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Saint-Clément and French majolica

Updated: Jan 18, 2022

The history of Saint-Clément earthenware and French majolica

Coucke brand

Saint-Clément, a favoured supplier for Marie Antoinette dating back to 1758.

Saint-Clément was founded by Jacques Chambrette in 1758 and quickly became a highly respected manufacturer of earthenware and a favoured supplier for Marie Antoinette.

After Jacques died, his son Gabriel became the new owner, and in subsequent years the factory became owned by several shareholders. Amongst them was the Thomas family, who in 1863 became the sole owners and around the same time that Saint-Clément began producing French majolica.

Keller and Guérin, who already owned the earthenware factory of Lunéville, bought the factory in 1892. Under their management, the company was expanded considerably and sold onto Edouard Fenal in 1922, the owner of an earthenware factory in Badonviller.

Saint-Clément today

Nowadays, Saint-Clément is the only earthenware factory still active in France and employs 130 people. The classic majolica pieces associated with the Saint-Clément brand continue to be produced today, along with many new designs that have evolved in more recent years.

What is majolica?

Majolica is made by shaping and firing a piece of earthenware clay, then applying a tin enamel glaze to create a blank backdrop onto which artisans add finely painted details.

French majolica produced by Saint-Clément in the late 19th and early 20th century is easily recognised today by the subtle shadings of colours.

Modern Saint Clement animal pitchers and jugs

In 2020 Saint-Clément were commissioned by a French supplier of ours to produce a modern selection of animal pitchers and jugs in mono pastel shades using the original moulds from the late 19th century.

Here at Maison Cherie, we are the UK stockist of these antiques of the future.

Couke products at Maison Cherie


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