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Limoges Porcelain Easter Eggs

Updated on February 6, 2015
Butterfly porcelain egg from La Rose en Vie in Saint Junien, Limoges
Butterfly porcelain egg from La Rose en Vie in Saint Junien, Limoges | Source

Limoges Porcelain Easter Eggs are Perfect Gifts for Easter

The city of Limoges, the capital of Limousin, south west France, is famous for two things, Limoges porcelain and Limoges beef cattle. Both are beautiful but the former is a little more accessible to the average person.

Limoges porcelain is prized for it's fine quality, so fine that it can be almost translucent, but, as well as being fine, it is very strong. When I moved to Limousin to start our Bed and Breakfast and holiday cottage, Limoges china was the obvious choice. Read more about our experience of Limoges porcelain below.

The technique of making porcelain came from China (obviously!), and was a closely guarded secret right until the early 18th century, when Kaolin, the clay that forms the porcelain, was found for the first time at Saxe by the "alchemiste" Bottger.

In 1766 kaolin was found near the small town of Saint Yrieix-la-Perche, about 30 km away from Limoges. The clay was a very pure form and this discovery introduced a golden age for Limoges and the Limousin region. Indeed, the industry was so prevalent that the kilns raged day and night, giving Limoges the name of the Red City, as the light from the flames of the kilns lit up the night sky.

One of the most charming and collectible items made in Limoges porcelain is the trinket box, and for Easter gifts, what could be better than a Limoges Porcelain box in the shape of an egg? These eggs open up and inside a second gift can be hidden. In the past jewellery or perfum in tiny vials would be offered in one of these exquisite, hand painted eggs.

Why not give your loved one a Limoges porcelain egg for Easter?

Image: La Vie en Rose, St Junien, Limousin, France

Limoges Porcelain Boxes from La Vie En Rose, Saint Junien

Limoges Porcelain Boxes from La Vie En Rose, Saint Junien
Limoges Porcelain Boxes from La Vie En Rose, Saint Junien | Source
 La Vie En Rose, Saint Junien
La Vie En Rose, Saint Junien | Source

Beautiful Limoges Porcelain Trinket Boxes from La Vie En Rose in Saint Junien

A cornucopia of Limoges porcelain

These trinket boxes in the picture above, were on display in the porcelain factory shop in the town of Saint Junien, Limousin, France. This factory outlet is, like so many other Limoges porcelain factory shops in this area, an Aladin's Cave of gorgeous goodies. This one is extra-special, as it is situated near one of the most beautiful sections of the River Glane at a spot where the French proto-impressionist artist Corot used to paint.

See more of the porcelain items for sale at La Vie en Rose web site.

Collectible Vintage Limoges Porcelain Egg - A beautiful, natural decoration

Limoges Vintage Porcelain Egg
Limoges Vintage Porcelain Egg

A collectible item and a rare find. This is a beautiful and unusual Limoges porcelain egg.

 

Ten Fascinating Facts About Limoges Porcelain

  • The French Impressionist painter Claude Monet designed a dinner service that was made in Limoges
  • Louis XVI purchased the manufacture of porcelain in Limoges in 1784
  • Limoges boxes were originally used for snuff
  • Haviland Limoges dinnerware was popular in America
  • In America Limoges porcelain is often known by the manufacturer's name of Haviland
  • The "AE" mark is among the oldest French Limoges made
  • Limoges porcelain is fired at a very high temperature so that the clay becomes vitrified (or like glass)
  • The factories of Limoges exported plain, white procelain for Victorian ladies in Europe and America to decorate when porcelain painting became a popular Victorian hobby
  • Around 1900 there were 35 porcelain works in Limoges with an annual production of up to 3,000 firings
  • The Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte collected Limoges porcelain boxes

Where is Limoges? - In Limousin, South West France

show route and directions
A markerQueen of Porcelain -
Limoges
get directions

B markerOur B&B and holiday cottage -
Videix
get directions

C markerPorcelaine Land. Bellevue -
Piegut-Pluviers
get directions

Some Pretty Limoges Boxes on Amazon - Porcelain eggs in many colours

Why the Easter Bunny?

Just why are rabbits so often associated with Easter?

