Foreword to the english edition


When I first met François Piton at home in Belgium in early 2000 I was amazed at the intensity of his passion for Desvres faïence. Unlike so many other dealers, François was also keen to share his expertise with as many people as he possibly could.

Later that year, François told me that he had a second and more comprehensive book in the pipeline and asked my colleague Judith Dunn if she would translate it into English. Judith is an accomplished linguist and academic and has been widely published in France and UK. She gladly accepted and, in turn, asked me to help ensure that the translation assumed the Anglo-American perception of French faïence, rather than the continental one. My contribution in that respect has been minimal, but I should at this stage emphasise therefore that the translation is in places not word for word - or "mot à mot".

I am delighted to commend this book to English speaking lovers of faïence. Although the decorative faïence of Desvres dates from the first half of the 19th century, its roots, through Rouen, go all the way back to the early 1500s. I hope that this book will help many realise that not all fine and early French faïence comes from the “big five”...

Ivor Hughes

Journalist (and faïence enthusiast)

Yorkshire, England