The faience ( glazed earthenware ) of Quimper in Brittany

English version below the pictures

  Pendant que nous étions en Bretagne il y a quelques années, nous avons passé une journée à Quimper , une bien jolie ville . Sa splendide cathédrale gothique ( XIIIème siècle ) dédicacée à St Corentin et ses vieilles rues nous ont donné une impression de douceur et de vieille civilisation .

Quimper en Bretagne ( in Brittany France) Photo Janine Fauquet

During our stay in Brittany ( western France ) some years ago , we had a day for visiting Quimper , a so much beautiful town . Its splendid gothic cathedral ( XIII th century ) dedicated to St Corentin and its old streets gave to us a feeling of sweetness and old civilization .

   A Quimper il y a depuis longtemps des manufactures de faïence et il y a un style Quimper pour la décoration ( faite à la main ). Nous avons visité une de ces manufactures et acheté une théière qui montre ce style . Nous avions déjà un saladier de ce style pour notre usage courant et un plus que centenaire plat de faïence bretonne montrant un mariage et des armoiries ( peut – être celle de la renommée duchesse Anne de Bretagne qui vécut au XVème siècle.ou de l ‘ ordre breton de l ‘ Herminette avec la devise ” A ma vie ” ) Ceci rappelle l ‘ ordre anglais de la Jarretière dont la devise est aussi écrite en français :” honni soit qui mal y pense ” . Ces ordres de chevalerie ont été créés à la même époque ( XIV ème siècle ) , je pense .

La théière . Quimper style teapot bought at the factory Photo M Fauquet

Le vieux plat breton plus que centenaire  The more than 100 years old Britton plate Photo M Fauquet

In Quimper there are , for long , faience ( glazed earthenware) manufactories and there is a Quimper style for the handmade decoration . We visited one of those manufactories and bought a teapot that shows this style . We already have a salad bowl like that for our current using and a more than old year old large plate of britton faience showing a marriage and armorial bearings ( perhaps the ones of the renowned Duchess Anne de Bretagne who lived in the XVth century or perhaps the ones of the Britton order of the ermine with the device ” A MA VIE ” that means : to my life or He has my life ? ). This recalls the English order of the Garter of which the device is written in French ” hon(n)i soit qui mal y pense ” that means : evil be to him who evil thinks . Those orders of the knighthood have been created at the same period ( XIV century ) , I think .

J ‘ai essayé une composition photographique avec quelques unes des pièces de faïence que nous avons . Cette composition me surprend par les fraîcheur des couleurs . Il y a une France des fromages , des vins , des châteaux mais aussi des faïences . Beaucoup de villes ont leur style : Rouen , Marseille , Nevers , Strasbourg , Lunéville , Giens , le Moustiers etc … .

In this composition you see in the background the teapot and the Britton plate
On the foreground you see on the left a Strasbourg style pot and on the
right a Lunéville style soup tureen   Photo – composition M. Fauquet

I attempted a photo – composition with some of the pieces of faience we own . This composition surprises me by the freshness of the colors . There is a France of cheeses ,wines , castles but also of faiences . Many towns have their style of faience : Rouen , Marseille , Nevers , Strasbourg , Lunéville ,Giens , Le Moustiers etc …

Nous mangeons mieux dans une belle faïence , dans un parfum d ‘ histoire

We eat better in using a fine earthenware , in a perfume of history

About fauquetmichel

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70 Responses to The faience ( glazed earthenware ) of Quimper in Brittany

  1. Lavinia Ross says:

    Those are beautiful, Michel! “We eat better in using a fine earthenware , in a perfume of history” are beautiful words, too.

    Much love to you and the family – Lavinia

  2. So very beautiful Michel. It seems using fine china is a thing of the past but I still like to use mine for special occasions. As a wedding gift my in-laws, knowing we would be spending the next few years in Germany, gifted us with china from Dresden. Thank you for these beautiful photographs! Be well my friend, Love ❤

  3. I’m so glad you did this follow-up post, Michel. And thanks for showing us some of the Faience pieces you own. They are beautiful! I first came across this kind of pottery/earthenware in a magazine decades ago, then saw it in the home of friends, and am always enchanted by it. You are right: there is a freshness to the colours, and to the imagery.

  4. blb1 says:

    Michel I am very fond of teapots but have none like that. I did not even grow up eating off fine dinner ware, mom had a set popular then of Melmac. (a plastic) It is still sold I looked it up on Amazon. 🙂

  5. nhislop says:

    Thank you for sharing the pictures and story of your beautiful earthenware. The fact that you have visited the place where they were made makes them even more special. You are right that eating off of beautiful dishes can elevate a simple meal.

  6. Véronique says:

    Il y a 2 ans, Isa et moi étions aussi à Quimper avec les enfants et sommes tombées sous le charme de cette jolie petite ville ! Quant à cette magnifique soupière, elle évoque pour moi, un souvenir toujours un peu traumatisant !!!
    Je t’embrasse Papa

  7. mrswrangler says:

    Very pretty. Hope the new year is treating you well

  8. OH! such beautiful earthenware, Michel! Each piece tells a story and all of it brings smiles and warmth! How wonderful that you visited where it was made! 🙂
    What food is served on and in makes a meal even more enjoyable! 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    • I am born in an area of northern France where we were made replica of ancient styles earthenware . It is probably why I always have been attracted by them when we were traveling though France in visiting factories or museums .

