History of Limoges

History of Porcelain Limoges Boxes France

Marco Polo�s famous 24 year trip to the Orient was where the notion of porcelain and Chinese ceramics originated throughout Western Europe. The Chinese were so distinguished for their porcelain production that they influenced European style for centuries. The first Europeans to bring porcelain making to Europe during the middle ages were the Venetians and Portuguese. The most important ingredient to making porcelain is Kaolin, which is a white clay that is a silicate of aluminum found in China, Germany and  Limoges France. Europeans didn�t think that such an ingredients could be found in the earth and had their alchemists try to artificially make this substance.  For years Europeans used a soft fake substance for porcelain that was more of a soft paste and like that of glass. They couldn�t find a substance like the middle East had made their fine porcelain from. In the early 17thcentury Kaolin was discovered in Germany and the secret to Chinese porcelain was finally disclosed throughout Europe.  It was in the mid to late 18thcentury that Kaolin was discovered in Limoges France in 18 miles southwest of Limoges at St. Yrieix. It is shortly after that time period that the first porcelain Limoges box factory was established. Louis XVI soon bought the Limoges Box factory, and Limoges porcelain box blanks were taken to Sevres to be hand painted and decorated.