Few things better evoke the spirit of Entente Cordiale, or it’s equivalent, though rarely used English term, Warm Understanding, than the happy marriage of English and French rustic pottery produced in Brittany and Normandy on the one hand, and in Staffordshire on the other, during the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries.
To stand before a cottage dresser furnished with a colourful display of “Oh, so English” Staffordshire pottery, blended together with the distinctively French products of the ateliers of Quimper, Malicorne and Desvres, is to experience a quiet sense of satisfaction comparable to the aura of peace bestowed by a beautiful garden. Whilst it may be argued that English Blue and White Transfer Ware sits most comfortably with it’s finely potted cousins produced in the lovely town of Desvres in Normandy, few would dispute that Staffordshire Figures, typically naïve and colourful, are fully “at home” when displayed together with their generally more bucolic counterparts emanating from Quimper and Malicorne in Brittany.
As with so many categories of collectables, generally speaking, prices in today’s marketplace for both English pottery and French faience are somewhat lower in real terms than was the case some twenty years ago, which factor can only add to their appeal for the diligent Collector with an eye to quality. If therefore, these are the sort of “country cottage” ceramics that appeal to you then now is as good a time as any either to start, or to add to, your collection.