  9. neilc693 says:

    Those are really nice pieces. The town looks very interesting too. I’ve been very curious about Brittany and the regional language (a Celtic tongue) and culture.

    • Brittany is a strong and very ancient region of France . Rocks are ancient and are what is remaining of the Hercynian mountains from the first era ; The traditions are vivid , the architecture is typical ; The coast is beautiful and wild . I remember not having had time enough to study the four species of Erica . We went a few times in Brittany but never had time enough .

      • neilc693 says:

        What mental picture I have is influenced by Genet’s Querelle de Brest, Finistère the final outpost, and so on . . . I think of it as rocks and wild, implacable sea. It is probably not correct!
        I did not know about the Erica but after some searches on the Internet I gather that the heath fields of Brittany are a major feature of the habitat. It must be an interesting landscape.

      • You are right ,Neil, in Brittany we feel being between rock, sky and sea . I imagine it is the same in Wales .
        Britton witers , sea lovers , are famous such Roger Vercel ( Remorques ) and Pierre Loti( Pêcheurs d’Islande ) to add to Genet

  10. puffpop says:

    I have always enjoyed beautiful china and earthenware. Food is an artistic occasion and very special when served on beautiful dishes.

  11. I adore the composition. It makes me happy. Lovely pieces that tell a story.. 😉
    I use to put up my special plates for “occasions” but life is an occasion so no we use them. 😉

  12. Beautiful pieces. I love collecting old dishware.

  13. They are beautiful and I’m glad you use them instead of just having them on display.

  14. Susan Joos says:

    It sounds like it was a fine adventure! I enjoy pieces like that; so much character! I like the colors, too.

  15. Marion Manson says:

    These pieces are really beautiful, Michel! Classic designs and so well made. I do love the colours used on all of them. 🙂

  16. onedanyankee says:

    The town, Quimper, looks impressive. I love the happy blues and reds in the paints, and the memories of traveling when you purchased them make them even more special. I hope you are well, Michel. Greetings to you and your family.

    • Yes Quimper is a beautiful town and we loved the earthenware made there .
      You ask how i go : well despite of the dialysis I This would be appro^^tiate to ask you about this, Dan , after the drama you crossed some times ago.

  17. Gayle Smith says:

    Beautiful pieces Michel!! I have a couple of my grandmothers china but they’re in storage…Maybe I should get them out and use them! My daughter is getting married next year and I will probably give them to her…passing down generations. Take care and God bless you and Janine ❤

  18. Beautiful and a joy to use. Take care, both you and Janine. ❤

  19. L. Gail says:

    Beautiful earthenware photos. My mother collected teapots and had 110 when she passed away.

  20. Stephanie Wall says:

    Une tres jolie ville, Quimper que j’ai eu let plaisir de visiter en 1982 quand j’avais 20 ans. J’aime la vieille assiette. Honi soit qui mal y pense etait la devise de mon lycee Selby Grammar school!

    • Je suis content, Stéphanie , de savoir que cette entrée te rappelle des souvenirs aussi bien à propos de Quimper que tu as visité avant nous que pour la devise de l’ordre la Jarretière ( si ma mémoire est bonne . Il se trouve que c ‘était aussi la devise de ta grammar school!. Avec mon amical souvenir.

  21. cocosangel says:

    I love reading your posts, because you write about your life in France.
    Those ceramics looks beautiful. Reminded me of the ones that was done in the 60’s in Britain.
    My family gained some, and I now have it.

  22. I very much like the one on the bottom left – I’m pleased you gain so much pleasure from them 🙂

  23. carole Fauquet says:

    Très jolies couleurs en effet ça change de la faience de Desvres qui est dans les tons bleu.Bonne journée à vous deux on vous embrasse Carole

  24. Eat Right Chef Louisa says:

    J’aime bien: “Nous mangeons mieux dans une belle faïence , dans un parfum d ‘ histoire.” C’est vrai! Enjoy!!!

  25. suester7 says:

    These photos are lovely! I would love to visit France one day and walk along the cobbled streets of the town/ village, sample its cuisine, and buy a teapot or a faience for my home!

  26. Lovely. Lots of love to you all ❤

  27. mlbncsga says:

    Mornin Glorie again! I am catching up on my reading, the last and first of the year are busy for me! I loved the picture of Quimper, so lovely, also I have learned a new french word, faience, it would certainly make a wonderful table setting but I would be nervous that something would be broken! ilym

  28. marica0701 says:

    What lovely pieces! I have some Polish pottery (two mugs and a small demitasse cup), but I really love styles reminiscent of centuries ago such as what you have.

  29. L. Marie says:

    How lovely! I would love to visit Brittany.
    Beautiful teapot!

  30. wissh says:

    I was not familiar with this lovely pottery and I appreciate the history lesson also. Beautiful photos as always, Michel.

  31. Cassi says:

    I am always learning something new when I read your posts! Thank you!

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