Charming pair of baluster shaped vases made in Valentine porcelain, with openwork handles enhanced with gold. They are decorated on the front with a polychrome bouquet of natural flowers in a cartouche with a golden interlacing frieze, and on the back with a foliated cartouche, all on a blue background. The neck, circled with gold, is adorned with a « cailloutis » decor.
The Valentine factory was a porcelain factory founded in 1832, following the discovery of a vein of kaolin in the central Pyrenees, at Saint -Gaudens. It was the only porcelain factory located in the south of France. Driven by political troubles, former porcelain makers of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, founded in the early nineteenth century a factory in Toulouse. By 1820, this factory named “Fouque and Arnoux, earthenware manufacturers, Place Saint-Sernin in Toulouse”, with seventy workers, installed a second factory in Saint-Gaudens, on the banks of the river Garonne, where the two factories finally consolidated in 1832. The factory employing up to 250 workers in the 1850s, was facing the Valentine hill, from where the 6 ovens of the factory were refuelling with wood, and which gave then its name to the porcelain wares. These “Valentine porcelain wares”, produced until 1878 in Saint-Gaudens, were made in pure white and milky hard-paste, with very bright enamel, and whose famous ”Valentine Blue” vases were colored with cobalt-blue. The decor was often enriched with floral bouquets and gold lines painted on enamel.