essential ingredients, as well as its general accessibility by land or water.By the late 1850’s, sales in the United States accounted for around half of the antique limoges porcelain being manufactured in the city.