Desvres earthenware is a rich and historic tradition that dates back several centuries. This tradition began in the small town of Desvres, located in Pas-de-Calais in France, and has evolved into one of the most respected and recognized earthenware in the world.


The history of Desvres earthenware

The development of earthenware in Desvres began at the end of the 18th century, around 1764, when the notary Jean-Fraçois Sta decided to diversify his activities and create the first Desvroise earthenware factory. It will be taken over by Louis Alexandre Dupré in 1802. This pottery will cease its activity in 1810. It is this man who brought the techniques of making earthenware to Desvres, and it is he who is generally recognized as the founder of the tradition of Desvres earthenware.

This paved the way for other entrepreneurs, including one of his former workers, François-Joseph Fourmaintraux. François-Joseph perpetuated the pottery business, a tradition that has been maintained by his direct descendants until today, ten generations in total.

The period of the 19th century saw the development of earthenware, despite the economic and social challenges of the time. This period saw the appearance of many other manufactures in Desvres, such as Fourmaintraux-Courquin and Fourmaintraux Frères, all of which helped to establish Desvres as a major center of earthenware production in France.

The characteristics of Desvres earthenware

Desvres earthenware is particularly known for its exceptional quality and for its colorful and detailed patterns. It was usually painted by hand, which gives each piece a unique and individual character. Patterns are often inspired by nature, with flowers, birds and other animals frequently featuring. Patterns can also be geometric or abstract, and it is not uncommon to see historical or mythological scenes depicted.

The colors used in Desvres earthenware are generally bright and bold. Blue is a particularly common color, often used in combination with white to create a stark contrast.

The earthenware factories of Desvres today

Today, Desvres is still recognized as an important center of earthenware production. Although the number of factories has drastically decreased since the 19th century, there are still several faience activities in Desvres, which continue to produce high quality pieces, in particular sanitary ware and stoves.

Desvres is also home to the Desvres Ceramics Museum. This museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history of earthenware in the territory. The museum traces the history of Desvres earthenware, offering visitors a unique opportunity to discover earthenware works of art that have been produced in the town over the centuries


The history of Desvres earthenware is an integral part of the cultural history of France. Despite the challenges and changes over the centuries, the art of earthenware has survived and flourished in Desvres. Many talented artisans have contributed to the richness and diversity of Desvres earthenware.

Desvres earthenware is much more than simple pottery. It is a testament to France's cultural and artistic heritage, a tradition that continues to live and inspire today. The production techniques, patterns and colors used in the production of Desvres earthenware are a true expression of the creative and cultural richness of Hauts-de-France.