Vincennes Porcelain Manufactory

Datesfounded 1740, dissolved 1756
RolesArtist, Manufacturer

The Vincennes Manufactory opened in 1740 in converted premises at the royal château of Vincennes. The factory was run by a former carpenter who had discovered the secret of producing brilliant white soft-paste porcelain. Five years later, the company was granted a royal warrant, giving it the exclusive right to produce "porcelain in the style of Saxony, painted and gilded and depicting human figures" and also to produce porcelain sculptures and flowers. Vincennes frequently copied the products of the extremely successful Meissen porcelain manufactory, the first in Europe to produce true hard-paste porcelain like that imported from China and Japan.

At the beginning, the factory produced numerous porcelain flowers, faithfully copied from nature. Marchands-merciers mounted the flowers on bronze stalks to create bouquets, placed them in vases, and used them to decorate a variety of other objects such as wall lights or chandeliers. Vincennes artists continued to look to Meissen products for inspiration, copying their stylized flowers or landscapes.

A new period began in 1748, when the goldsmith Jean-Claude Duplessis was hired. He introduced a new range of forms, including figures inspired by the work of François Boucher. The appointment of Jean-Jacques Bachelier as artistic director in 1752 brought changes to the decoration. In 1756, the factory was transferred to buildings specially built at Sèvres, where porcelain production continued.