Could it have anything to do with rabbits breeding like ... rabbits?

Well, yes. Spring is traditionally a time for love. I Love Paris in the Springtime and all that. Why wouldn't it be associated with new life and fecundity when all around lambs, calves, chicks and, yes, rabbits are being born? The birds are nesting, the hens are laying and all is well with the world.

Easter, which falls in the Spring, before it became a Christian festival, was a pagan festival called 'eastre'; a celebration of spring, nature and fertility. All around nature is bursting forth and turning young men's thoughts to love ... (or something like that).

The rabbit, or hare is a pagan fertility symbol from antiquity, and is also a symbol of the goddess of fertility and of the rising fertility of the earth. They are also cute and cuddly so of course we love to see these little critters at Easter!

Limoges Porcelain Easter Bunnies - Have you thought of giving an Easter rabbit as a gift?

And Why Easter Chicks and Eggs at Easter?

For the same reasons as the Easter bunny

Our hens are going broody as soon as the sun hits Limousin, and this occurs in March and April. We have glorious sunny, summer-like Spring days and the hens start to think about babies! We have a glut of eggs at Easter so have great fun decorating them, hunting for them and eating them.

Image: Freshly laid eggs for breakfast at Les Trois Chenes guest house. Hens willing of course!

What About a Mother Hen With Her Clutch of Eggs? - Limoges porcelain Easter chicks and chickens

Miniature Crystal Hinged Box For Chicken Lovers Jewelry Box Collectible #Z321
Miniature Crystal Hinged Box For Chicken Lovers Jewelry Box Collectible #Z321

Unfortunately this mother chicken with eggs is only 'Limoges Style' and not the real thing but lovely nevertheless.

 

Bid for Limoges Boxes on eBay - Egg and egg cup bargains!

Grab an Easter bargain by bidding for these lovely Limoges Porcelain trinket boxes in the shape of eggs, or treat yourself or your loved one to these lovely egg cups. All Easter themed.

Does All This Remind You of Fabergé?

Some Fabergé eggs were made in Limoges

It is said that French porcelain artists in the late 18th and early 19th centuries who produced the original Limoges boxes inspired Faberé, the creators of the fabulously expensive and exquisitly decorated eggs.

Some Limoges porcelain boxes with the Easter egg theme were decorated with Fabergé eggs and other boxes were made in the shape of eggs. All were intricate little works of art. Read more about Fabergé and Fabergé eggs on Wikipedia

Musical Limoges Porcelain Eggs are Charming - This one really is the purrrfect gift!

Easter, new life, birth and now music. "If music be the food of love ..." so Shakespear began - and you can show how much you love them by giving this ultra-cute musical egg with a surprising twist: inside a tiny cat is hiding ...

Faberge Saint Basil's Cathedral Musical Egg - With hand-painted Limoges porcelain

Faberge Saint Basil's Cathedral Musical Egg
Faberge Saint Basil's Cathedral Musical Egg

This beautiful musical egg is 7" high and made from hand-painted Limoges porcelain and crystal. It is a limited edition and there are certificates provided. It comes in the original packaging.

 
Limoges porcelain
Limoges porcelain | Source

I Chose Limoges Porcelain for my Guest House in Limousin

Beautiful, local, fine and strong

What more could you want? We chose this white dinner service from Deshoulières factory shop in Limoges at a very good price. This is a traditional design and I thought it would be easy to replace all the breakages that I anticipated running a family orientated Bed and Breakfast. So far only one cup has 'bitten the dust', dropped from a great height onto a tiled floor!

These dishes have been used and washed in a dishwasher countless times over the last three years and they still look great. So fine you can see the light shining through. Just take a look at the tiny little coffee cup below. Beautiful!

Limoges Porcelain Cup

Limoges Porcelain Cup
Limoges Porcelain Cup | Source

Collecting Limoges Porcelain Boxes - A gift of Limoges porcelain is a gift for life - and beyond

Limoges porcelain is a collectors item. There are many wonderful old pieces to pick up, many small in scale and so ideal for building up a large collection in a small space. But Limoges porcelain is not a dead art, it's very much alive and kicking here in Limousin, so you can still buy beautiful, meaningful pieces that won't cost you an arm and a leg.

