Friday, November 5, 2010

The Makers - Artoria Limoges

One of my personal favorites and easily distinguishable by bright, vivid paint colors is Artoria Limoges. Artoria has aquired exclusive licenses to retail some Disney and other copyrighted icons. Most Artoria Limoges boxes are numbered, limited editions in lots of 1000 or 2000. Artoria Limoges is the largest manufacturer of porcelain giftware in Limoges, France, located on the banks of the Vienne River. It has been a family-owned business for generations, and has become known for the outstanding quality and fine craftsmanship of its hand-painted Limoges boxes and other collectibles. Artoria performs all aspects of porcelain manufacture - sculpting, molding, finishing, decorating and accessorizing. Its artisans are among the finest in Limoges, and many are the sons and daughters of Artoria craftsmen. They also offer tours of their factory in Limoges.

The name Artoria was adopted in 1990. The factory was founded in 1957 by Robert de Merindol as Manufacture Nouvelle de Porcelaines. Merindol had been director for Camille Tharaud. The factory was expanded in 1959 (architect J. and J.L. Picot) and again in 1973 (by G. Boineau). R. de Merindol's son Thierry inherited the company in 1983, incorporated it in 1985, and changed the name to Artoria in 1990. The number of employees was 22 in 1965, 75 in 1988, 110 in 1990, 55 in 2003.

Artoria expanded to the USA in 1982 and opened a showroom in New York City in 1995. In 2005 American operations relocated to Northern New Jersey, actually five minutes from me in Morris County, to stop in and check them out is definitely on my 'to do'  list!.

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