Paris porcelain (French, c.1750 - c.1870)

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Paris porcelain, known as Old Paris porcelain or in French, Vieux Paris, was a conglomeration of over thirty different porcelain manufacturers working in the city of Paris from the mid-18th Century to the late 19th Century.

The Parisian artisans had to compete with the Royal Manufactory at Sevres, which was funded by King Louis XV of France, and so worked quickly and were keen to adapt their work to encompass developing tastes and styles in porcelain. This meant that Old Paris porcelain included works ranging from the Neoclassical to the Renaissance and Rococo.

There were some Old Paris workshops that worked with undecorated ‘white wares’ that came from the Limoges and even Sevres. In these instances, the artisans acted merely as decorators, but still created stunning wares in their own right.

There is no one distinct mark for Paris porcelain since it was produced by so many workshops and about 70% of the production had no markings at all. The most prominent names of Old Paris porcelain were Dagoty, Gille, Petit, Dihl and Nast, who all won awards, honours and were rewarded financially.