Last Updated on August 19, 2020
What is a Limoges box? When inquiring I found many people did not know what a Limoges box was. I am going to not only tell you what it is but the story and history behind it. Before the interesting history lesson I would like to tell you that if you want to give a personalized unique baby gift, this is one of the most different and beautiful gifts I can think of.
Kaolin (in Chinese meaning white clay) the primary substance for making porcelain could be obtained only by importing it from China. In 1768 Kaolin was finally discovered around the city of Limoges, in France, and the beginning of Limoges porcelain was born. Limoges, a small town was one of the oldest in the French kingdom. The most prestigious artists (painters) became interested in this fabulous substance. They created tableware articles such as plates, platters and pitchers as well as fancy objects such as vases, bonbonieres, and the snuff box or Tabatiere in French. The snuff box became an immediate success. With porcelain there was no limit to the artists’ imagination or creativity. Miniature boxes resembling flowers, musical instruments, or even pets could be created. By owning a Tabatiere a person was identified as distinguished, trendy and affluent.
The French Revolution led to the practice of smoking tobacco with a pipe instead of snuffing it. Because of this the production of the fashionable snuff boxes came to a standstill.
When unable to locate old snuff boxes due to two centuries of revolutions and wars in Europe, entailing substantial destruction, some of the Limoges producers were prompted to pursue the re-birth of the Tabatiere. If original boxes did survive, they carried a very high value. Manufacturers worked very hard, the production was re-started and the artisans succeeded in resurrecting their heritage. Thus the Limoges boxes still thrive.
Now that you know the history of these beautiful pieces of art you can also appreciate them. They are truly keepsakes that anyone receiving one would be extremely delighted.
Limoges Boxes have become collector items. There are now thousands to choose from and no two are exactly alike. Most are quite small and have very intricate art work. They make exceptional newborn baby gifts. You can put babys’ initials on the outside top of the lid and the date of birth and weight and height on the inside of the lid. Often there is a picture as you look down into the bottom. You can get one for a girl or boy. This unique baby gift item is a perfect gift for grandparents as well. The boxes are small but just the right size for a lock of babys’ hair and for all the little baby teeth.
So when you are looking for that unique baby shower gift, just remember the saying, “Good things come in small packages,” and give a Limoges Box.