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How Porcelain Spread in France

Aug 17, 2007
The Royal gave permission to starts the National manufactory of porcelain in France in 1745 and make porcelain in the Saxon style. This is a painted and gilded with human figures, etc.

Sevres
The National Manufactory of porcelain in France was started in a disused chateau in the suburbs of Paris in 1738. In that year some workmen who had left the Chantilly factory and claimed to know the secrets of making porcelain, were engaged to conduct experiments to that end. They failed to make good their boasts and are said to have spent most of their time drinking, with the result that they were sent away in disgrace and another arcanist employed in their place. Finally, in 1745, success was achieved, and royal permission given to form a company to make 'porcelain in the style of the Saxon, that is to say, painted and gilded with human figures'.

Undoubtedly the factory aimed at challenging the hold that Germany had on the French market, and replacing the imported wares by home-produced ones. From the start the best chemists, goldsmiths and other experts were employed, and decrees were passed forbidding any other factory in France from making porcelain or the workmen at the new factory to leave and reveal the secrets.

By 1750 more than a hundred workers were employed, and three years later a further order again prohibited manufacture by any rival concern; an order that does not seem to have been taken very seriously. In 1753, also, it was proposed to build new premises at Sevres, again close to Paris and on the way to Versailles, and when the erection was completed in 1756 the move was made. After a number of financial difficulties, growing pains common to the porcelain factories of all nations, the establishment was taken over by Louis XV in 1760.
The justly-famous Sevres soft-paste porcelain quickly rose to a high position as a leader of fashion, and when the Seven Years'

War started in 1756, the French factory was able to leap ahead as its rival fell into the hands of Frederick the Great and the Prussian soldiers. A large part of the early output was devoted to the making of artificial flowers of all kinds that were colored naturally. On one occasion Madame de Pompadour received the King in a conservatory filled with quantities of these porcelain blooms, which were perfumed to make them more convincing.
Figures began to be made at an early date, and the majorities were glazed and uncolored. In 1751 came the introduction of figures made and sold in the biscuit; an entirely new idea that was very successful and that employed many first-class modelers.

The magnificent vases made at Sevres were finely painted in panels on grounds of colors that were envied and copied throughout Europe: dark blue, turquoise, yellow, green, and rose-pink (known as Rose du Barry or Rose Pompadour). Many of the vases were made especially for presentation by the King to foreign Royalties and acted as excellent ambassadors of trade; orders flowed to the factory in their wake.

In spite of the success and popularity of the Sevres soft-paste the directors of the manufactory were not satisfied and continued to attempt to make hard-paste: 'in the style of the Saxon.' Eventually, they succeeded, and by 1772, the new material was being manufactured in quantity.

There was a challenge for the French porcelain from the poaching German manufacturer who also produces almost the same kind. The then Royal ruler Louis XV took over the firm at the Sevres and other kings also encouraged the production of porcelain.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.kids-games-n-crafts.com/ , http://www.ezcraftsresources.info/ , http://www.bathroomaccessoriesmadeeasy.info/
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