Saturday, January 2, 1971

The Faience of Luneville and Saint Clement

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The Lorraine region has held, since the XVIIIth century, and still holds today an important place in the ceramics industry. The old faience pieces of Lunéville-Saint-Clément, known throughout the world, are very much sought after by collectors. 
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At the beginning of the XVIIIth century, a great many faience works were created in the eastern part of France because gold and silver dishes were subject to a heavy tax: plates in precious metals were used to pay Louis XIV’s costly war expenditures. Even King Louis XV used his gold dishes to mint currency. 
As a result faience dishes replaced and imitated these dishes in precious metals (1). 
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Faience made in Lunéville was famous well before 1718, to such an extent that in that year, the dealers of Rouen, leaders in the art of faience, wished to prohibit the sale of the wares made in Lunéville. 
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(1) People spoke of “putting oneself in faience”: gold or silver plates were melted or sold to buy faience.