A look at the design, market and legacy of Victorian pottery

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Choisy Le Roi Game Bird Series

The Choisy-Le-Roi Game Bird plates are a really nice series for the beginning majolica collector. They are colorful, nicely designed and can be actually used to serve on. Unlike the equally attractive rabbit plates made by the same company, they are easily found with very affordable prices.

To the best of my knowledge there are two distinct styles with a total of eleven different designs available: peacock, two roosters, two chickens with chicks, swan, mallard, mallard hen, goose, pheasant, and crane. The first style is very shallow in its modeling with colored glazes delineating details of the background with a border of six equal scallop sides, like the bunny plates. These have a pale yellow or ivory ground. The second type is more deeply modeled, with very little glaze attention played to the surrounding details with an eight scalloped border and a pale taupe or grey colored ground.

 All of them were made in both full color and solid colors. They are always marked on the reverse "Choisy-Le-Roi, Made in France" which tells us that they were made for export some time after 1890.

It's been my experience that the the most difficult to find of the series is the crane, which is very rarely seen. The other birds are more easily found.

These are, of course just a a few of the game bird related items made by the company. Their rooster and chicken figures can be huge and simply breath taking and their bird vases are rare and gorgeous, but all of these are terribly expensive unlike the plates.

Plates generally sell in the $100-$300 range depending on design and availability and can be easily found from most antique majolica dealers.

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