We are delighted to offer this very large William Guerin & Cie Limoges hand painted tankard with a beautifully rendered hops design. Produced as whiteware by the William Guerin factory, this vintage hand painted tankard stands over 14-1/2" in height, with a hefty base measuring 6-1/2" in diameter. This tankard is one of the largest Limoges molds made. Although expertly painted by a talented artist, our William Guerin & Cie Limoges tankard has no second stamp on the base to identify a decorating studio, nor -- search as we might -- could we find a signature anywhere on this lovely piece that might give some clue regarding the identity of the artist. The branches, leaves and blossoms of a hops plant have been expertly painted against a beautiful, gradient background that ranges from cream to coral and green to lavender. The artistry and quality of the painting highlights the graceful lines, scroll work and bas relief design on the handle of this large William Guerin & Cie Limoges tankard. This same, graceful detailing is repeated in the raised pattern of the wide band encircling the tankard just above the base. Our William Guerin & Cie Limoges hand painted tankard is in excellent condition, with no chips, flakes, cracks, or spider lines. There is only minimal wear to the gold along the top rim of this stunning tankard. Please examine our photographs, as words alone cannot adequately describe this lovely piece. The sole backstamp on this William Guerin & Cie Limoges hops design tankard (see our history below) tells us that this piece had been made during the 40-year period between 1892 and 1932.
BRIEF HISTORY: Williams Guerin (1838-1912) was born near Limoges and trained from an early age in porcelain techniques. In 1836, he rented a porcelain decorating workshop in the Faubourg Montjovis (Limoges) area, decorating pieces primarily for export. In approximately 1872, Guerin took over the porcelain workshop of Lebron & Cie. Five years later, in 1877, he bought the porcelain factory that had been established by Jouhanneaud and Dubois in Rue du Petit-Tour (also the Limoges region). This latter factory previously had been acquired (in 1867) by the Utzschneider Company of Sarregemines. Guerin’s enlarged company became a mass producer of white ware that was exported to the United States for decoration by the major porcelain studios (e.g., Pickard and Stouffer) as well as amateur artists. Porcelain painting was an avid hobby in the United States throughout the 19th century, and the Guerin factory tapped into this huge market, exporting literally tens of thousands of barrels of white ware to the United States.
Guerin’s sons William and Andre joined the company in 1903. In 1911, W. Guerin & Cie. merged with the nearby Pouyat factory, after which both the Guerin and Pouyat company marks continued to be used. Sadly, WWI greatly decreased the output of this factory. Sometime during the period 1920 to 1921, Guerin & Cie was acquired by Bawo & Dotter Ltd., owner of the Elite name. The business then became Guerin Pouyat Elite, with Carl Bawo acting as technical director from 1923 to 1932. The Limoges factory closed in 1932 and was demolished in 1933. No further pieces were produced with the Guerin backstamps after 1932.