23 July 2009

Quimper and My Past

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.

7 comments:

JC said...

Those are interesting ... I collect some polish dishes and I have some from Ireland and some from a museum in Texas ...

Daryl said...

I never knew this ... how fun to learn something new and now want it too! LOL ... one day we can go photo hunting and shopping together .. here or there, I am up for either

Mental P Mama said...

I love Quimper! And thanks for the visit;) I may come visit you in real life someday;)

Gaelyn said...

Antique stores are like a walk down memory lane for me. Hope you found some towels Erin. I have seen quimper before. Did you buy?

The Good Life in Virginia said...

jc-thanks for stopping by.
daryl-yes, here or there we must get together and do a photo/shop adventure!
mental p-thanks for stopping by...and yes, you must come to my world.
gaelyn-didn't buy any but i did buy a couple things...which will either become give-aways and/or presents. two of the things i know you'd really like :)

Sue said...

So, did you buy them? They are pretty. Thanks for sharing your memories inspired by seeing them.

Manuela@Pleasures of Homemaking said...

I've always thought that these were just charming!

Manuela