With a history that started over two centuries ago, Royal Limoges continues to impress us with their masterful porcelain creations and exquisite decorative pieces. The legendary French house introduced six exquisite collections: Le Blanc, Les Bucoliques, Les Contemporains, Les Incrustations, Les Traditionnels, and Les Collectors, made for costumers who love art and carefully designed porcelain.
Founded in 1797, Royal Limoges is the oldest porcelain factory in the city of Limoges, France. The story of the city’s renowned production began in 1768, when massive deposits of kaolin were discovered in Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, near Limoges. Kaolin is a rock that contains a fine white clay used to manufacture high-quality porcelain, very similar to the Chinese porcelain which is considered the best in the world. The commercial manufacturing of hard-paste porcelain at Limoges was established by Turgot in 1771, but the city was known as the European center of vitreous enamel production since the 12th century.
In the late 18th century, a new ceramics industry began in Europe that would revolutionize the decorative arts before the onset of the Industrial Revolution. By edict of King Louis XVI, the town of Limoges was given the sole right and royal warrant to produce porcelain for the kingdom of France. In 1816, the company settled on Rue Donzelot, near the Vienne River, from where they could transport the vast amount of wood needed to fuel their furnaces. The company continues to prepare its kaolin in their factory using secret techniques. This tradition dates back more than two centuries and together with the most advanced technology, has turned Royal Limoges into an emblematic family business in the ever-challenging world of fine porcelain. Their successful strategies and management have led to the distinction of being one of the few remaining family-owned and operated businesses in the competitive and exclusive porcelain market in Limoges.
Currently, the brand’s different designs are all unique and designed by real artists. A highly sophisticated production plant located in Le Dorat adds the latest technology to safeguard the labor and the distinctive traditional techniques of Royal Limoges.
The tableware, accessories, decorative objects, and gift items from Royal Limoges are also a huge success outside France, and many of its pieces were created exclusively for renowned hotels such as the Fouquet’s Barrière and Le Meurice, both in Paris and El Djazair in Algiers, Algeria. Even the Häagen-Dazs cafes around the world have a new vintage collection expressly made by Royal Limoges.
There are still dining establishments that retain their original Royal Limoges dinnerware as if treasures, heirlooms, and a source of pride. An excellent example is the famous Brasserie La Coupole, a jewel of the Parisian art deco and iconic symbol of the Montparnasse district, which has a full set of dishes manufactured in 1927 and continues to use them on special occasions.
But Royal Limoges tableware is not only for fancy restaurants. Your family may own some of the company’s pieces. The brand’s catalog of new pieces is sure to have something for your taste and the antique market for Royal Limoges item is hotter than ever these days. ■