This is a 19th century French Limoges hard paste porcelain sugar and creamer set which is also similar in style to the production of the Paris porcelain companies. The date is circa 1870.
The unique feature of this set is that the sugar bowl or jar has a fish finial, detailed in gold trim. The head of the fish points to one side of the lid, the body curves up to form a loop, and the tail comes down and points to the other side of the lid. This is a unique set for those collectors who like to own different types of molds.
The set is what is called a one-pound sugar in America, in that the sugar jar will hold a large amount of sugar. I’ve known collectors who purchase the large size sugar jars to use as canisters in their kitchen, to hold tea and other essentials.
The milk jug is about 6 1/8” to the top of the spout and about 5” wide to the end of the handle. The sugar is about 7 ¾” high to the top of the fish finial and about 7 ¼” from handle-to-handle.
The decoration is a lithograph outline with the color applied by hand. There are long brown stems with large leaves in shades of brown and pink. There are flowers in shades of blue and brown, with little dots of white enamel in raised relief. The sugar shows a bug or beetle or some type of insect on each side, and a butterfly on the lid. The cream pitcher has another bug on the back side. There is a little bit of gold transfer overlay in the pattern. On the backside of the pitcher there is significant wear to the gold overlay.
The handles are shaped like branches and have some gold trim. The edges of each piece are trimmed in gold, and there is some gold wear to the gold around the edges.
The glaze is bright white.
There are no chips, cracks or crazing. There is a small line in the bisque part of the underside of the sugar, the foot rest that is typically not glazed, and I show the line in a photo. There are some glaze skips on the insides of each piece, which is typical for the porcelain from this time period. The rim of the sugar has a small smooth indentation that is covered by the original factory gold trim, and so it is how the porcelain was fired.
Both pieces are not marked as to the maker, which was common for Limoges production designated for the local French market. You can view similar transfer-lithograph patterns in the books on Haviland by Nora Travis, and again in the books on Limoges by Mary Frank Gaston.
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