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Our Limoges France Porcelain Box Figurine

Limoges Direct only sells genuine French Limoges boxes that are hand mounted, made, and hand-painted or decorated in the Limoges, France region. Limoges is a porcelain region that has been chosen by the French government. Limoges box is not a brand name or a single porcelain factory per say for many factories and studios within the Limoges area may mark their porcelains Limoges France to make our pieces authentic Limoges porcelain boxes. 

What are Limoges Pill Boxes Limoges Collection

Limoges Box is a small hand-painted box made of Limoges Porcelain that has been man-made in Limoges France. The Limoges Hinged Box was invented in Paris in the early 1700's, and were popular among the French aristocracy as snuffboxes. The Limoges Box virtually disappeared around the French Revolution and came forth again in the 1840's as the aristocracy once again began to build. During the Victorian Era the Limoges boxes lost popularity again until the 1970's when people began to carry their pills in the limoges porcelain boxes. Originally Limoges snuffboxes were considered apart of ones wardrobe. They were carried in one 's pocket like a fancy cigarette case. In the 20th century they became popularly used as pillboxes. Snuff went out of style long ago. These Limoges boxes in the modern era have developed into a friendship and love collectible decorative objects. For the most part Limoges Boxes today are used as A special gifts between lovers and friends and used for aesthetic and symbolic value thereof.

Antique Limoges France and Porcelaine de Limoges factories

No one knows exactly when and who made the first porcelain Limoges snuffbox. The soft paste Faience snuffboxes began to be produced sometime around 1730. These antique snuffboxes can't either be identified by back stamp marks, for none were put on them. Nor were they signed or dated. There is no easy way to know if a antique Limoges snuff box is authentic beyond having a grasp of the history of the styles they made in that time and the Four big factories that made them, Chantilly(1725-1800), Saint Cloud(1677-1766), Mennecy(1734-73), and Vincennes(1740-56), which became Royal Sevres(1756-present). Sometimes a popular artist at the time would place his signature on the antique Limoges snuffbox. The discovery of Kaolin and the creation of hard-paste Limoges porcelain in 1768 brought many new companies into the scene who began creating Limoges porcelain boxes in competition with the big Limoges porcelain box companies. Identifying an 18th century Limoges snuffbox is just as difficult for they also did not mark their Limoges Boxes with back stamps and competitors were producing knockoff's of one another and stealing one another's porcelain formulas and enamel recipes. For back stamps were used it is still difficult to distinguish for many companies in competition would forge one another's Limoges Box back stamps. It is in the 19th century that the soft-paste porcelain ceased to exist and only genuine Limoges porcelain boxes were made of the special clay Kaolin come solely into play. But in the 18th century snuff became unpopular and the factories declined in snuff Limoges box making and made more other subjects with porcelain. It was at this time that the Limoges porcelain industry all centered in the actual area of Limoges and it's outlying areas. 

Limoges Porcelain Box Factory Markings

Many studios operating within the Limoges area may mark their porcelains Limoges France The number of factories producing Limoges Boxes currently estimate at about 35 different companies. These factories employ anywhere between 6 and 400 workers. These companies can be identified by the marking of Limoges France on the bottom. 

Collecting Limoges Collectibles French Gifts

Collecting Limoge boxes can become an addiction.. Whether you like enchanting groups of dogs or cats or fruit. it's important to know what you are getting. Limoges Box is a small hand-painted box made of Limoges hard paste Porcelain that has been man-made in Limoges France.  Plain white porcelain Limoges boxes were very popular in the early years for their simplicity and translucent white beauty, but now most porcelain Limoges now are hand painted or with transfers decorations. The porcelain Limoges Box artist works with special thin powdered paints. Limoges boxes are always hinged boxes. Because porcelain shrinks during firing and each box is hand painted, each Limoges box is slightly different, and the metal hinges that are put on Limoges Boxes must be be fitted by hand. No two Limoges boxes are exactly the same. 

What is Limoges or Limoge porcelain?

Hard paste porcelain is a high quality porcelain that was first developed in China and later used in Europe. This hard paste Limoges porcelain uses the clay called Kaolin. Kaolin Limoges clay is translucent, durable, nonporous and pure white. 
Kaolin consists mainly of silicon oxide and aluminum oxide, with a low content of iron oxide and other metallic oxides.White-firing China clay, an essential ingredient of Chinese and French porcelain. Limoges porcelain is a special kind of pottery made with the clay Kaolin that is hardened by heating. It consists mainly of silicon oxide and aluminum oxide, with a low content of iron oxide and other metallic oxides. Limoges porcelain combines a very fine, pure, white clay (kaolin) with pulverized feldspar and quartz. The milling, sieving, and kneading of the clay is a laborious process. Limoges porcelain is often very translucent and consistently smooth in texture and often rings when it is struck. 

Limoges Hinged Box

All true Limoges Boxes have hinges or a hinge. Today's hinged are made of copper or a copper alloy and are dipped in chemicals to give the appearance of different metals. They also have a decorative clasp. Often a Limoges Box will appear defective because the hinge is off center or is doesn't close tightly. This is not so, for Limoges firing shrinks the boxes and the hinges have to be hand mounted making the matching of the hinge of the box naturally different for each individual box. 


Authentic French Limoges Box

To be authentic a Limoges Box must be made of Limoges kaolin porcelain.  A back stamp saying Limoges France is a great indication if the box is authentic. There was a law that was passed in 1841 stating that all Limoges boxes must be stamped this way. Some Limoges boxes are better quality that other depending on the degree of detail and quality of the painting, the complexity of the sculpture, and the colors which depict the knowledge, as well as number of firings. A Limoges box of greater value will always be hand-painted and marked on the bottom peint mein ("painted by hand"). Boxes that are not hand painted are decorated by transfers or decal process and can be very lovely themselves. Trust your own taste and judgment when picking out a Limoges box. Look for a piece that is painted well and detailed nicely. Look at the name of the manufacturer and ask for a certificate of Authenticity. Look at the craftsmanship of the box and judge whether you enjoy the artistry or not. This is what is really important isn't it...if you enjoy it.