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  • Place of origin:

    Nevers (made)

  • Date:

    1790-1791 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tin-glazed earthenware painted in colours

  • Credit Line:

    Formerly the property of the late Mrs. John Lane Shrubb and presented by her daughters, Mrs. Bayliff and Mrs. Cecil Ward.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 1, case CA11

This plate is an example of faience patriotique, a type of French tin-glazed earthenware decorated with images and mottos of the French Revolution (1789-99). Jugs, plates, bottles and other items with this type of decoration were made at pottery centres such as Rouen, Beauvais and Paris, but the vast majority, including this plate, were made at Nevers.
Faience manufacture was begun in Nevers by Domenique Conrade, from Savona, Italy, who founded his pottery around 1578. Originally inspired by Italian maiolica the potters at Nevers turned to Chinese and Persian ceramics for inspiration by the 17th century. In the 18th century Nevers also produced less expensive, brightly coloured wares which reflected contemporary society and culture known today as faience parlante and faience patriotique. This faience patriotique plate reflects the popular political allegiances of those who bought and displayed such wares in their homes. The motto ‘Vive La nation la loi et le Roy' (Long Live The nation the law the King) was used in the early days of the French Revolution when the aims were towards a constitutional monarchy. Prior to the Revolution the 'King' was saluted first, after 1789 the 'Nation' took precedent. The symbols on this plate include a laurel (wreath) representing victory, sword - the nobility, crozier - the clergy, three flaming hearts - the three united orders, military drum and draped flags - these occupied a central role in the civil festivals.

Physical description

Plate of tin-glazed earthenware painted in colours. In the middle, below a wreath and three hearts, is a trophy composed of a drum, a sword, a crozier and two flags, and with 'V V / La nation la loi et le Roy' inscribed below. The rim is painted with conventional floral sprays.

Place of Origin

Nevers (made)


1790-1791 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Tin-glazed earthenware painted in colours

Marks and inscriptions

'V V / La nation la loi et le Roy'
V V / The nation the law the King
Motto used in the early days of the French Revolution when the aims were towards a constitutional monarchy. A short lived constitutional monarchy was in place between 1791-92.


Diameter: 229 mm, Height: 33 mm

Descriptive line

Plate of tin-glazed earthenware painted in colours, Nevers, 1790-1791.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Histoire des faïences patriotiques sous la révolution
Champfleury (François-Fé Husson)
Published 1867 by E. Dentu, Paris
Ch IX.
Guilleme Brulon, Dorothee, Histoire de La Faience Francais: Lyon & Nevers, Sources et rayonnement, Editions Charles Massin, Paris, 1997.
pp. 69-73.
Exhibition catalogue, Ceramiques Revolutionnaires, Roanne, Musee Dechelette, 1989.


Earthenware; Tin glaze



Subjects depicted

Sword; Trophy; Wreath; Flowers; Hearts; Drum; Crozier


Ceramics; Earthenware


Ceramics Collection

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