Monday, December 20, 2010

Marie Antoinette's porcelain factory Rue Thiroux

Classical Jardiniere with goats heads and aristocracy crown monogram with Puce colored and blue cornflowers




Also known as Fabrique de la Reine, was a porcelain factory located in the center of Paris. Andre-Marie Leboeuf at age 21 established an hard paste porcelain factory in the 661 rue Thiroux in 1776 located in the quarter la Chaussée-d'Antin not far from the present day Palais Garnier Opera house. Because of his young age his mother singed for him for the site on Rue Thiroux. He built a porcelain factory, house, offices and salesrooms on the site. He gave the neediest amongst the poor the yearly sum of 100 livres, that God may bestow his blessing upon his works. Leboeuf placed a ad in 1777, The owner notifies the public that his workshops, set up at the end of last year, is now in position to execute any type of order which may be giving them: firstly, any item for the table or domestic use, styled and decorated in the most solid, convenient and best designed shapes; secondly, the most fashionable and pleasing bisuit groups. The underside of every piece marked with the letter A in blue. We will receive at the factory itself any commissions from the capital or the provinces.




His wares immediately met with such phenomenal success that in the following year he was heavily fined for trenching upon the privileges reserved to Sevres in the matter of certain processes and the style of decoration. Of all the factories that may be considered as competitors with Sevres, Leboeuf's was the one of which the Sevres management had most cause to be jealous and apprehensive. If Leboeuf's work is closely compared with that of Sevres, it can be seen at a glance why the authorities of the latter establishment were greatly disquieted. Leboeuf's decorations were birds, fiqures, cupids, cornflower springs Marie Antoinette's favorite flower and monogram decorations of initials were formed from polychrome springs accompanied by garlands, lozenges, trophies,strap-work,geometrical patterns, drapery and various other ornaments.





The Queens brother-in-law The Comte d' Artois, the future Charles X, patronized two porcelain factory's, one in Limoges on his own domains, the other in the Faubourg Saint-Denis, Paris. His son, the Duc d' Angouleme, was the protector of Guerhard & Dihl in the Rue de Bondy, but one might well wonder if he really appreciated the porcelain, for he was hardly older than six when the factory assumed his name. The Comte de Provence, later Louis XVlll, conferred a diploma upon the factory of Clignancourt,as also to another one in Marseilles, While the Duc d'Orleans granted one to the factory on Rue Amelot. The best known of all theses establishments was on the Rue Thiroux referred to as the Queens factory. Balza, a lover of porcelain, mentions a few products of this fatory amongst the treasures admired by Cousin Pons, the prime example of an enlightened amateur





After his uncomfortable experience with Sevres and the police authorities, Leboeuf secured the protecting patronage of the Queen Marie Antoinette, who gave him the right to mark his china with her monogram or initial. She gave him further encouragement by ordering from him some of the china for The Pavillon of Belvedere & her dairy at Versailles, and also various choice pieces which she gave to her friends as presents. Of course, the courtiers were bound to go and buy porcelain in this factory. He received a annual income of 2,400 livres for the life of the company. From this royal patronage and the great popularity his work enjoyed, Leboeuf's china came to be known as "Porcelaine a la Reine." The factory had a few salesrooms one called the Petit Dunkerque kept by Granchez was one of the Queens favourite shops, Furthermore, Duban, the merchant faience maker sold the Queens porcelain. After the Revolution in 1797 Leboeuf sold the factory the works passed into other hands thru out the first half of the 19th century until 1868 when the street and 18th century building were demolished by Baron Haussmann .





Both the letter A, in underglaze blue, and A beneath the Queen's crown, in either red or gold on-glaze, appear as marks on this truly beautiful china.


A Trembleuse cup made for a person that trembled with floral monogram fish eye and rose decoration


A Trembleuse cup made for a person that trembled with floral monogram fish eye and rose decoration


From my collection one of a pair of dinner plates with scattered floral spray



Milk dish ordered by Marie Antoinette and use at her dairy at Versailles



Fruit/ice cream  cooler with garden flower sprigs


From my collection a Lobed dinner plate with garden flower sprigs


Bowl and pitcher ordered and given by Marie Antoinette as a gift in it's original case  


Bowl and pitcher ordered and given by Marie Antoinette as a gift in it's original case  


Dinner plates painted with Puce and blue cornflowers Marie Antoinette's favorite flower


From my collection tea cup and saucer  painted with blue cornflowers Marie Antoinette's favorite flower


 Pots du Creme cups painted with blue cornflowers Marie Antoinette's favorite flower and gold sprig


Neoclassical dinner service


Neoclassical dinner service


Pair of coffee cans with ear shaped handles copying Sevres painted with garden flower sprigs


From my collection scalloped and ribbed dish painted with Garden flowers


Monteith painted with roses and gilt sprig

From my collection Neoclassical coffee an and saucer painted with lyres, Roman incense burners with smoke, cornucopias, flowers and scrolls   

From my collection Neoclassical coffee an and saucer painted with lyres, Roman incense burners with smoke, cornucopias, flowers and scrolls   


Dinner service painted in the cornflower pattern


Jardiniere and platter painted with puce flowers and gilt

Cups and saucers from my collection ordered by Marie Antoinette from her porcelain factory in Paris Rue Thiroux and used in her tea room The Pavillon of Belvedere.


