Porcelaine de Tournai/Tournai soft paste porcelain
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Tournai Soft Paste Porcelain
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Coffee cup in soft paste porcelain of Tournai (fly decor)
Coffee cup in soft paste porcelain of Tournai (fly decor)
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History of the Tournai's factory

Soft paste porcelain of Tournay (1751 – 1890)

At the end of 1750, beginning of 1751 : A certain François-Joseph Peterinck, born in Lille in 1709, merchant of coal in Ath and former officer of the French Army, married to Anne-Marie Deswattines, repurchases the earthenware manufacture of Carpentier to manufacture there in more of earthenware, a soft paste porcelain. At the time of the sale of the faience manufacture, Carpentier without any doubt introduced the Dubois brothers who were employed in his Dorez brother-in-law (faience in Valenciennes and Saint-Amand). With technical and innovating ideas, and a stockholders' equity, he unearths the Dubois brothers (famous ceramists) and in fact associates. The brothers worked there since 1749.
The brothers Dubois transfer of manufactures of Saint-Cloud, Chantilly, Vincennes and Valenciennes, work in Saint-Amand in the manufacture which Pierre-Barthelemy Dorez directs, brother-in-law of Carpentier. A contract is elaborate between Robert Dubois, the elder turner and Peterinck. Dubois bring "Arts and sciences" in the composition of the paste and the colors (as well out of porcelain as out of earthenware).
1751 : Peterinck present at Charles of Lorraine a gloss of porcelain (manufactured by the Dubois brothers) composed of two stages, interlaced of 16 branches, the quantity of flowers is considerable. It obtains a 30 years monopoly by the governor General (Charles of Lorraine).
1751 : Caillat come from Vincennes sells the secrecies of the colors to Péterinck, Caillat will make in the same way a little later in Chantilly. Gilles Dubois does not remain in Tournaisienne manufacture and share to Vincennes in 1752 with his comrade Chanou junior, where it proposes the receipt of the porcelain hard paste. Robert Dubois appears alone and is mentioned as director of manufacture where it was personally occupied to mould, turn and to supervise cookings.
In 1752, Prince Charles of Lorraine, governor of the Netherlands grants to the manufacture of Tournay the title of Imperial and royal, it is authorized to place the weapons of its Majesty, it is also authorized to choose a specific mark for the porcelain of Tournay, Peterinck choose the Tower symbol of Tournay. This mark is used until 1763, then one will find the cross swords and small crosses. One will also find in the manufacture of the artists like Nicolas Gauron, Antoine Gillis... François Carpentier: set up the factory of earthenware to the quay of the Salines 1750
Borne : Painter on earthenware in Rouen (25 years) arrives at Tournai in 1752. Excel painter on earthenware (biblical and mythological) Signature and date two large dishes round representing one Venus and Adomis (1736), the other the 4 seasons (1738), it leaves Rouen for Sinceny (1 year) then arrives at Tournai with son, brother and 2 other companions (all painters on earthenware).
1755 : : Borne share of the manufacture of Tournay towards Mons and carries with him the moulds. It would have returned to Tournay? (deceased in 1772)
6 May 1755 : Arrived of a new chief of the painters called Cardon of Bertauvillet.(origin of Soissons), he is the director of the porcelain painters and Japonees earthenware. Jean-Claude Cardon of Bertauvillet provides the compositions of the colors of Saxe, gildings and other secrecies. Jean-Claude arrives directly from Strasbourg, it would have received these secrecies of Johann-Gottlieb Roth (painter in Strasbourg) which itself would have received them when it worked with A-F Von Lowenfinck at Meissen and Höechst (from 1747 to 1748)
1756 : Peterinck is ruined by the development of the soft paste and there is seen in the obligation to join two backers (Caters and Van Schoor) Peterinck remains owner for 1/3 of manufacture.
1756 : Antoine Gillis born in Dôle (worked in Valenciennes) it worked on the sculpture of the Pulpit of Truth of the Cathedral of Tournay, he worked there until 1764 One finds Robert Dubois in Chantilly in 1758 with several workmen of Tournay, of which his Cerisier brother-in-law present with him since the beginning.
1759 : Robert Dubois deccease in Chantilly (in Oise)
1758 : Nicolas GAURON is a foreman of the model and finisher until 1764, front, it worked as moulder with Mennecy-Villeroi (1753) and 1754 in Vincennes!! 1761 : Peterinck refuses divulger the secrecies of the soft paste to his associates, he will be imprisoned.
