A Rochard Limoges porcelain box, easily held in the palm of one’s hand, is the epitome of miniature beauty, of craftsmanship par excellence. When admiring these miniatures, it may be difficult, in this day and age, to imagine the colorful history behind these highly collectible objects d’art. Remarkably, they were once objects of scorn – Louis XIV abhorred snuff – and desire – one German count possessed more than 700 of them.
To understand the origins of today’s Limoges porcelain box, one has to consider both the history of porcelain, to discover how Limoges, France became a world leader in producing fine porcelain, and the snuff boxes of the late 17th and 18th centuries, when many of the designs that continue to inspire designers today were first crafted by French factories.
Looking back, it is amazing to discover that very little has changed in the manufacturing of Limoges boxes in the 300 years since their introduction. The process continues to be done by hand and in miniature. Today’s Limoges boxes, however, serve a more decorative and collectable purpose. The art has been elevated to embrace wonderful whimsy in a variety of collections.
Originally created to hold snuff, but also candies and other cherished objects, these miniature boxes became symbols of their times, reflecting, perhaps more than any other everyday object, the social mores, decorative skills, technological advances and even politics of the ancient regime. Today, Limoges boxes are used to mark life’s special occasions or collected as prizes of lasting beauty. A mere box, not quite. The decorative pieces we collect today provide us with a clear and colorful link to the past – and creative possibilities of tomorrow. We invite you to enjoy our Rochard Limoges box collection.