There is something intriguing about the idea of soaring high into the air, floating in a balloon. To explore the countryside from a birds’ eye view, gently and gracefully, though I suspect the reality is somewhat more uncomfortable than the romantic notion suggested by this colourful tableware by Villeroy and Boch.
Le Ballon was produced in the mid-1980s in a plethora of pieces and illustrations by Jean-Adrien Mercier, a French illustrator. According to Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, Mercier was a prolific designer of publicity and travel posters and went on to illustrate children’s books and fairy tales over his long career; he was born in 1899 in Angers, France and died in Paris in 1995.
There were six different plates at the outset: Copenhagen, London, Luxembourg, Venice, New York & Cologne. Two American cities, Boston and San Francisco joined the mix at a later date. Though Paris is noticeably absent from the plates, I believe it is represented in some of the serving pieces.
The clear cobalt blue served as the call to action for the table setting; I used cobalt footed water glasses and Brasserie Blue bistro plates, a nod to the French heritage of the salad plates.
The prominent magenta was a bit trickier to incorporate, but happily some Dame’s Rocket, a cheerful weed, obliged and graced the cobalt Mosser compote (an e-Bay find).
With so many colours in Le Ballon, I went with multi-coloured striped napkins (discontinued) from Amazon. That way no one felt left out!
The tea accoutrements were irresistible, and sport even more illustrations.
Six mugs, all with different patterns front and back.
The squat little teapot is a charmer, alongside its matching creamer and sugar. How adorable are those? I can see the fairytale influence in the illustrations and suspect these were done later in the artist’s career.
It was a bright and sunny day when I set the table, perfect for a balloon ride.
Oh – almost forgot. The salt & peppers.
Couldn’t leave out these little guys; they floated in from eBay.
The flatware is Berry and Thread by Juliska and the Tava Square Chargers in Honey are from Pottery Barn, both still available.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our trip Up, Up and Away.
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.
This table setting brought me back to our baloon ride over France which was amazing and, I might add, a little scary when we landed in a farmer’s field in mud up over our ankles. I’m partial to your blue Cobalt glasses and the purple flowers make a striking addition to the setting. The napkins are perfect picking up many of the colours on everything. Last but not least the adorable salt and pepper shakers. Sooo cute! Another fun table adventure.
Your balloon adventure sounds inspiring, despite the messy landing! We have been scheduled many times to take a balloon ride in Ontario, only to have it delayed over and over with weather issues. So, an ambition still to be fulfilled! So glad you enjoyed the table. It’s such a happy set of china!
Charming. I’m sure the design evokes many smiles from your guests. Great centerpiece! Thanks for inviting us for a peek. CherryKay
Helen, I love your choice of chargers–a nod to the wicker balloon basket. And the colours are bold and summery–why the classification as a spring table? Lo these many years ago, I aimed to impress the courtly European I had recently met. I took him on a balloon ride above my native vineyards in the pre-dawn crisp December air, after the harvest was long over. As the sun rose, we floated above the beautiful sleeping vines, and the pilot told a story of a marriage proposal gone horribly wrong. The intended was devastated to see her fiancé on bended knee, then at the critical question fumble the engagement ring. It sailed overboard a couple of thousand feet down. He quickly produced the real ring, and despite his cruel prank, the deal was sealed. After hearing this story, I heard a whisper in my ear…will you marry me?
Oh, what a lovely story, Beatrice! How romantic is that? Happy sigh…
Thanks for the heads’ up on the “spring tablescape”. I mean to click “summer” but obviously had fumble-fingers.
Enjoy the day!
This table is a party! I can imagine a birthday tea party and with one of the cutest tea sets ever!! And that’s saying a lot since you have such pretty tea sets at Entertablement.com
Years ago I flew hot air balloons in Texas as a petite, 20-year-old something. A woman in the basket was a bit of a spectacle and we had so much fun! I love your table setting and it brought back great memories of champagne landings. I collected the LeBallon plates and have basically a place setting of six dinner, salads, and tea cups with serving pieces. Although I’ve had many a lovely dinner party, I’d now downsizing and would love to find them a good home! Do you know anyone possible interested?
Your balloon ride sounds like a marvellous adventure, and you’ve had fun with the dinnerware ever since.
People do sometimes contact me on the site, as you have done, and I’ll pass on the details if any inquires about LeBallon. Meanwhile, you might try Replacements as they purchase as well as sell, and of course, you could try selling it on eBay or Etsy.
Have a great day.