1762 : Peterinck is given in freedom thanks to the intervention of the Count Cobenzl
1763 : The artistic direction is under Michel-Joseph Duvivier, he was specialized in the painting of the river landscapes and the birds waders to the imaginary colors. It is the period of the technical perfection, the handles twisted and the made up catch of lid. The decorations are gold magnify engraved. The degrading are used, the camaieux purple or green, the loves of Boucher, the flowers, the landscapes river or marine, the birds of imaginations, the vegetables, etc...
31 january 1768, the artistic Director of the manufacture of Tournay, Michel-Joseph Duvivier receives the honorary mark of Charles of Lorraine, Governor of the Netherlands, who will be contradictable... Charles of Lorraine has his own porcelain factory into the castle of Tervuren, in the Cour Brulée (old palate of the Dukes of Bourgogne), a workshop of decorative painting and of small fire on porcelain is installed there, 5 people work there, the direction of this small manufacture is directed by Georg-Christoph Lindemann, 2 painters, 1 moulder and 1 operator. Why this precision on this manufacture? and well, the mill and the furnace were delivered in 1768 by the manufacture of Tournay and the trade secrets and the moulds were given to the Governor, from where confusion enters Tournai and Tervuren, moreover of the white porcelains were dispatched to be decorated there. Destruction of this Cour Brulée in 1774. A set of table appeared in Germany and brings invaluable information... Dinner service of Prince de Starhemberg, offered by Charles of Lorraine and successor of Cobenzl 1770-1783. A set of 68 parts of which some are signed by Lindemann and/or are marked by the Cross of Lorraine. The edge of the parts is divided by four reserves decorated with bunches of flowers and alternated by squarings binds wine. The center surrounded of a green rubble, is decorated landscapes finely painted in the taste of the achievements of Lindemann with Nymphenburg, on the other hand the flowers are successful (other painters?). Gold is also flatter, it exists other services where the squaring binds wine is separated by garlands flowered out of gold. Lindemann Georg-Christoph born in Dresden, in Germany. Chief of the painters in Nymphenburg from 1758 à 1760, , then into the manufacture of Höchst. Charles of Lorraine: dies in 1780, its Castle is demolished one year later. Cobenzl (count): patron of the manufacture of Tournai, he resides at the Mastaing hotel in Brussels, dies in 1770. A funeral inventory is established: 378 parts decoration of flowers and edges gilded 12 plates decorated with purple flowers (manganeses?) 12 green plates white zone and flowers Statuettes and groups in great number The service ordered by Cobenzl (betweene 1763 et 1770) is decorated with a butterfly in blue represented in a encircled medallion into a Greek gold garland , the galon takes again this Greek garland and is underlined flowers of lily magnify of a engraved gold a beautiful thickness (several part hundred) One finds in a purchase order of 1765: 220 parts including 44 fruit dishes of 11 different forms.
Period magnificence 1770 – 1776
1771 : François of Musellerie is the first painter of the manufacture. Manufacture has a store in Cadiz in Spain and another in Amsterdam. Export to Russia. During some fifty year, the artistic director will remain the same one namely Joseph Mayer.
1775 : The forms rubbles are abandoned, the forms and more rigid lines and simpler are adopted. The decorations become simpler and light.
1776-1790 : The manufacture of Tournay sends white, white and blue porcelain towards Den Hague to be decorated there in polychromy low fire. The manufacture of Den Hague is directed by Antoon Lyncker. The Duke of Orleans, cousin of the King Louis XVI orders a service of 1600 parts decorated with birds copied of the natural history of the birds of Buffon. This service will never be paid!
1798 : Peterinck sells manufacture with one of his daughters, Amélie, married with the lawyer Jean-Maximilien de Bettignies. Plate of marriage of Amélie and Jean-Maximilien (1783). Peterinck dies in 1799 at the 80 years old
En 1800, the forms simpler, are refined, the market becomes vaster, manufacture is directed towards the series production. Jean-Maximilien dies in 1802, his wife Amélie directs the factory until 1808, there, she yields manufacture has three of her eight children, Henri, Olympe and Nathalie, young person marries Ragon Jean-Batiste which will take the direction. A certain Maurice Saint-Léger will take share in the new company called "Ragon, de Bettignies and Co", the bankruptcy will be marked in 1814. Representatives of the Commercial court are sent to supervise there and to direct the operations of the manufacture, Charles Le Coq is an provisional administrator and invites the new sovereign Guillaume 1st and the porcelain orders are followed from there. A great dinner service including 79 dozen dinner plates decorated with Greek garland on the edge, and carries in the center the royal figure W surmounted of a crown (W = Willem).