The beauty of collecting Limoges porcelain is that you'll have the pleasure of owning these lovely items, but they will hopefully increase in value with time. Treasures to pass on to you children, your grandchildren and their children.

A gift for more than a lifetime.

Where to Buy Limoges Porcelain

The Porcelain Museum at Limoges - Musée National Adrien Dubouché

Musée National Adrien Dubouché
Musée National Adrien Dubouché | Source

The porcelain museum at Limoges is a magnificent building filled with more beautiful pieces of porcelain than you could ever imagine. In addition to the collection, there are special exhibitions, porcelain painting classes and workshops for adults and children.

Where in the World Are We? - In Limousin, a hidden corner of South West France

show route and directions
A markerVideix -
Videix
get directions

B markerLimoges -
Limoges
get directions

C markerPiegut-pluviers -
Piegut-pluviers
get directions

D markerSaint Junien -
Saint Junien
get directions

E markerAixe-sur-Vienne -
Aixe-sur-Vienne
get directions

© 2012 Barbara Walton

Leave a comment for me - I'd love to hear from you

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    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 2 years ago from France

      Do come to Limousin and see all it has to offer - especially porcelain. I love these eggs and the fact that they are trinket boxes, and I love the connection with Faberge eggs. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment , Rangoon House.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 2 years ago from Australia

      I absolutely adore these Limoges Easter Eggs and am extremely envious of your entire Limoges collection at your Bed and Breakfast. This one story has expanded my wishlist - Limoges Easter Eggs, Saint Junien factory outlet, Limousine, your B and B.

    • profile image

      katiesnow 3 years ago

      Stunning eggs!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      I love Limoges and "The Porcelain Museum at Limoges" is something which I have to visit someday.

    • LaptopLeader profile image

      LaptopLeader 4 years ago

      These eggs are amazing! The gold one seems especially nice. :)

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 4 years ago from France

      @myEZrecipes: MyEZrecipes - if you collect porcelain then of course you must come and stay with us - you'll overdose on beauty AND bargains! Pity the Map module isn't working properly because I'd love to put all the porcelain shops and factories that are around us on the map.

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 4 years ago from France

      @KateHonebrink: Oh, please do book that trip and come to see us Kate!

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 4 years ago from France

      @julescorriere: Many thanks, alwaysjules, for dropping by and blessing. My computer's been down for a few days so it was a lovely surprise to come back and see that this lens has made the Top 20!

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      I love this lens because it has some real substance. It is very interesting and I learned something! I see Google Strikes Again. The map that is supposed to show where you live has Australia on it instead! :(

    • profile image

      hmommers 4 years ago

      Beautiful eggs!! *thumbs up*

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      These are so lovely! Thanks for sharing - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Thoroughly enjoyed your article. Very educational too. Congrats on making the Easter monsterboard.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Congrats for making the Easter Decorations monsterboard!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 5 years ago

      Porcelain is one of my favourites when it comes to decorations, whether Easter decorations or any other seasonal ornaments. Happy Easter!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Oh my goodness - these are just beautiful. I will definitely be looking for these again for 2013 Easter gifts - thank you so much for the introduction. Happy Easter and Easter Blessings.

    • myEZrecipes profile image

      myEZrecipes 5 years ago

      I love Limoges Porcelain... have been collecting pieces for years. But I had no idea they made Easter eggs... so cute! I'm definitely putting a visit to Limousin and a Limoges Porcelain shopping trip on my Bucket List.

    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      This lens makes me want to book a trip to SW France! The Limoges eggs are incredible and stunning. Nicely crafted lens - well done!

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 5 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      Those eggs are just lovely! Congratulations on making the Top 20 Easter Decorations lenses. Blessed.

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @Brandi Bush: Thanks for leaving a message, mamabush. I wish I'd seen them on antiques shows. I'd love to know more about them. Going to invest in a lovely, shiny book and do a bit of real research.

    • BLouw profile image
      Author

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @traveller27: Thanks for visiting, Heidi, and leaving a few kind words.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      These are so beautiful! I've seen them on TV on antique shows, but never in real life...so unique! I love the basket with the eggs. :)

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 5 years ago

      Very nice Barbara!