Limoges Porcelain Boxes - Pretty Bunny Rabbit Collectables for Easter

Searching for a porcelain 2012 easter egg? This pretty green flowered rabbit Limoges porcelain box would make a great easter gift
Searching for a porcelain 2012 easter egg? This pretty green flowered rabbit Limoges porcelain box would make a great easter gift | Source

Collecting Limoges porcelain boxes can be great fun

If you are a Limoges porcelain collector, a collector of porcelain rabbits or if you just love the Easter bunny, you'll always know what you would like as a special gift - yes, yet another beautiful little box in the form of the Easter bunny or with a fine easter porcelain rabbit inside.

Limoges is famous for its magnificent Limousin beef cattle and for its porcelain Industry. Know as 'The Red City' because the fires from the kilns which burned constantly would light up the night sky with red flames.

Today, there are still many factories and many shops selling the wonderfully fine, strong and translucent porcelain that has made the city of Limoges so prosperous in the past, and these fine easter porcelain boxes are just such fun that you're bound to fall in love with them.

The Easter bunny in a Limoges porcelain box

Box with bow and bunny. The Easter rabbit nestles inside the box
Box with bow and bunny. The Easter rabbit nestles inside the box | Source

What is the Easter Bunny?

Easter was originally a pagan festival called 'eastre'; a celebration of spring, nature and fertility.

The rabbit, or hare, like eggs, is a pagan fertility symbol from antiquity, and a symbol of the goddess of fertility and of the rising fertility of the earth at the Vernal Equinox. These symbols were taken over by the Christian church where the egg became a symbol for the risen Christ.

The Easter Bunny, or Osterhase , was introduced to the United States by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 18th century. The Easter bunny is often depicted bearing symbols of spring, such as this willow, daffodils or snowdrops, and bearing gifts of eggs.

Collecting Limoges Porcelain Boxes

So many beautiful Limoges porcelain boxes have been produced, but the old ones are harder to find due to loss and breakage over the decades and centuries, making them very valuable and collectable items. The Limoges small boxes were originally used as snuff boxes, (Tabatiere in French) or as containers for sweets, (bonbonnieres) or scent. They also served as cane heads and small carrying cases, (etuis).

The most sought after pieces were produced in one of the Limoges factories between the late 1700s and about 1930; at one point, in the 1920s, there were up to 48 companies in the Limoges region producing porcelain marked Limoges.

If you're thinking about starting a collection, here are a few things to watch out for:

  • Learn about all the different marks that you will find on pieces of Limoges porcelain. The earliest pieces of Limoges were done by royal commission and have a Fleur de Lys on them, these would be very rare pieces. You'll need a book to help you identify the marks.
  • Make sure that what you are buying is the genuine article. Real Limoges will ding when it is flicked and the quality of the decoration should be good. There are many imitations.
  • Some pieces were sold blank and exported to be painted by ladies at home in the 19th century so it is not always of the highest standard.
  • Some pieces of Limoges porcelain have transfer instead of the finer hand painting. If you are going to be a collector you will need to educate yourself so that you know what you are looking for.
  • Make sure it's in good condition.
  • It might be a good idea to collect to a theme - Easter bunnies for example! But there are very many more ideas; Limoges porcelain is such a rich field.

Limoges Porcelain Collector

Limoges porcelain at our bed and breakfast in Limousin, France
Limoges porcelain at our bed and breakfast in Limousin, France

Limoges porcelain at our guest house in Limousin

I moved to Limousin in 2002, buying an old French farm and outbuildings not far from Limoges to set up Les Trois Chenes, (or The Three Oaks), painting holidays, a guest house and self-catering holiday cottage or gite. After what seems like years of building, we have finally achieved our goal and now I have leisure to look around me at all the finer things that this beautiful region has to offer. I'm turning my attention, not to keeping Limousin cattle, but to creating a collection of Limoges porcelain.

