Collectable imitations

Some imitations are so good that they become collectable. This is what happened to the imitations by Edmé Samson in Paris. Edmé Samson was founded in Paris in 1845 and specialised in making replacements for valuable items of the French gentry and museums; porcelain is delicate, and of course it breaks now and then. But Edmé Samson became so good at these imitations that they eventually received the nickname "The Great Imitators". This was not necessarily to fool anyone, but more to fill in gaps in collections that had arisen through breakage and wear. Another reason was to offer the new French bourgeoisie an affordable way to obtain pieces of top quality; this was the time after the French R

A visit to Nantgarw

After half a year of being locked up in the big city, I ventured out for my first little trip last week. I spent a few days in Wales, the country West of England, part of the United Kingdom. It is a wild and mountainous place, green and famous for its incessant rain and storm and incomprehensible language. We were not disappointed: it was incredibly green, wild, peaceful, I was fascinated by the language and yes, it was raining most of the time. The noisiest thing you could hear on our farm was a rather happy pig rolling over in his sleep - our barn cottage being right near the stables. But there is something else Wales is famous for: the short-lived porcelain industry of the early 19th Cent

Keeping cool

It has been extremely hot here in the UK as we have gone through another heatwave - a scary phenomenon that seems to be the new normal as the global climate is being messed up. Britain is not built for heat and we have all been struggling in our baking hot brick houses. So I thought it is only appropriate to bring in these wise Chinese chaps fanning themselves - they know how to keep themselves cool! This beautiful Ming ewer is old - really old. It was made in the early 17th Century, about 400 years ago. This was the Chongzhen era, which was the late Ming era and is often called the Transitional Period. The Chongzhen Emperor was the 17th and last Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigning from 16

Avocado toast 😉🍈

Many jokes are made these days about the "avocado generation", i.e. millennials who love avocado toast and (very sensibly, in my eyes) turn away from meat and dairy consumption at levels that destroy our planet. And to be honest, even though I am not a millennial, I have joined them in that... so imagine my thrill when I found this amazing Spode dessert service in avocado green! The service is made of creamware, which is a very light earthenware that is strong but softer than porcelain or stoneware. It has this amazing avocado green ground (even though in the year 1814, in of shortly after which this service was made, nobody in England had ever seen an avocado) with a Chinoiserie pattern tr

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