The Pierre-François Tilmon Fund has acquired a unique collection of black earth earthenware crockery. The collection is a reference for black earth or ‘chernozem’ earthenware in Belgium and was made by local Namur artists during the 18th century. The pieces have been entrusted to the Société Archéologique de Namur and will be exhibited at the Musée de Groesbeeck de Croix in Namur. The museum is currently undergoing renovation as part of the new cultural neighbourhood known as the ‘Îlot des Bateliers’.
The collection of crockery comprises mainly tea and coffee services: 21 coffee pots as well as rarer objects including 2 teapots, 8 milk jugs, 2 cream bowls and 2 sugar bowls.
Fine black Namur earthenware is special in the city’s output. Made from hard, very dark – almost black – clay, the earthenware has a very shiny vitrified black glaze and rich silver decoration. Its colour was inspired by British earthenware. During the second half of the 18th century, the English pottery industry underwent significant development and new varieties such as black china were created. This was imitated in our regions, whilst still keeping to traditional continental shapes.