Linked to the history of Nevers, a major faience centre since the 16th century, the main collection is that of ceramics. The largest room in the museum is dedicated to the presentation of this exceptional collection. The works, very diverse, reflect the richness of a production. The exhibited pieces of earthenware from the 16th to the 20th century reveal a whole part of the history of an art, an economic activity but also a society. Court art in the 16th and 17th centuries, earthenware entered the homes of the bourgeoisie and then the working classes in the 18th and 19th centuries. Large ornamental dishes, paving tiles, decorated bottles, statues, decorative plaques or atypical objects tell us about this epic mixing of great and small history, technical know-how and art.
In order for visitors to become familiar with the techniques used in the manufacture of high-fire earthenware, a room presents an educational display case with objects used in its production. In addition, a video presented by the earthenware makers, still active in Nevers, completes this space
In addition to this collection, there is also a collection of enamelled glass which is unique in Europe. This glass collection is the largest in Europe and comes mainly from the Loynel d'Estrie Collection, deposited by the Louvre Museum in Nevers in 1998.
This uniqueness can be explained both by the number of pieces and by the iconographic diversity. An unusual collection, it allows us to discover this craft that was very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries and which is now lost.
Nevers, the training centre for master enamellers, was therefore the ideal place to present these boxes and figurines. Fascinating, as much by the variety of the subjects tackled, genre scenes as religious scenes, as by the quality.