I began with the china for my bed and breakfast in Limousin - a beautiful set of white porcelain with a pattern of fruits in relief around the edge. So fine it is translucent. I have a few pieces that were left in the house and I am going to form my collection around those, but I'm going to try to find them in the marvelous vide greniers, (empty your attics), held in the area - a sort of cross between a car boot sale and an antiques fair. Why don't you treat yourself to a holiday in Limoges where you can discover Limoges Porcelain at first hand? Where to buy Limoges Porcelain in Limousin, France

Chocolate Easter bunny in our Les Trois Chenes Easter egg hunt
Chocolate Easter bunny in our Les Trois Chenes Easter egg hunt

Other Easter links from Les Trois Chenes

At Les Trois Chenes we have lots of children; children of friends and of our guests. We also have chickens and our own fresh eggs, so we do like to celebrate Easter. We organise Easter egg (and Easter bunny) hunts, we enjoy Easter crafts and Easter cooking and traditions and I'd like to share just a few of them with you:

Easter Egg Hunts - The Vital Clues for an Easter Game

Limoges Porcelain Decorative Eggs for Easter

How to organise an Easter Egg Hunt

Chocolate Childrens' Books for Easter


Limoges porcelain eggs from La Vie En Rose, Saint Junien
Limoges porcelain eggs from La Vie En Rose, Saint Junien

More cute Easter bunny boxes from Limoges Boutique

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Musée National Adrien Dubouché

The porcelain museum in Limoges - Musée national Adrien Dubouché
The porcelain museum in Limoges - Musée national Adrien Dubouché
Our three star gite sleeps seven adults in three en-suite bedrooms.
Our three star gite sleeps seven adults in three en-suite bedrooms.

Les Trois Chenes Bed and Breakfast and gite is conveniently situated for factory shop visits

show route and directions
A markerVideix -
Videix, 87600 Videix, France
[get directions]

Les Trois Chenes

B markerLimoges -
Limoges, France
[get directions]

The National Porcelain Museum is situated in Limoges, - Musée National Adrien Dubouché

C markerSaint Junien -
87200 Saint-Junien, France
[get directions]

D markerPiegut Pluviers -
24360 Piégut-Pluviers, France
[get directions]

E markerAixe-sur-Vienne -
87700 Aixe-sur-Vienne, France
[get directions]

Brantome in the Dordogne is about an hour away from Les Trois Chenes
Brantome in the Dordogne is about an hour away from Les Trois Chenes

© 2011 Les Trois Chenes

More by this Author


Do feel free to leave a comment 20 comments

Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 17 months ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Many times! There are so many different Limoges porcelain box themes and ideas. Thanks for dropping by Rangoon House.


Rangoon House profile image

Rangoon House 17 months ago from Australia

How many times can one fall in love? Limoges and Les Trois Chenes.


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Limoges Boxes, Many thanks for your kind words. Praise indeed from an expert. Limoges Horse Figurine, looking forward to meeting you!


Limoges Horse Figurine 5 years ago

I will be visiting soon !


Limoges Boxes 5 years ago

I have collected this for years. This article is well written.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

I'm sure I would love visiting! Maybe someday...


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

It is so interesting to hear from someone who has experience of painting on porcelain. You should really make the effort to visit, Stephanie, I'm sure you'd find it well worth the trouble.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

I love Limoges porcelain, and the boxes you featured are lovely! Years ago I was active in porcelain painting groups, and fine Limoges china was considered the best porcelain for our artwork. I enjoyed your hub and would love to visit the Limoges porcelain factories someday!


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Hi Lily, thanks for your comments. Do you collect these boxes yourself? I'm going to make a start as soon as the Vide Grenier (empty your attic) season starts.


Lily 5 years ago

Great tips. Limoges boxes make excellent gifts for any occasion. It is very helpful to be a more knowledgeable buyer.


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

crystolite, Thx so much for the feedback; pleased you enjoyed the article.


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Beautiful and very colorful article.


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Peggy, do come and see us; we'd love to meet you.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

I can see the attraction of collecting Limoges porcelain pieces. They are so pretty and as you said, small. Will keep your gite in mind if we ever travel to France. It sounds lovely!


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Genna, I'd love to see her collection. Were they boxes? Thank you for leaving a comment.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Thank you for this hub. My grandmother had a collection which I now treasure. Wonderful hub.


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Eiddwen, many thanks for your kind words and actions. I'm so pleased you enjoyed it, they are kind of cute, aren't they?


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

I loved this one les Trois Chenes,

A lot of hard work went into this one and it paid off.

I push all the buttons on this one.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France Author

Hi dahoglund, I sympathise. The good thing about the boxes is that they're tiny. Wonder what your wife 'collects.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

They are beautiful. I do not collect things as I would not have anyplace to put them. My wife overcollects.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working