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Saint-Clément and French majolica

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 over time the factory was owned by several shareholders, amongst them being the Thomas family, who in 1863 became the sole owners. This was around the same time that Saint-Clément began producing French majolica which the brand later became famous for.


In 1892, the factory was sold to Keller and Guérin, who already owned the earthenware factory of Lunéville. 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 that is still active in France and employees 130 people. It continues to produce many of the classic majolica pieces associated with the Saint-Clément brand plus newer 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.


Today, majolica produced by Saint-Clément in the late 19th and early 20th century is easily recognised by the subtle shadings of colours. Popular pieces include animal pitchers or jugs including a rooster, parrot and duck which are loved on a worldwide scale.


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 have become the UK stockist of these antiques of the future, available in our online shop today you will find the yellow duck and blue parrot pitchers and jugs but which one will you choose?


View our Saint-Clément collection of pitchers and jugs

Couke products at Maison Cherie