Antique French Pottery Calvados Bottle Original Paper Label 1700s

Published on 9 April 2024 at 00:22

This superb antique sandstone pottery bottle has an exceedingly rare handwritten paper label. The bottle originally held Calvados, the apple brandy made in Normandy, a region in northwestern France. It belonged to the cellar of the Count of Château de la Rivière-Pré-d'Auge. François Charles de la Rivière Pré-d'Auge built the chateau in the 1770's to honor his title, which had just been conferred on him by King Louis XV in 1766. The chateau was seized during the French Revolution and the Count was guillotined in Paris in 1799. We have included a current photo of the restored chateau (très magnifique, non?).

The yellowed paper label is attached to the bottle on the upper left with a wax seal that, although missing pieces, still has the imprint of the Count's family coat of arms. Another piece of brown wax is on the lower right of the label.

Starting at the top of the label, the writing, some of which is handwritten in brown ink, is translated below (to the best of our ability!):

♣{some of this partially covered by wax}..."du pays D'Auge," which means "the land of Auge," the area in Normandy which has forests and pastures and of course apple orchards. Beneath this is a printed crown, symbolizing nobility.

♣Next pre-printed in script is "Le Comte de la Château de la Rivière-Pré-d'Auge" which indicates, of course, that the bottle belongs to the Count.

♣Handwritten below that is "Réserve personnelle"---The brandy is the personal reserve of the Count, who would hold back (reserve) the best bottles for his cellar.

♣At the bottom left of the label is handwritten "Cruchon 1028" which translates to: stone bottle number 1028

♣And, preprinted at bottom right, in three lines, a sort of GPS to the Chateau:

Château du Pré d'Auge

par La Boissière (by La Boissière, another commune in Normandy)

près Lisieux Calvados, which translates to near the town of Lisieux, the chief town of Pays d'Auge, in the Calvados district of Normandy

And now, about the bottle: This is a Type 2 bottle, which means it has a lip and it is rarer than a Type 1, which does not. It's handmade of rough brown clay, undoubtedly in the commune of Ger, a pottery center about 70 miles from Lisieux. The bottle stands 10 1/2 inches tall, has a base 3 inches in diameter and weighs just over two pounds. The center of the back has interesting, tree-like raised patterns (shown in one of our photos). In excellent condition, with one small chip on the bottom edge of the base, this 1800's bottle with its incredibly rare label is a historical artifact that somehow survived the looting of the French Revolution.

Information by Linda Henrich

Photos by Wayne Henrich


Add comment


There are no comments yet.