1890s Antique French Sarreguemines Eau de vie Brandy Rural Theme Plate
After a rich meal in central Europe, it's time for an eaux de vie, which translates to "water of life.". This is a fruit brandy, which is said to aid the digestion of food. The spirits were first used for medicinal purposes in early history, and was served as a pure clean liquid one could drink in the era when much of the drinking water was unsafe.
This is a humorous Victorian era parody 8 3/8 inch diameter transferware pottery charger, plate or plaque, which addresses the giving of eaux de vie to French children in earlier times.
French text on the plate reads:
I BOIT BEN DEPUIS QU' I' N' TETTE PUS.
The translation is not proper French, but a popular / rural and humorous way of speaking the language, and is parodic in nature. It translates to:
"He’s drinking pretty well since he stopped suckling"
This image is mocking rurality, with the toothless father and them each wearing wooden clogs. They are drinking eau-de-vie from a large french pottery jug. This is a strong fruit alcohol often, made of apples. You can see the apple tree behind, with the fruit hanging close to their table.
It is said that rural people would give their toddlers eau-de-vie so they would sleep easier, often mixing it with milk. This was especially known in Brittany, where they grow many trees. This is a wonderful old historical testimony of the past, and was manufactured by the famous Sarreguemines Pottery Co., a French Porcelain & Glass company in north-eastern France. which began pottery work in 1774.
Condition is very good, very minor edge wear, displays beautiful, no cracks or repairs. The mark is a very graphic Sarreguemines mark, click images to see close up and movable views. The reverse features two very handy holes for hanging by a string or ribbon, pierced there during the original firing process. This is a scarce, uncommon piece we have not seen before, nor is it documented in searches. It was found in SW England, about a 7 hour ferry ride to Brittany across the English Channel.
Size: 8 3/8 inches diameter
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Book: Anthology of British Cups, Michael Berthoud 1982 (Coffee Cans too)