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Limoges enamel was produced at Limoges, France, already the most famous, but not the most high quality, European center of vitreous enamel production by the 12th century; its works were known as Opus de Limogia or Labor Limogiae. Limoges became famous for champlevé enamels, producing on a large scale, and then from the 15th century retained its lead by switching to painted enamel, often in grisaille, on flat metal plaques or vessels of many forms. Champlevé plaques and "chasse caskets" or reliquaries were eventually almost mass-produced and affordable by parish churches and the gentry. However the highest quality champlevé work came from the Mosan Valley, and later the basse-taille enamellers of Paris led the top end of the market.
Limoges enamel was usually applied on a copper base, but also sometimes on silver or gold. Preservation is often excellent due to the toughness of the material employed, and the cheaper Limoges works on copper have survived at a far greater rate than courtly work on precious metals.
- Louvre museum notice
- Arts and Crafts in the Middle Ages by Julia De Wolf Gi Addison p.97ff
- Osborne, Harold (ed), The Oxford Companion to the Decorative Arts, pp. 332-334, 1975, OUP, ISBN 0-19-866113-4