Last Saturday I had the chance to visit some very nice antique stores in Abingdon, Virginia. At one of the stores, I happened to spy these lovely pieces of quimper. I have had a secret love affair with quimper for many, many years.
Seeing these whimsical french country inspired pieces brought back a flood of memories from my younger days, before I was married, but while I was still attending college (the late 70s). I think it was some time between 1976 and 1977 I decided that I would put a set of my lovely quimper on hold at a local upscale department store. For a month, or maybe a bit longer, I debated with myself as whether to purchase them or not. I would visit the quimper, hold them oh so lovingly, and dream of the dinners I would serve on them. And of course, I also picked out a set of country-inspired sterling silverware that would be paired with MY lovely dinner pieces. It was probably a month later, I decided against purchasing the quimper. I can not recall why I didn't purchase the quimper but, I did purchase the sterling silverware set. Inquiring minds care to know what happened to my beautiful sterling silverware? I gave it to my sister-in-law who resides in southeastern Kentucky about twenty years ago.
Quimper (pronounce kem-pair), a town located in northwester France in the province of Brittany, has been a pottery town since the days when the area was a part of the Roman Empire.
Most Americans are familiar with pieces of this design, or something very similar, as they were heavily imported during the years between World War I and World War II. During the period between World War I and World War II, many new designs were produced, and Quimper tablewares were vigorously exported. In America, they were sold by high-end retailers such as Tiffany's and Shreve, Crump, and Low, where wealthy Americans looking for a chic, country ambience were eager customers (isn't this still what we are looking for).
In order for a piece to be considered a true example of Quimper pottery, it need only to have been made in the town of Quimper. For more about the interesting history of the town and the pottery QUIMPER.
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