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Set: 12 Antique French 10 7/8" Limoges Plates, Encrusted and Raised Gold, Celeste Blue
The maker mark underglaze in this fine set of Limoges plates was in use between 1900 and 1932, so we know the plates date pre-1932. The opulence of the set, with applied and raised 18k gold enamel for a bas-relief to the garlands and ornamental wide border, is unparalleled. A center that appears to be a transfer since all 12 plates are alike, though it might well be a hand painted floral basket based on a transfer-ware outline, which is what it appears to be. A stunning set, so well preserved we believe they have only been cabinet displays and have never been used at table. These are meant, however, to be the place setting charger that decorates your table for first view by your guests as they are seated, and meant also to be raised and replaced with the service place you'll use for first course. Some use a clear glass salad plate on top so this type of plate can stay on table a bit longer, but be careful the bottom rims do not rub your raised gold. A superb set, exceptional value. Each time I am in Paris I visit the porcelain section of the finest stores, including the Bon Marche, and check the prices and selection of new Limoges plates that can somewhat closely match the elegance of these old ones (though, in fact, I think them much inferior). I am always amazed to see each plate priced between 500 and 1800 euros apiece. That certainly puts our price in perspective. The old plates are far more beautiful, in my opinion, as well as downright thrifty - ever so PC and 'green' being heirloom and therefore emitting no carbons or gases in manufacturing, after all.
Very good to excellent condition throughout. Raised gold might perhaps have a tiny loss at some point on a plate, but I have not found it. They appear to have been only on display or stored. All have a large 10 7/8" diameter. Superb beauty, finest quality!
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Susan Dean, San Marcos, CA
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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