Monday, May 22, 2017

Quimper Pottery

You are in for a treat today touring my neighbors kitchen. She collects Quimper Pottery and this is just one set of shelves.
Her azalea standards were so pretty I wanted to share them too.

Meet my neighbor, Sally.

Sally designed her kitchen when she built her house with her Quimper collection in mind.

Quimper pottery is all hand painted pottery made by artisans in Quimper, France.  Each piece is therefore unique.

Sally's collection began when a Secret Santa partner gave her a reproduction Quimper plate around 1990.
Some interesting facts about Quimper : The pronunciation  of Quimper is kem-pair or kam-pair.

Quimper pottery has a long history. Tin glazed, hand painted pottery has been made in Quimper, France, since the late seventeenth century. Most of the early pieces are unmarked. The earliest firm, founded in 1685 by Jean Baptiste Bousquet, was known as HB Quimper. Another firm, founded in 1772 by Francois Eloury, was known as Porquier. The third firm, founded by Guillaume Dumaine in 1778, was known as HR or Henriot Quimper. All three firms made similar pottery decorated with designs of Breton peasants and sea and flower motifs. The Eloury( Porquier) and Dumaine (Henriot) firms merged in 1913. Bousquet(HB) merged with the others in 1968. The group was sold to a United States family in 1984. More changes followed, and in 2011 Jean-Pierre Le Goff became the owner and the name was changed to Henriot-Quimper. The French firm has been called Societe Nouvelle des Faienceries de Quimper HB Henriot since March 1984. Pottery was made in Quipmer when the city was part of the Roman Empire, long before-tin-glazed pottery was being made. Source -

I am not an authority on Quimper and the more I study the more I find there is to learn. I googled history of Quimper pottery and  I found a lengthy NY times article written in 1986 that explained the details of the sale of the french company to an american couple from Stonington, Connecticut. It's history is quite complicated and I do not know it's current status. Feel free to jump in and share any knowledge you have.

This book of Sally's about Quimper Pottery was helpful in this post.

My main focus in this post is to share Sally's collection but I thought you might be interested in a a little history about the factories.

This french faience oyster plate on the shelf is one of Sally's favorites.
 The Quimper salt and peppers have so much personality I think. Sally pointed out that the candlesticks were not Quimper but that did not matter to her nor does it to me. I like their shape and design and they compliment her collection of Quimper.

The clay dolls with fabric clothing on the shelf are called " santons" which means "little saints." They are from the Provence region bought in Aix and were gifts from a relative. The french doctor was appropriate since Sally's husband is a doctor.  Sally feels the clay dolls add to the feel of the Quimper.

The portrait busts add interest and color to her collection.

Biniou means bagpipe in the Breton language.  The man appears to be playing a bombarde and the lady the bagpipes. 

I can see why collecting would be fun and addictive can't you?

Porrigers or lug bowls are some of the  first pieces Sally bought. She was told they were painted in the 1800's.
 Faience egg cup bottom
Pair of egg cups
Covered cheese dish

Alder wood with the look of pine was chosen for the kitchen cabinets so it would highlight the Quimper.
Notice the inkwell on the top shelf which really deserved a close up picture.

This piece is part of a pair of old Quimper salt and pepper shakers bought in Maine.

Japanese Majolica are favorite companions to Sally's Quimper.

The lovely Quimper Ste. Anne statue was purchased in Mont-Saint- Michel. The figure on the right is also Quimper and was bought in an antique shop in Paris.

I love the detailing on these teapots. So awesome each piece is hand painted!

A favorite piece of Sally's is this quintal, or five fingered vase, banded in the middle with the interesting ziz zag pattern. She likes the unusual color of the vase and the man's costume are also not the usual colors.

Lovely fish plates with Breton man and Bretonne with intricate detailing.

 Plates were bought in Mont- Saint-Michel in the early 2000's.

The Breton man on this basket is playing a bombarde which is a woodwind instrument used to play traditional Breton music. 

This is HB Quimper.

 Japanese majolica salt and pepper shakers mix well with the french tiles.

Sally handpicked all the tiles from a tile store's cache for her kitchen long before items were available on the internet. They are hand painted but not Quimper. The salt container is  also a reproduction.

Sally mixes cobalt bottles and polish pottery well with her Quimper pieces.

The powder room off the kitchen is decorated in traditional french country yellow and blue wallpaper with Quimper pottery and accessories.

