Saturday, January 2, 1971

Faience Manufacture of Saint-Clement

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In 1757, Chambrette discovered clay banks in Saint-Clement. On January 3, 1758 letters patent authorized him to create a new works with the same privileges as Lunéville. Saint-Clément was the territory of the bishopric of Metz, annexed to the kingdom of France. The Saint-Clément production was less heavily taxed than that of Lunéville’s kilns. An ingenious procedure was instituted: Lunéville’s production was sold off by Saint-Clément. A tax fraud would explain why the productions bore no sign of origin during this first period.
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Production included fireplace ornaments, buzzards and recumbent lions, jardinieres and fruits baskets, vases of all sizes, candlesticks, table services, but also an extraordinary collection of 120 different subjects, works of the sculptor Cyffle, originally from Bruges. 
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The manufacture gave rise to the expression “to look at one another like faience dogs.” The works produced statuettes that became famous but also life-size dogs with forbidding expressions that were placed in the entrance hall of building, from which comes the saying. 
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Initially heavily influenced by Strasbourg (the Hannongs), Lunéville and Saint-Clément personalized their productions. The “Chinese-style” decorations date from this period. The Siamese ambassador was received at Versailles and the major Jesuit missions settled in China. These events strongly impressed people of the day, who were wild about “all things Chinese.” The manurfactures, which had been granted “royal”status, enjoyed a monopoly in the region and the setting up of the court of Stanislas Leszczynski I, king of Poland, helped to increase sales very rapidly. 
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But the death of Stanislas, the dissemination of porcelain and the invasion of English faience starting in 1786 drove the manufactures to bankruptcy. They would, however, be taken over and refocused toward an industrial production. This new orientation, created in the XVIIIth century, would allow them to continue their activity without interruption until the present day (Men, Monuments, Events of Lunéville).