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Antique French Country Proverb "Talking Plates" - Set of 6

Antique French Country Proverb "Talking Plates" - Set of 6

$150.00

Found at market on our most recent trip to Paris, this charming set of "Assiettes Parlantes" (Talking Plates) dates from the late 1800s and is a wonderful glimpse into French society of that era.

Produced by the potters at Creil et Montage, each plate depicts a vignette of country life in France. Some plates are humorous, while others present teachable moments or commentary that would have been found amusing to French people in the 19th century.

With crisp, detailed scenes in black decorating the center of each plate, the scalloped rims feature a charming garland in cornflower blue. Rich in history, this set of talking plates are sure to be a beloved addition to your home.


Strictly one-of-a-kind and subject to prior sale. In very good antique condition. Handwash only. 6 5/8" in diameter.

Learn More About French "Talking Plates"

Inspired by the French love of humor, Assiettes Parlantes, or “talking plates” are French transferware plates with French sayings on them. Some of the most collectible illustrate the life of a French hero or heroine, such as the plates depicting Napoleon or Jeanne d’Arc.

Often illustrating famous French battles or wars, plates like this would give a village patriot a “memory boost" about a battle or war he was a part of, or proud of. These historical plates, recorded France’s most illustrious wars. Collecting plates that portrayed France in its glory days on the battle fields around the world became quite popular, and true infatuation for collecting historical faience plates swept over 19th century France.

Yet other Assiettes Parlantes illustrate the months of the year, or seasons, professions; anything that had appeal to the French buying public in the mid to late 1800’s can be found on these sets of plates. Some of the plates have a play on words, or jeux de mots. Witty and at times a bit harsh or even risqué, each illustrates a funny saying, joke or sly humor that the French found amusing.

While these are called “fine”, this refers to the ability of the transfer process to replicate finely drawn images in clear detail on the pottery, not that they are of fine quality porcelain on par with Limoges, for example. French potteries that made the parlantes plates could produce a vast amount of plates per day, with each worker able to complete 200 or more plates daily. Potteries creating commemorative dish ware were in full production by the 1860’s and some of the most famous French producers of this type of pottery include Gien, Creil et Montage, Keller et Guerin, Choisy-le-Roi, Digoin and Sarreguemines.

These plates are the darlings of designers and collectors alike, as they are wonderful to display in a hutch, hang on the wall flanking an antique French mirror, or placed on stands on a mantel.

(Courtesy of Frenchgardenhouse.com)

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