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How to Identify Limoges Porcelain Plates

Identify Limoges Marks
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The production of Limoges porcelain plates started in the late-eighteenth century in Limoges, France. The first Limoges porcelain plates were made of kaolin, a hard-paste porcelain; today's plates are made of kaolin, quartz and feldspar. The many people who collect Limoges porcelain plates should know how to identify them.

Look at the bottom of the porcelain plate. If there's a hand-painted factory stamp with the Limoges, France, insignia, it's more than likely authentic Limoges porcelain. There should also be another printed stamp that says hand-painted (peint main). However, any porcelain plate with a stamped "C" or "RC" next to the insignia means it's an imitation, produced in the Republic of China.

Analyze the design of the porcelain plate. If the design is of animals, people or landscapes, it should look hand-painted. If the design is floral, it will be a transfer decal, specially designed by the factory (if you look closely at the plate you can see the transfer decal under the final glaze). If the design is of fruit, be aware that Limoges uses fruit designs that are larger than the ones used by most other porcelain makers.

Check the Limoges porcelain plate closely. True Limoges porcelain plates are designed over or under a layer of glaze. The glaze is the coating on the plate; it can either be gloss or non-gloss. Limoges uses these glazes to protect or add artistic effects to their porcelain pieces; the glazes can be identified by their slight or intense shine, or their crackled effect.

Look for marks from the few small fabricators that produced Limoges but did not include the “Limoges” name in their mark. They include M.Redon, C. Ahrenfeldt and France C.A. Depose.

Learn to recognize authentic Limoges imagery. Some manufacturers placed pictures of birds or butterflies in their marks. For instance, R. Laport used a butterfly above the initials "RL/L." Latrille Freres used a star under the words “Limoges France.”

Note the difference in cost between a real Limoges piece and a fake piece. Limoges porcelain plates are made using several hand-processed manufacturing steps that take some time.This hand-made process is reflected in a higher price than those of the false pieces.

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