Antique French Porcelain -  Historical Guide to French Porcelain collectibles.

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Saint-Cloud French Porcelain

  Antique French  Porcelain

Antique  Porcelain

St. Cloud French Porcelain

Chantilly French Porcelain

Here's an example of the creamy white antique French porcelain from St Cloud, underglazed blue & white beaker and saucer, c 1730

This Saint-Cloud French Porcelain jug shows the ivory color typical of its wares with applied prunus branches, c1725

French Porcelain spice box with popular pinecone knob in typical creamy white with blue designs, c 1730

French porcelain collectibles from Saint-Cloud are some of the most attractive and distinctive of all the porcelains, and continues to be of great interest and beauty to the collector, and is highly collectible.  Saint-Cloud, near Paris, was one of the first French porcelain factories to commercially produce porcelain pieces. Saint-Cloud porcelain represents some of the most collectible French porcelain particularly for collectors interested in French Country decor.  Although some claim that porcelain was produced here as early as 1678, it was around 1695 that the French actually perfected the porcelain process, making it viable for production, and it was1702 before the process was actually granted a patent. 

French porcelain from the Saint-Cloud factory differed greatly from the pure white Chinese porcelains. Saint-Cloud porcelain is usually a warm yellow or ivory tone with an unmistakable smooth texture and a glaze that often shows a satin-like pitting as opposed to a shiny glaze, and is easily distinguishable from other European porcelains. Since the creamy frit porcelain used at Saint-Cloud was difficult to control in the kiln, it was also difficult to produce large pieces such as plates, and the very few plates or larger pieces that exist are of extreme value due to their scarcity. So most of the antique French porcelain pieces by Saint-Cloud are found in small scaled items such as snuffboxes, beakers, saucers, tea bowls, cane handles, and cutlery handles. Often seen is raised and tooled gilding with enameled panels. The Saint-Cloud pieces usually appear heavier with thicker walls and sensitive shaping of edges. 

Here are some of the things to look for in collecting antique French porcelain, particularly Saint-Cloud.  The usual mark of the factory is a 'St. C' above a 'T', but it is extremely difficult to accurately date Saint-Cloud porcelain because the early pieces were not dated or hallmarked, making dating often questioned and disputed among collectors. However, a likely timeline can be discerned from the techniques, patterns, and designs used. The earliest French porcelain designs were likely those painted in underglaze blue and white with lambrequins, lacy scrolls and other typically French decoration. The colored porcelain pieces imitate Japanese Kakiemon and chinoiserie figures. Early French porcelain pieces produced at Saint-Cloud bear a close resemblance to those of Rouen, and seem to suggest an influence by experiments done at the Rouen factory. Many of the same shapes and patterns of Saint-Cloud porcelain are also present in those of Rouen. 

In 1725, the majority of Saint-Cloud porcelain was left in white and molded in relief with a more European feel of flowers, branches, and fruits often in garland around the forms, and seated on high foot rings. Berries and pine cone shapes with bold simple grooving were popular patterns and are still now regarded highly as French porcelain collectibles. The early pieces marked with the sun-face suggest that at first it was of a colder, more bluish-white tone than it assumed later. In the later years of production, a strong influence of Meissen porcelain is seen and pieces are often found mounted in silver, and enhanced with bold reeding and gadrooning. Milled silver bands mounted around plain porcelain pieces are more frequent in Saint-Cloud than in any other French Porcelain, and these hall marked silver pieces are the most valuable in accurate dating.

The porcelain produced in the last twenty years of the Saint-Cloud factory came with much difficulty due to family disputes and the death of P. Chicaneau who held the secret to the French porcelain process. French porcelain collectibles made after 1730 are of lesser quality with a muddy white glaze in jugs, teapots, and mostly potpourri vases and pastille burners. They have a boldness of style, and can be found in the shapes of men and birds, sheep and other animals, naked boys, trees, leaves and rocks, and all sorts of grotesque figures. 

The Saint-Cloud factory was partly destroyed by fire in 1737, and a new proprietor in 1743 attempted to revive production with a new china process, however, all Saint-Cloud porcelain production ended in 1766.






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