Limoges porcelain set gifted to new royal baby
A set of traditional porcelain pottery from Limoges has been gifted to the British ambassador to France, who is set to present it to the newest British royal baby, Prince Louis of Cambridge.
The pottery was created by family-run Limoges (Haute-Vienne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine) porcelain specialist Bernardaud, as a present for the newest addition to the British royal family.
It was presented to the British ambassador, Lord Edward Llewellyn, by the Mayor of Limoges Emile-Roger Lombertie, during Mr Lewellyn’s official visit to the city on Tuesday this week (May 15).
The personalised set is delicate, with a white background and painted decoration, featuring a green leaf design plus a cartoon drawing of a white rabbit eating apples.
The name “Louis” is written in cursive text at the bottom of the plates. Each of the pieces also has the text “For his Royal Highness, the Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge” written on the back.
The set - which includes a plate, bowl and mug - comes from a recent collection by Bernardaud, which is one of Limoges’ most respected pottery makers, and was founded in 1863.
Marketing and manufacturing director, Frédéric Bernardaud, said: “This set was made last year, and these [particular plates and bowls] were practically the first examples that came out of the manufacturing process.”
As the youngest son of William and Kate - the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - Prince Louis is fifth in line to the throne. He was born on April 23, and is younger brother to Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Mr Llewellyn said: “I am very touched; this is a very friendly gesture, and it is much appreciated.”
Mr Lombertie added: “It is with great pride to give a present that represents a skill that we do so well and so beautifully here in Limoges.”
Louis le #royalbaby d'Angleterre vient de se faire offrir par l'intermédiaire du porcelainier Bernardaud et de la @VilleLimoges87 un service de petit déjeuner que l'ambassadeur Rt Hon Lord LIewellyn OBE en visite à #limoges lui remettra. #livepopu pic.twitter.com/wBRe3hriNs— Thomas Jouhannaud (@TomJouhannaud) May 15, 2018
Limoges has a long tradition of fine pottery, dating as far back as the late 18th century in its current form, and as far back as the 12th century for the production of “vitreous enamel”, which was then known as “opus de Limogia”.
The term “Limoges porcelain” today denotes a particular kind of hard-paste pottery specific to the region, regardless of the specific manufacturer.
It is made from local supplies of the kaolin clay, and produces a material similar to fine Chinese porcelain.
Limoges porcelain was favoured by the court of Louis XVI for its delicate, decorative nature; and the King even bought a factory in the city in 1784, with a view to creating his own porcelain statues.
However, Bernardaud - along with a number of other private factories, including Haviland & Co - was actually established after the French Revolution as a private manufacturer, as has been producing the pottery ever since.
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