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COLLECTING MINIATURE LIMOGES BOXES

The notion that fabulous things come in small packages was never truer than when that small package is an antique or vintage Limoges Box.

Beautiful French Limoges porcelain has always captured hearts, and has the ability to inspire. To collectors, the beauty, incredible artwork and exceptional quality of Limoges porcelain boxes surpasses any other in the world.

Made of porcelain and completely hand made in the city of Limoges, France, these little wonders are avidly collected world wide.

 

 

HISTORY:

Jacques Turgot, Finance Minister of King Louis XVI, gave a Royal edict to the porcelain artisans in the city of Limoges, France as the only place allowed produce Royal Limoges porcelain in the 1700’s. The name of the city has become synonymous with the luxury porcelain products made by those factories.

The first Limoges miniature boxes were long narrow containers created to hold needlework for needles.  Little boxes to hold thimbles and scissors were also popular in the 18th century, as were boxes meant to hold snuff. More romantic owners of these miniature porcelain treasures carried a lock of their lady’s hair or a small love poem in the boxes.

The darling of royal families, aristocrats and fine society, Limoges boxes are an enduring luxury collectable work of art.

 

 

Creating each Limoges Box is a labor of love. It includes the process of creating a master mold, hand painting beautiful details by an artist, multiple firings and glazing, and applying a custom fitted metal hinge and frame to each and every box.

The painting alone, with fine brush strokes and detailed work, takes quite some time. Then, after the painting is done, the multiple firings end with a final firing of 1400C, a high firing unique to Limoges porcelain, that gives the pieces a pristine white under color. Then an artist mounts a fitted frame and hinge custom created for each box to complete the miniature.

It’s what makes each Limoges miniature box a one-of-a-kind work of art.

 

I was thrilled recently to be able to obtain a small portion of a collection of Limoges and English enameled boxes.  The darlings of the Georgian period in England, the charming enameled boxes were used in centuries past to hold snuff, beauty patches, locks of hair and jewelry, just like the Limoges boxes were.

Made of copper, dipped in white enamel and then fired, they too have a beautiful fitted bezel. So beloved by the English aristocracy, they often had a selection of boxes to compliment their daily wardrobes. The enameled boxes are hand painted and fired again, and are a beautiful compliment to the Limoges miniatures.

There are many forms of Limoges boxes these days, but I have to admit I prefer the “traditional” shapes of hearts, octagons, squares, and rectangles.

The beauty of collecting the French Limoges and English Miniature boxes is that they look beautiful displayed on a shelf or a tray, and they are small.

 

So even if you fall in love with many of them, they are very easy to display and don’t take up too much room.

 

 

One of these petite porcelain or enamel boxes is the perfect gift for people who have everything. Tuck in a hand written note for the occasion, for a wedding: your secret to a long-lasting marriage. For a birth: your prayerful wishes for the baby. For a birthday: What you love most about the celebrant!

If you are a connoisseur of luxury you will certainly appreciate the fine detail, magnificent design and workmanship of each one of these boxes.

You can shop the collection here >

I hope you are enjoying the sweet days of this beautiful month of December! I’m trying really hard not to have a lingering cold, I’ve been very stern and told it “really, I just don’t have the time right now to be sick!”

{fingers crossed, hoping that works!}

9 Responses to COLLECTING MINIATURE LIMOGES BOXES

  1. Get well soon, Lidy. Love the little boxes. I have some really nice ones and enjoy displaying them.

  2. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Enjoy the season to the fullest.
    the boxes are perfect to collect. Best wishes to everyone.

  3. WOW!!! They are so adorable and thank you for sharing and the history
    Merry Christmas to you and your family

  4. I too have a collection of Limoges boxes, and love hearing the history and seeing your beautiful collection! Hoping you feel up to par in the next few days!! Happy Tuesday, my friend!

  5. Thank you so much. I’m giving it one more day, because, like all of you, I have merry-making to prepare! Happy Tuesday to you, too!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing the history of these little gems!
    Take care of yourself today, and prayers that you will feel better soon.

    Merry Christmas!

    Christi

  7. I just love those precious little boxes. I have 2, a very small heart, and a very small egg. I treasure them!
    Don’t push yourself too hard, Lidy!

  8. Ginger, I love the hearts! I know they make new boxes in all sorts of shapes but I really prefer the older Limoges boxes and their classic shapes.

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