Cups and saucers from my collection ordered by Marie Antoinette from her porcelain factory in Paris Rue Thiroux and used in her tea room The Pavillon of Belvedere.


Neoclassical pierced basket with cornflowers painted at the bottom


From my collection shell shaped dish


Cornflower spring dinner plate

Coffee can with ear shaped handles copying Sevres painted with cornflower sprigs

Oval chamber pot known as a Bourdaloue in the cornflower pattern

Coffee Can painted with pansies

Tea cups and saucers painted with flowers and swags

Turn-of-the century label with cup and mark of the factory.

A Trembleuse cup made for a person that trembled with garden flower and swage decoration

D shaped bulb pot painted with a flowers and marbleized at the base

Coffee set painted in butterflys and insets 1790's

From my collection rare a blue and gold Marbleized Cabaret set 1780's  

A Chocolate pot with turned wood handle

A Chocolate pot with turned wood handle

Dinner plates

Pair of Fruit/ice cream  cooler with Puce color flower sprigs

Jam pots

Dinner plates

D shaped bulb pot painted with gold Neoclassical design and geometric decoration

Wine coolers

D shaped bulb pot painted with flowers

Vase painted with cornflowers at the top and a festoon of flowers in middle

From my collection a Aristocratic scalloped and ribbed dinner plate painted with monogram in middle under a Laurel leaf wreath with a scattered spray of blue and puce cornflowers

Monogram in middle under a Laurel leaf wreath

The border with interlocking blue and gold cornflower garland with gilt saw-tooth rim

Dinner plate with puce colored flowers and a spray of blue cornflowers in the middle

11 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful posting on a lost art...the ART OF PORCELAIN collecting. I have collected over the years as you have, and really no one today does so much outside of the Museum world.

    Refreshing to see MA's Rue Thiroux pieces alive and well

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  2. Thanks! You are right there are very few true collectors of Great Antique porcelain. What porcelain do you collect.

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  3. Leboeuf was very wise in securing the protecting patronage of the Queen Marie Antoinette - even a very talented artist who did not line up the closest royal or noble family was asking for trouble.

    But I don't think Marie Antoinette was just doing him a favour. Some of the objects you have here were beautiful AND useful, especially the trembleuse cup, pots du creme cups, monteith and ice cream cooler. I would have put him on the payroll too, if I could have afforded it.

    Did his connection with royalty hurt Leboeuf during the Revolution?

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  4. He seems to not have problems during the Revolution, but to stay in business factory's had to paint Revolutionary symbols on there porcelain. A popular pattern at the time was to mix blue cornflowers with red poppies creating the colors of the French flag. I have some pieces in this pattern but they are not sign. I'm sure he also lost the yearly allowance from the crown. When he sold the factory 1787 he requested that the money be paid in ringing currency of silver or gold and no other form, smart man. Also it was clearly specified that there were no debts. He did marry on Fructidor 29th, Year X, the daughter of Boissy d' Anglas, Membre du Tribunat keeping him safe.

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  5. I have a 100+ piece set of 19thC french porcelain dinner ware in the cornflower pattern, but no cups and saucers. Anyone know where I can find up to 12 of each?

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  6. Hi regencyrick In all of my years of collecting and selling Old Paris porcelain I have never seen 12 cornflower cups for sell. I have sold set's of 6 in the past. If I was you I would keep checking ebay to see if you might come across some.

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  7. I have read that Marie Antoinette loved violets,roses and tuberoses perhaps most of all but never heard that her "favorite flowers" were
    cornflowers...

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  8. Its a pity you don't show the marks of each of your illustrated items. Without these , to me, I find little meaning in them.

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  9. Was the overglaze red, A mark with the Bourbon crown used after the Terror. I thought they were chopping heads of with the least excuse and putting Bourbon crowns on your stuff would have been a good ticket to the guillotine? Have you got any stuff with the Underglaze blue A mark and when do you think this was used ? Was it pre Antoinettes protection or was it after 1793/4 when she was sadly guillotined.?

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  10. Hello from Iceland.
    I found your blog when I was surfing for information about Pons Collection. I have an old porcelain box with lid. It is signed Porcelain Hand Made Manufactured for Pons Collection Made in China. It has underglaze red pattern. The fact is I don´t know much about antiques really :) I´m learning, but it is difficult to find any information about this box. It would be great if you could send me some link or info if you know anything about Pons. My email is maggadora@simnet.is
    BTW your collection is beautiful. I love antique porcelain and glass.

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