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 Revolution and there was a rising middle class who wanted to educate themselves and surround themselves with the cultural treasures that had previously only been accessible to the very wealthiest elite.