Important Reproduction Alert: A recent conversation with a very educated Limoges collector led to a surprising discovery about a couple of Limoges marks that are out there. Evidently some ebay sellers and other folks that are not taking the time to educate themselves on their wares are selling new porcelain pieces... poorly made ones at that, as antique
The two marks that I know of are PRC with either Limoges or France and PMC France with a crown and circle. The PRC is for
Peoples Republic of China and PMC is Peoples Mainland China.
Upon close inspection the quality is not that of antique Limoges. The ring when you thump it is not present, the painting is poor, the glaze is thick as is the body of the piece.
Many of the factories in Limoges sell their green ware or blanks for factories and crafty home porcelain painter's to paint so these are not reproductions. This is Limoges porcelain
... of sorts. They are not painted in Limoges factories and the porcelain is not of the same fine quality. The marks are reproduction marks (other than the initials used the PMC and PRC there may be others). I believe that the marks are meant to deceive and they obviously have.
Shame on you seller's for not doing your damn research and selling this crap as "antique". You have a responsibility to the public to know what you have and what
you are selling. If you don't know.... spend a few hours and do some research. If you got taken this is no excuse to pass your mistake on to someone else.
Everything in my online antique shop has been researched if I am unsure about it, its history and its authenticity. This is why new inventory is sometimes slow in coming. If I am absolutely stumped... I fess up to it and someone ALWAYS comes along to educate me. I then try to pass this knowledge on the the thousands of
folks that come to my website looking for answers.
Limoges Porcelain History
The first Limoges mark was used by the Alluand Factory or Casseaux work. The mark was AE impressed on the back of items from the time the factory was established in 1797 and continued in use until 1868. Charles Field Haviland had
married into the family 10 years earlier and in 1868, became director and sole proprietor.
The mark then became CH Field Haviland, Limoges, arranged in a circle. This mark was used until 1898. Other marks were used from 1868 to 1872 such as the initial "CFH" in bold Roman numerals impressed on the back of items.
In 1881, Messers, E. Gerard, Dufaisseix amd Morei succeeded as lessees and their initials were added and the mark became CFH/GDM.
In 1891 when the McKinley Tariff Law went into effect the word France was placed in a circle and added beneath the initial.
In 1898 the mark GDA was established (we have some of this china for sale) as a result of Mr. Morei's retirement from the firm. The letter's GDA were initials for Gerard, Dufaisseix and Abbott. After the death of Dufaisseix in 1901, the company operated under the name of Porcelaines, GDA by Gerard and Abbott.
A different factory, owned by other members of the Haviland family, was established using the firm name of Haviland and Company. Their factory marks was H & CO/L with the word France in a semi-circle below.
Haviland & Co. decorated items had the mark Haviland & Co. Limoges or H & CO/Depose.
A third firm in Limoges was Theodore Haviland. The marks were Theodore Haviland, Limoges, France and Porcelaine.
Still another Limoges factory was C. Ahrenfeldt, which went into operation in 1886. Decorated items had the mark C. Ahrenfeldt, Limoges while their white ware has marked France C.A. Depose.
And there was still more ... M. Redon began his business in 1853. The white undecorated wares carried the mark MR. The decorated wares were marked with M. Redon in a circle.
In 1885, along came A. Lanternier, he opened a factory near Limoges and his china
carried the mark A. Lanternier.
The Elite Works (1872 - 1914) factory in Limoges was operated by Bawo & Dotter of New York. In 1872, they built a decorating plant where they decorated porcelain produced by other companies. In 1892 they began production of their own white china and porcelain. The first mark used was "Elite France." Later the word "Works" was added and some pieces also have a framed portrait of a man with the initials S
and M above the head. You can further date piece by Elite Works through the color of their marks: The red mark is a decorating mark dated c.1900-1914. The green mark is a manufacturing whiteware mark dated c.1920-1932.
Martin Freres and Brothers used the mark of M and C intertwined with the word France above and Depose below. They also used a flying bird with ribbons one of which said France and the other Limoges.
R. Laporte used the outline of a butterfly with the letters RL/L below.
Marks with J P L (Limoges) France, J Pouyat Limoges, a wreath and variations of the above - Pierre Pouyat established a faience manufacturing company at Saint-Yrieix
around 1760. His son Francois Pouyat, (born 1752 died 1838) joined a Paris hard-paste manufacturing business La Courtille operated by Laurentius Russinger located at rue Fontaine-au-Roi, from 1795 - 1800. In 1800 Pouyat became the sole owner of this company and was succeeded by his son J. Pouyat who in 1841 closed down the Paris factory. J. Pouyat then started a very important porcelain manufacturing factory in Limoges France which has been continued by descendants of the family. I do not
know if it is still operational. *The Concise Encyclopedia of Continental Pottery and Porcelain
Latrille Freres Limoges Mark - 1899-1913. This factory
was set up in an old abbey in Limoges.
Bernardaud and Company, circa 1900-1914 Limoges Mark
A good resource for more Limoges marks - http://www.limogesdirect.net/marks.htm
Limoges was like Staffordshire in England or Bavaria in Germany, there were numerous factories both large and small.
both photos are from "The Concise Encyclopedia of Continental Pottery and Porcelain" by Reginald G. Haggar. First Edition 1960. Hawthorn Books, Inc. New York.