Chamart Exclusives
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Chamart Limoges
Limoges Boxes

A number of small, exceptional ateliers support the creation of Chamart’s exclusive line of 2,500 trademarked Limoges Boxes.
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PEINT MAIN (HANDPAINTING)

Every Chamart Limoges Box is painted entirely by hand in exquisite detail. Each painter possesses a unique specialty. One artist is a master of animal replication, another an expert in floral design, and so forth. No decals, transfers, stencils, or shortcuts are ever employed. These artists’ discriminate handiwork make Chamart Limoges Boxes truly distinctive.

limoges_boxes_illustration

2003 Jardiniere, the fifth in an annual series of handmade flowers set in a window box and delicately painted in natural colors. Series limited to 250 pieces.

ÉDITION D’OBJET DE COLLECTION
(COLLECTIBLE EDITIONS)

The porcelain paste used to make each Chamart Limoges Box is cast in three-dimensional molds painstakingly carved from plaster of paris. Typically, ten molds are made for each exclusive design. A single mold will produce no more than 75 to 85 pieces before it begins to wear, causing the finished cast to lose exacting detail. Except in rare cases, this process limits the production of any edition of the Chamart Limoges Box to 750-850 pieces. The molds are then destroyed. Quality, desirability, value are ensured. The first two digits of the style number used by Chamart indicate the year your Chamart Limoges Box collectible was crafted.

ÉDITION LIMITÉE (LIMITED EDITIONS)

Chamart’s limited editions are sculpted entirely by hand. Each piece is unique in its articulation. In France, a single Chamart artisan with decades of experience will make miniature leaves and petaled flowers, by hand, for Chamart’s noted Limoges flower boxes. The handle on the flower basket will be twisted by hand and gingerly put in place. The finished piece bears a registered trademark and is signed in the script of the artist. The production of a limited edition is confined to 300 pieces or less for any one design. Every handmade piece is unique.

L’ECOLE CHAMART
NOTES FROM A SEASONED COLLECTOR

A fine Limoges Porcelain Box will most assuredly appreciate in value. When selecting a box for your collection, choose pieces that bear the following marks of quality:

  • Each Limoges box must be entirely handmade and handpainted in France. No decals, stencils, or transfers should be used in production.
  • Purchase pieces crafted by a reputable firm like Chamart, well known for decorating and importing their own high quality work.
  • Look for boxes that are hand-signed and distinctive in shape. Both qualities reflect the artisan’s mark and serve to enhance value.
  • The artist’s paints should convey detail, depth, vivid color, realism, mood, proportion, and setting.
  • The box’s interior and exterior paintings should relate thematically. If a box contains removable pieces (e.g. a frog nested inside a watering can), these pieces should serve to complement the overall design.
  • Hammered clasps on the box’s exterior also should relate thematically to the piece as a whole. A box with trout on the lid, for example, might sport a sailboat clasp.
  • Hardware should be tightly fitted to the box. The trim on the base and lid should line-up evenly when snapped closed.
  • Production of any one edition must be truly limited. Prestigious manufacturers will destroy the molds upon making no more than 300-850 pieces of any one design. Production that exceeds 850 pieces cannot be considered a ‘limited edition.’
  • Value is enhanced if the blanks or molds are exclusive to the company (approximately one-half of Chamart’s molds are exclusive).
  • The boxes must be numbered so collectors know how many of any one edition was manufactured and where each piece falls within its production (e.g. a box marked 10/300 indicates that it was the 10th box made and that 300 were produced in all).
  • The term ‘limited edition’ must refer to the total number of boxes produced from any one mold and not the number that were painted. A reputable manufacturer will not offer a new ‘limited edition’ on an existing mold design. If you have seen a mold utilized on prior ‘limited edition’ boxes, it indicates that the edition was limited in its paintwork only. A true limited edition must be unique in mold design as well as decoration.
  • Select your Limoges box with care. Thousands of unadvertised seconds flood the market each year, sold at greatly reduced prices. Often the porcelain originates in Limoges, but the painting is done in the US by amateurs. If a box is purported to be of exceptional quality, yet seems inexpensive, there is a reason for it.

View Select Limoges Boxes ››

 
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