Archive for May, 2009

my tete a tete set  3

my tete a tete set  2

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This is a “tête-à-tête” coffee set, and consisting of five pieces; one coffee pot, one creamer, two saucers and serving tray, each one finely hand painted with applied leaves and grains of coffee. This lovely little set was manufactured by William Guerin and Co., Limoges, France and designed exclusively to Gath & Chaves, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The mark indicates that it was made sometime between 1900 and 1932.

my tete a tete set 1

I put on the table a beautiful old piece of French cotton lace. This midnight blue lace has an exquisite pattern with oak leaves and acorns. The mighty oak is a symbol of strength, refuge, longevity and resilience.

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my tete a tete set mark

Limoges & Guerin

Limoges has become the generic name of hard paste porcelain that was produced during the 18th, 19th and into the 20th century in one of the many factories in Limoges, a French town situated about 250 miles southwest of Paris in the Vienne valley. Each factory used a unique factory back stamp or underglaze mark. Each piece of Limoges was produced using the same formula of feldspar, kaolin and quartz. Each piece was subjected to the same intense firing process of about 900 degrees for 16 hours, followed by the glazing process, and yet another firing at approximately 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for eight more hours.


Limoges in the early 1800s was making the finest, purest white porcelain in the world. By the 1830s, there were at least 35 porcelain factories and 62 decorating studios operating in the Limoges region.

polishing cups

William Guerin (1838-1912) was born near Limoges and trained in porcelain techniques. In 1836, he rented a porcelain decorating workshop in the Faubourg Montjovis (Limoges), doing export.

About 1872, Guerin took over the porcelain workshop of Lebron & Cie. Then in 1877 he bought the porcelain factory that had been established by Jouhanneaud and Dubois in Rue du Petit-Tour (Limoges), and which had been bought in 1867 by the Utzschneider Company of Sarregemines. This enlarged company produced a wide range of wares, selling a lot of white ware and also continuing decoration.

Guerin’s sons William and Andre joined the company in 1903. In 1911 W. Guerin & Cie. merged with the nearby Pouyat factory. Possibly both company marks were continued; in any case WWI greatly decreased output.

In 1920 or 1921 by Bawo & Dotter Ltd., owner of Elite name, bought Guerin & Cie and became Guerin Pouyat Elite, with Carl Bawo as technical director from 1923. The factory closed in 1932 and was demolished in 1933.

green mark 1870green mark 1891- 1932blue mark 2 1891- 1932blue mark 1891- 1932

Guerin and HuebkenGuerin -Dulin and Martinguerin mark 1891L

Guerin mark 1896Guerin markGuerin and Marriott


One characteristic phenomenon of the Biedermeier period (1815–1850s) was the emphasis on the private sphere. Interiors became comfortable, reception rooms evolved into living rooms, and the decorative arts concentrated on items of personal delight. The tête-à-tête (French, face to face) is a prime example. It is a small coffee, tea or chocolate service for two persons. Usually, such sets were made out of porcelain or silver.

wedgwood Bone china late 19thCapo di Monte style 20th

1930 en Czechoslovakie bMeissen

Samson of ParisSt. Petersburg 1752-96

tête à tête Couleuvre 1950Limoges Cobalt 1922-28

breakfast set kimberly patterncoffee service portrait of a womanDéjeuner Culture et Récolte du Cacao Sevres 1836

French porcelain 20thGermany porcelainLimoges breakfast set

KMP Berlin 1914-18Italian 20thKMP Berlin

limoges coffee setLimoges Robert Hessler 20thMeissen style

Limoges Guerin PouyatLimoges Soudana & Touze 1920-42Manufacture Pouyat, Limoges 1862 blanc de Limoges

Milton 20thNymphenburgRoyal Berlin 1840

Royal Vienna 1815Service À Café - Thé - Porcelaine De LimogesVieux Paris  Louis-Philippe 1840

Sevres 20thtête à tête en porcelaine polychrometete a tete french 18th

William Guerin 1863-1881

William Guerin 1863-1881

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My wagasa 1

My wagasa  a

My wagasa inter 2

This old Japanese umbrella is made from a heavy rice paper hand painted with peacocks and flowers. It has a bamboo handle and a metal cap on top. For being over 100 years old this “wagasa”  is in good condition.

My wagasa center

My wagasa inter 1

My wagasa  det 1

My wagasa det 4

Wagasa – Traditional Japanese Umbrellas

Since its introduction to Japan over 1000 years ago, the Japanese have gone beyond seeing the umbrella as merely a tool. Indeed, they are objects of beauty in their own right.

Traditional Japanese umbrellas or Wagasa (和傘), are made of bamboo (竹), wood, and washi (和纸: Japanese traditional paper), fortified and made waterproof with persimmon, linseed oil and China wood oil.

