de France) is a family owned business and has been producing Limoges boxes
for half a century. They have established a reputation for producing
a high quality Limoges Porcelain, specializing in hand painted designs, and
they are proud to be classified among the best in the field.
beautiful decors from the traditional 18th century Sevres and Vincennes
eras form a large part of Dubarry's collection, although nowadays they are
producing more and more novelty pieces such as sporting themes, Garden
themes, Christmas themes and animal themes, to name a few. These
pieces do not have the historic value as the traditional shapes and designs
have, but they are none the less just as highly collectible.
shapes are translated into trinket boxes, snuff boxes, ashtrays, dishes,
cups and saucers, vases, etc and can be classified as collectibles,
interior accessories and general giftware. The authenticity of each
piece is guaranteed by the Limoges, France, Peint Main backstamp and each
piece is signed by the artist. As each piece is unique, they will
undoubtedly become the antiques of the future.
The history of Limoges Porcelain began in 1768,
when a pharmacist discovered in the Limousin, exactly the same clay that
the Chinese had been using since 185 B.C. to make their porcelain
masterpieces. (Limousin is the region where the town of Limoges is
located.) The name of this clay was Kao-ling, which means "stone from
patronage of Turgo, the administrator of the region of Limoges at the time,
this discovery led to the development of the Porcelain manufacturers in the
Limousin producing French Porcelain of an extremely high standard.
And so Limoges porcelain was born, and only porcelain produced in Limoges
may have the Limoges stamp.
From Clay to Porcelain
Limoges is a very tough white porcelain which is
fine and durable. The transformation of Kao-Ling into fine porcelain
is a long process, passing from Alchemy to artistic expression through a
complex system of firings. The Kao-Ling gives the porcelain it's
whiteness, the quartz hardens it and the feldspar create its transparency.
These three elements are mixed together to form a liquid paste, which is
then poured into a mould. The more intricate a mould the shorter life
span it has, but on average about 1,000 pieces are produced from each
firing, which is called the biscuit firing, hardens the objects by bringing
them to between 950 and 1200 degrees. This dries them out and renders
them sufficiently porous to hold a glaze. The biscuit is thus
obtained, dusted down, and glazed. Glazing is a delicate operation
which involves dipping or spraying the items in a carefully proportioned
liquid solution made from rock extracts, which after firing gives a glaze
hard enough to resist scratching steel.
the second firing, which brings the material to its fusion point.
Each piece must be separated and placed in a fire proof holder inside the
kiln. It is during this firing that the basic material is finally
transformed into porcelain.
Although machinery plays an important factor in the
production of Limoges Porcelain, the determining factor of whether an item
sells is in the decorating, and each Dubarry piece is painted free hand,
which makes each piece unique. During decorating, the item goes
through a further process of firings, causing the decoration to penetrate
Each pill box has a mounting or hinge which is made from
copper, and is treated according to the design in a guilded or antique
finish. Dubarry tries to ensure that the gold in the design, whether it is
18 Caret, 22 or 24 Caret relief blends in with the mounting.
Mountings are mainly put on by hand, which gives a greater adaptability in
producing more delicate shapes. It is also important because when the
piece has been fired many times, the product loses around 7% of its volume
and when the pieces are mounted to make a pill box, chances are the lid has
shrunk slightly more than the base, or vice versa.