 Even a new waste basket with the french bretons was ordered from the Quimper store in the U.S.
 I am fascinated with the old french costumes. The colorful puffy pants worn by the men are called bragoubraz  and the ladies wear high starched coiffes or headdresses. I found this information and some of the other terms used in this post in the book, Quimper Pottery by Ann Marie O'Neil.


Have you enjoyed Sally's kitchen tour? Do you know anyone who collects Quimper pottery? I know two blogger friends, Sarah @Hyacinths for the Soul and Emily @The French Hutch that are collectors. I am amazed at how much there is to learn about this art and collecting.
Have a wonderful week.

Metamorphosis Monday   Botanic Bleu  Show and Share  The Scoop  Celebrate and Decorate  Inspire Me Tuesday  Wow Us Wednesday  Tablescape Thursday  Share Your Style Party  Thoughts of Home  Foodie Friday  Feathered Nest Friday  Dishing It & Digging It   Calypso in the CountrySunday's At Home


  1. WOW! What a unique collection. I've never heard of this pottery before. Thanks for sharing dear Bonnie. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  2. I love Quimper but don't know a lot of the background, so thanks for both the eye candy and the excellent info. My, what a fabulous collection!

  3. Lovely collection of your friend Sally! Yes, I knew Sarah & Emily are both members of the Quimper International Club and have traveled for annual gatherings. I have a large set of Quimper dishes in the Soleil (yellow octagonal) pattern I won at a local auction several years ago, and have also won some great serving pieces in the blue/white from an auction house in Alexandria VA. I wrote posts on both. I thought I had a buyer for the Soleil, but she became seriously ill and did not purchase. Sally's got some terrific, unique pieces. Her standard azaleas are gorgeous too! Thanks for sharing, Bonnie!

  4. Bonnie, I so enjoyed your neighbor Sally's fabulous Quimper collection and I do mean fabulous. Oh the teapots are so beautiful. I appreciate your sharing info on Quimper, I didn't know a lot about it. I had a friend who collected, and I always admired the collection. Sally's standard azaleas are just beautiful!

  5. Hi Bonnie,

    I definitely enjoyed the tour of your friend Sally's kitchen. I love the color of her walls and how well they showcase the pottery. She has a very large collection! My in-laws have been to France about six or seven times, and my mother-in-law has one of those santon figures, which I love. She also has a large collection of the small santons for the Christmas Nativity. However, I don't believe she has any Quimper pieces.

    Thanks to you and your neighbor for sharing these beauties with us, Bonnie. I hope you have a great week!



  6. I enjoyed this post very much. Lovely to look at and interesting history!!! Thanks for the tour!!

  7. Sally has an AMAZING collection! Thank you for sharing this eye candy with us and also the history! blessings ~ tanna

  8. Dear Bonnie, what a treat indeed, touring your neighbor Sally's kitchen and her fabulous Quimper collection! So many beautiful pieces and perfectly displayed. One of my favorites is the oyster plate, stunning! Bonnie, such an informative and fact filled post on the history of Quimper. It can get a bit confusing with factories and change of ownership, dates and marks. I still get confused and I am definitely still learning! Sally has a beautiful home and the azalea topiaries are so lovely. The French country yellow and blue wallpaper is a favorite pattern of mine. Thank you Bonnie for introducing us to Sally. I see from reading about her she enjoys travel and loves Quimper, I would love for her to look into joining our Quimper Club International. Sally, if your are interested contact me or click onto the link on my sidebar. Bonnie, I think you would enjoy our club, I know you would!!!! :)

  9. Wow, what a wonderful collection of Quimper. My favorite piece is the covered cheese dish. Thank you and your generous neighbor for this post, Bonnie. And her azalea standards are spectacular!
    Have a great week.

  10. I was just thinking as I was reading your post, that Sarah and Emily would love seeing this Quimper collection, Bonnie, and then I saw that you mentioned them. It was so nice of you to introduce us to Sally and see her wonderful collection, her kitchen and her powder room. I also love those azalea standards, too! Thank you for sharing this with us.

  11. Thanks so much for introducing us to Sally and her amazing pottery collection. Also, thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, have a great week and a Happy Holiday.

  12. What a wonderful collection your friend Sally has! I'm amazed at the variety and artistry in the those teapots!

  13. Very interesting! I enjoyed learning about that.


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