Circa 1940 Limoges Plaque - FONTANILLE and MARRAUD F & M - Fragonard Scene
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The Limoges, France porcelain firm of Fontanille & Marraud produced the pretty oval plaque that is encased in this gilded Baroque frame. The firm used quality transfers and embellished them with raised, hand painted details, as they did on this courting scene. The name "Fragonard" is lettered on lower left and partially visible. The French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard lived from 1732 to 1806; his romantic paintings were popular subjects for Limoges artists. They are simplified versions of his complex paintings and he did not, of course, "sign" any of them.
The slightly convex plaque or medallion is identified on the back with the two-part mark of F & M: a scroll with the words " Porcelaine Artistique F. M Limoges France" followed by the crowned oval containing the words "Label de Qualité". The marks date the plaque after 1936 (or 1938, depending on the reference source) when Maurice Marraud joined his father-in-law Martial Fontanille at the porcelain decorating workshop he founded in 1928 on the Rue de l'Hermitage (Hermitage Street) in Limoges.
The frame is wood, heavy and ornamented with egg and dart molding, crossed ribbons, beading and many other motifs, including an elaborate petal and scroll at each corner. The plaque is surrounded by its own ornamented frame, with a tied bow at the top. The frame is gilded, with some faint cracking that is common and a few nicks, but in very good condition. As you can see from our before and after photos, our framer replaced the dust paper, with a small clear vinyl window so the mark can still be seen. The inadequate sawtooth hanger was replaced by a new coated hanging wire and the hardware to hang it is included.
The colorful scene shows an 18th century mademoiselle and her suitor, strolling in the gardens, a tall obelisk in the background. It measures about 3 inches by 4 inches; the overall framed measurements are 14 inches by 14 inches and about 2 inches in total depth. It weighs 3 pounds, 3 ounces and is a beautiful artwork for the lover of Limoges and the fan of French décor.
>>>The antique T & V Limoges chamberstick shown in our photo is available here: