Paris Porcelain


The importance of the Parisian porcelain industry stretches back to the time when under the reign of Louis XIV, all silverware in France was melted into coins, and as a result all dishes needed to be replaced by a different material.
This brought about an immediate demand for porcelain from China (the sole supplier of porcelain since Vasco De Gama brought the first porcelain objects back to Europe during the 15th century). This was a very expensive commodity, and as such the need to create local porcelain was paramount, and once it was made possible a thriving local industry built up. The area around the 'rue de Paradis' has been Paris's showcase of porcelain and crystal since the Restoration, when the Comte d'Artois, later to become Charles X, and his son, the Duc d'Angoulême and last Dauphin of France, were the first to set up porcelain workshops here, soon to be followed by others.
Amongst the famous artists who at some time worked in the Parisian porcelain industry was Pierre Auguste Renoir, who was apprenticed as a painter to a Paris porcelain-maker between 1854-1858.