There are many types of Japanese umbrella:

Bangasa (番伞): traditional rain umbrella made of bamboo and oiled paper.

Janome (蛇の目: umbrella in snake eye pattern): is blue in the center and at the edges, and white in between, and looks like the eye of a snake when viewed from above. This umbrella does have variations, such as painted black rings on the surface and the application of other materials.

Maigasa (舞伞) or Buyôgasa (舞踊伞): is a wonderful parasol used traditionally for classical Japanese dance, is more lightweight in nature, allowing for delicate and graceful moves. Maigasa is status symbol of “mai”(舞) dancer but not be used in the rain.

Nodategasa (野点傘): is a type of umbrella used for shade in Japanese processions and open air tea ceremonies (茶の湯).

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japanese umbrellas 3paper parasol5paper parasol16

japanese umbrellas 8paper parasol6parasol m

japanese umbrella 2japanese umbrella 6bangasa 2

ieaRnCAxMTdYwgjapanese umbrellas 7umbrella store

japanese umbrellas 9japanese umbrella 3japanese umbrellas

While a typical western umbrella has eight ribs holding up the covering, a traditional Japanese umbrella has 30-40 ribs. This is due to the particular structure of these umbrellas, wherein thin bamboo ribs positioned closely together support and push the washi paper outwards to open.



The ribs of a Japanese umbrella are made of a single bamboo cane, which is split lengthways into equal-sized pieces. When attaching these ribs to the covering, they are rearranged back into the order in which they were split, so that when the umbrella is closed, it closes neatly with the bamboo pieces coming together to form the shape of the original cane. Its composition is so delicate that if there is even the slightest damage to the bamboo or a miscalculation with the rearrangement occurs, the umbrella will not open.The geometrically spaced ribs beautifully spread out from the center to create an elegant shape.


When closed, bamboo is strong and durable more than expected, due to being transformed into a form of its bamboo cylinder.

When opened, however, it is not strong enough due to thin bamboo ribs connected with the threads with washi paper glued to the frames, which requires good care for a longer use. If kept in good shape, a 20 year old umbrella may be usable to your surprise. Wagasa may look simple, but it requires a complex technique since paper must be folded nicely after it is pasted on the frame.


The umbrella was invented in ancient China as a canopy to be held over a nobleman. It was introduced to Japan through Kudara (the Korean peninsula) as part of Buddhist ceremonies. Originating in the Kamakura era (镰仓时代: 1192-1333), it flourished in the Edo era (江戸时代: 1603-1867).

A girl in a kimono and  Japanese  parasol.A woman holding an umbrellaA woman is holding a parasolgirl is holding a plain parasol

Japanese stylejapanese umbrella 4japanese umbrella 5paper umbrella 1

Japanese umbrella in her left hand,The woman holding a janome umbrella wears a Michiyuki coatpaper umbrella 2wagasa 2

wagasa 1wagasa 3wagasa 4woman holding an umbrella

wagasa 5wagasa 7wagasa 8wagasa

The umbrella in Japan was originally called “kinugasa”, but because it came from China (kara), it was also called “karakasa”. At the time, they were unlike umbrellas used today, and were more like canopies that could not be opened and closed. Their purpose was also different. These umbrellas were reserved for privileged members of society, and as well having the conventional function of a parasol, the umbrella was a status symbol that was believed to ward off evil spirits.

The umbrella has played an important role in Japanese culture, and its “Umbrella Culture” is without parallel in the rest of the world. Not only is it indispensable in everyday life for protection against rain and sun, the wagasa is also used in the world of traditional arts, such as in Noh and Kabuki theatre.

hagiwara kaeshiya basya

hagiwara kaeshiya kasa

japanese umbrellas 10


Currently, the kano umbrella, made in Kano, Gifu Prefecture, is proud to be to the only place in Japan to be a major producer of traditional Japanese umbrellas.

girls in a kimono

woman with parasol

paper umbrella 17

Umbrellas & Art


Britain's Pot Metal Mikado Figure ToyEdna HIBEL ASIAN GIRL FIGURE WITH PARASOLEsther Hunt 1875-1951 dos

Gustave Vichy Automaton of a Japanese Mask Seller

Esther Hunt 1875-1951KITAGAWA UTAMARO 1753-1806  C.1797T. Nakayama watercolorUtamaro Kitagawa Japanese 1753-1806 Woman with Umbrella

FRANK SNAPP - Amer. 1872-1936 gouache on paper Lady with Parasol

Mori  Yoshitoshi 1898-1993 stencil woman with umbrellapaper parasolThe Garden Parasol, 1910 Oil on canvas

sakai izumi

Japan 2

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