Limoges French Porcelain Lemonade Pitcher with Hand-Painted Daisy Banding (LEO Design)


This is a French lemonade pitcher with a twist.  The porcelain form—jug, spout, handle—was made in Limoges, France, fired with the classic, smoothly-finished porcelain surface. Then it was shipped to Chicago, USA, as a "blank," to be hand-decorated by American artisans.  The piece was made by Tressemanes & Vogt (in Limoges) and hand-painted by the Jacob Stouffer Company (in Chicago).  This arrangement was sometimes orchestrated by ceramics makers  in order to create variety of the end product—to create products which would appeal best to the end consumer.  It also allowed a company like Stouffer (which specialized in excellent ceramic painters) to avoid having to manufacture their own blanks (a whole separate area of expertise).  Stouffer could purchase (more economically) higher-quality blanks than they could make themselves.  Furthermore, it was less expensive to import the unfinished pieces.  The "added value" was contributed stateside, free from import taxation.

Limoges is a city in central France.  The name, Limoges, does not designate one particular ceramics manufacturer; rather, it identifies those workshops which produce wares in and around the city.  Limoges is known for its high-quality kaolin clay—which is needed (along with high temperature firing) to create luxurious, porcelain.  Before this kaolin clay was discovered (and Europeans figured-out how to make porcelain), Limoges had been best-known for its exquisite Medieval enameling.

The Chinese had been making hard paste porcelain for a thousand years before Europeans figured-out how to copy the process.  Chinese porcelain was extremely valuable and highly-coveted in the West.  In the early 1700's, Europeans finally figured-out how to make porcelain and kaolin clay was discovered in Limoges.  Production began in the 1730's.  In 1781, King Louis XIV purchased one of the Limoges workshops to supply the royal court's porcelain.  This royal association helped Limoges "take off" as a porcelain manufacturing locus and, by 1830, Limoges had surpassed Paris as France's center of porcelain-making.

In 1882, Émillien Tressemanes & Gustave Vogt partnered, taking-over the company in Limoges started by John Vogt in the 1850's.  While "T & V" did decorate some of their own porcelain, they also supplied "blanks" to other companies which specialized in hand-decorating ceramics.  In the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, decorating china was work thought suitable for respectable women.  Jacob Stouffer opened his Chicago china decorating company at 3000 Lake Park Avenue in 1905—about the time the lemonade pitcher, above, was made.  When Jacob died in 1912, his wife, Marietta, took-over management.

The very handsome "Franco-American" lemonade pitcher bears the T & V Limoges mark used from 1892-1907.  It was hand-painted at Stouffers, circa 1905.  The rich, gold-content glazing has a matte finish on most of the exterior (save a small band under the blue band) and a polished interior.  The exquisitely hand-painted cobalt band is decorated with daisies: flowers, leaves and stems.  It is a most handsome piece, suitable for use at table—but even more stunning as an objet d'art.  It will accommodate a four inch potted plant.  An orchid, daisies, or floral arrangement would look stunning in this pitcher.  Click on the photo above to learn more about it.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com)

We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248