This charming 7” plate was produced by Hippolyte Boulenger & Co. in the late 1800s or very early 1900s. It depicts two young girls who are very tired from having been to the market. They look like they are napping and a young boy, perhaps their brother, is tickling their noses to wake them up. The caption under the hand decorated transfer reads in French: “Retour du marché” or in English “Return from the market.” The colors are still very strong. The plate is in very good, near 100-year-old condition. There are no cracks or chips; there is age related crazing and a little bit of underglaze discoloration on the back of the plate.
Hippolyte was the grandson of Hippolyte Hautin and Louis Boulenger who obtained the faience pottery factory from three brothers who had established the concern in the Choisy, France, in 1804. Hautin’s daughter married Boulenger’s son, and in 1862 their son, Hippolyte, became the factory owner. Soon after taking over the faiencier, young Boulenger changed the name of the company from Hautin & Boulenger to Hippolyte Boulenger & Co. There has been much confusion on the marks for these pieces since the initials for both company names were H B. However from my research, when it was owned by Hautin & Boulenger, the mark read H & B & Co., but after young Hippolyte become the owner, the mark read HB & Co. Hippolyte Boulenger died in 1892, and sometime in the first quarter of the 20th century the company name was changed by his heirs. The Choisy plant was closed in 1934 and the operation was moved to other locations.
What a darling addition to your faience/pottery collection or to decorate a kitchen or child’s room with. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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