A little history… The pattern was designed by none other than artist, Claude Monet, himself. He was inspired by his Japanese cherry blossoms, hence the name, Cerisiers de Monet. They were manufactured by the foundry Creil et Montereau in France (the dishes are also known as Creil Montereau Japon). The foundry has been in existence since the 1700s. Monsieur Monet used the set as his everyday dishes, which is what I shall be doing from here on out…
My obsession started after a visit to Monet’s Garden in Giverney, the gift shop in particular. On display was Monet’s entire Cerisiers reproduction dish set by Havilland Limoges available for purchase. I decided I would take that inspiration one step further and one pocketbook deeper and search for an antique set…obviously. Mission accomplished. A few weeks later I was at the flea market in Paris with my friend, Heather from Habitually Chic. As luck would have it, one of my favorite dealers had a tea set available…circa 1900. Years ago, for our antique shop, we had bought a complete set of 19th-century French green faience from this particular dealer. More on that tomorrow. I negotiated with the dealer a bit because I’m a professional for God’s sake, and because most of my money has to be allocated to my stupid caregivers who, by the way, try to poison me. More on that tomorrow. I managed to get the price down to a doable price. €300 for a 21 piece tea set, complete with teapot, sugar bowl, creamer, tea cups and saucers and these charming little covered bowls (not sure what they are for).
With my OCD in full drive, I searched the flea market for any other dealer with Cerisiers de Monet. The gods were smiling upon me, because right around the corner, I found a set of 98 pieces! Unfortunately, the price was €3300. Guess I’ll have to hold my breath a little bit longer. A couple weeks later, my husband surprised me with a trés chic bracelet. My bitchy response? “Uh, were the dishes not available?” I would rather have these dishes than my expensive ALS medication. I mean that sincerely.
Just last week, I watched two French movies from the 70s, about stylish old school French families and in both of the films were those dishes! So, I decided that if I can’t have all of the dishes at once (boo-hoo) then I would slowly build my collection. Luckily, for you and I, this is possible through the magic of eBay. However, you can, if you must, buy a complete brand spanking new set from the Monet gift shop, but I don’t recommend it. There’s something so charming, so unique about having an antique set, even if there are a few blemishes. Don’t you agree?
Now that I have opened this Pandora’s box…tomorrow, let’s look at another favorite type of dinnerware service. Hint: “vert.”