En 1815, the syndic sells the factory to Olympe de Bettignies, 2 years later his brother Henri repurchases it to him (1817), it will keep it during 33 years (1850), it will sell it at the Company Boch and Frères.
About the years 1830, the customers begin to ask at the manufacture of parts in the style of 1760 and this one remakes scalloped plates and gadroons. To the XIX, manufacture specialized in the realization of services intended for corporations. The shooting clubs of archers, of principal rafters and arquebusiers are its principal customers. From this period one also finds the design with figures. France founds a prohibitory import duty for the production of Tournay, so to cure it, Henri de Bettignies creates a deposit then a factory into Saint-Amand-Les-Eaux (1817) It is his young brother Maximilien who will take the direction of it. Another manufacture will take the day with Saint-Amand (thanks to defectors of tournay), one finds a former painter there and porcelain merchant of Tournay, François Bastenaire and a associate Piat Dorchies. Bastenaire leaves for Paris in 1819. Fauquez with left Tournay beginning 19th toward Saint Amand. Towards 1820 Henri de Bettignies asks King Guillaume 1st to acquire a luxury service, the service is named "with the large birds" to differentiate it from the birds of Buffon ordered by the Duke of Orleans (1787). A part of this service was painted by Joseph Mayer (1825). This service was offered to Charles Le Coq de Pletincx. Dorchies sells manufacture in 1833 to Triboullet (underdirector of Sevres) which will resell it in 1837 to Maximilien de Bettignies. Manufacture installed on the hillock of the mill of the Wolves, it produced soft paste porcelain, having the same manufactoring process, it will be also confused with that of Tournay. Stanniferous earthenware there will be also manufactured. Soft paste porcelain of Saint-Amand. Eugenie (Empress of the French), the Victoria Queen and the royal family of the Netherlands are customers of manufacture. About 1860, the two son of Maximilien-Joseph are formed at the Sèvres china school, thanks to their knowledge to make, it launches out in the manufacture of fine earthenware, he deceased in 1865. Two son; Maximilien and Henri continue the family affairs.
1880, the manufacture of Saint-Amand is sold to Brasseurs who devote themselves only to fine earthenware. Let us return to manufacture of tournay, about 1850, Hubert Dasseborne who works since 1829 in the Boch faience manufactures is named director of manufacture of tournay, and recruits workmen whose Jean-Baptist Mouzin (Printer, decorator) celebrates it. It is well during this time that one will find the parts with decorations posed by transfer, such as decorations of monkeys, landscapes, children.
1875, Hubert Dasseborne dies and manufacture remains four years without director, the assessment is overdrawn.
En 1882, a Parisian Charles Levy is named director, he reorientates himself towards the hard porcelain, but continues the soft paste. The fall is inevitable, the shareholders file for bankruptcy on July 15, 1889. Kéramis repurchases moulds and engraved boards. The workmen are directed towards the manufacture of Sarreguemines.
Last cooking on August 21, 1890.

Museum of Mariemont
Museum of Decorative Arts in Tournai
Museum of the Fiftieth anniversary in Brussels
E Soil de Moriame: Manufacture Impériale and Royal of Porcelain of Tournai
A.M. MARIEN-DUGARDIN: Porcelains of Tournai
DEROUBAIX: The porcelains of Tournai of the Museum of Mariemont.
French English
01.Tea boal in soft paste porcelain of Tournai (Ring garland)
02.Ear décor cream pot in Tournai porcelain.
03.Plate in porcelain of Tournai (Ear décor)
04.Plate in porcelain of Tournai (Ring décor)
05.Plate in soft porcelain of Tournai. (fly décor)
06.A Tournai cup and saucer (bay in bloom)
07.A Tournai cup and saucer (cornflower)
08.A Tournai pap plate (Bay in bloom decor)
09.A Tournai polychrom porcelain cup
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