Businesses from all over the world started setting up shop in Limoges, France to have simple accessibility to kaolin, a porcelain ingredient previously only found in China, however, discovered in neighboring Saint-Yrieix in the late 18th century. Frederic Lanternier and family members started producing Limoges china under the family name. Son Alfred later joined the company and marked that the china he created with “A. Lanternier & Co.” and other derivatives during the first few decades of the 20th century. The business created over 400 patterns throughout the period it had been in business.
A. Lanternier Limoges China
A. Lanternier Limoges created mostly dinnerware and accessories using primarily floral or scroll-like patterns over a white background, although the company did produce some ornamental pieces, like the “La Grande Guerre Dessins de Job” series that depicts a succession of motifs of warfare obligations from World War I. Many of the A. Lanternier & Co fine china pieces were also trimmed in silver or gold. Sometimes the patterns would circle the edge of the plate and cup rims, and sometimes they would cross the entire plate.
A. Lanternier and Company exported china in the Limoges area starting in 1855, but when Alfred came on board in 1887, the business indicated its china dinnerware sets and accessories with “A. Lanternier & Co.” and sometimes contained the design’s name like “Brabant,” “Fougere Idienne” or “Empress” near the firm’s mark. Look beneath the red, blue and white shield with “France” written over it followed by the company’s name underneath along with the pattern name in a line beneath the company’s title.
Several of these fine dinnerware from the French-based company included fluted borders to resemble the petals of flowers on vines trailing around the outside of the plate, with light blue and lavender tinged blossoms reaching toward the center as with the Volubilis pattern. To confirm that a slice is an authentic A. Lanternier & Co. china item, compare your pieces with images of the china on online auction sites or sites that find or sell replacement pieces for your set.
Examine the bottom of a plate, saucer or cup to find the maker’s mark. You might also note a series of numbers with or without a letter. Manufacturers often identified their patterns with these markers, with a pattern assigned to a certain number. If you find a pattern number, research the number in china collectible books, auction sites or online with companies offering replacement pieces. By way of example, an ivy vine encrusted in stone circling the plate’s edge has the pattern number “6” to identify it again.