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How to Identify an Authentic Limoges Porcelain Box

The Limoges Porcelain box was first created in the late 1700’s in Limoges, France. The artisans started make the Limoges boxes with kaolin, a form of hard-paste porcelain before using quartz and feldspar for it.

These boxes make splendid gift items or fabulous collectibles that can be placed on your dresser, desk or simply displayed on a shelf in your home. If you plan to add these Limoges porcelain figurines or boxes to your collection, it is then important for you to identify the authentic ones from their imitation counterparts.

  1. Look for the Stamp - The first thing to do when you look at a porcelain box is to inspect its base. An authentic box will hold a hand-painted factory stamp and the ‘Limoges, France’ emblem. There should also be a printed stamp which says ‘hand-painted’ or ‘peint main’. A box with a stamped ‘C’ or ‘RC’ next to the emblem invariable suggests that the box is a counterfeit manufactured in the Republic of China.
  2. Observe the Design - Assess the design of the box. If it consists of animals, landscapes, people, etc., the work should look hand-painted. If the design on your box is floral, it will be a transfer decal that has been specially designed by the factory. If your design is of a fruit, it is important to be aware that Rochard Limoges porcelain makers use fruit designs that are larger than the ones used by others.
  3. Observe the Glazing - Again assess the box closely. Authentic Limoges porcelain boxes are designed with a layer of glaze over and under. While the glaze is typically used to protect the box, makers from Limoges also use it to add artistic effects to their pieces. This glaze can be easily identified by their shine or crackled effect.
  4. Getting to Know the Makers - There are also a number of manufacturers who produce Limoges but do not include the name in their mark. A list of these makers and their peculiarities will enable you to identify their work.
  5. Recognizing their Imagery - Also learn to recognize genuine Limoges imagery. Many manufacturers incorporate various other elements like the images of birds or butterflies into their mark.

Finally, it is obvious that the cost of the imitation piece and the original Rochard Limoges will differ. Since the latter are made using various hand-processed manufacturing steps, they take a bit longer to be produced. While investing in an original Limoges box one hopes to acquire a specimen that is made in the unique way.

by Marina Chernyak

Limoges Factory

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