Herend Forms – “Rocaille” the Shell relief

“The Rocaille shape cleverly combines the popular element of Rococo with the options provided by the porcelain material. The stylized shell-imitating motif harmoniously fits with many patterns enhancing their aesthetic beauty.
The gracefully arched reliefs combined with the classic wicker motif make up a collection that enjoys great popularity all over the wider form assortment beyond the beauty of patterns choose Rocaille.”

As you can see, the Shell shape, or Rocaille is a Shell form, ended with a basket relief.

The best designs for Rocaille

This is what Herend Porcelain Manufactory says about the Rocaille shell style.
We need to admit this pattern is so charming that you do not need to use a very rich design to obtain a royal look. The best example is the design created for Count Hadik (HD). Take a look at the teapots and the cups; the detailed lines of the shadows running through the surface of the pots are real artwork. The gold painting is not so obvious; the design is just white porcelain with a golden line but the royal look is beyond question.

Another good example of the Rocaille pattern is the Tupini design (TCA). Actually Tupini is only painted on this form. This is the opposite of Hadik, full of detailed painting, with a lot of complexity from the painter who created it.

Just a remark, TCA decor is only painted on Rocaille – or Shell – form.

Rocaille is the oldest Herend form

Did you know? The Tupini – TCA Herend pattern is more than 110 years old. In the time when TCA was invented, Rocaille was already 60 years old at the manufactory of Herend. This form was widely used by all European porcelain houses.

The Classical Victoria is also a good choice for this form. For our customers we always suggest this version.
Because the fine forms of Victoria is presented – maybe – the best with this form.


… and some other herend patterns painted on Shell / Rocaille form.

Now you can see that such a complex style can be well matched with both simple and more intricate designs.

Not OK with Rocaille?

There are designs that do not go well with the shell form.
Actually there are many of them. The Quatre Saison, the Gödöllő (Goedoello), Nyon, Mosaic and Flowers, and all the chinoiserie designs

They all have one thing in common:
All the “free-hand” painted designs are made in such a way that they could not apply the “sablons”. For example, in case of the Rothschild bird, there are 12 bird motifs that are available. The painters use a standard technique to ensure that the birds look the same throughout the centuries.

Another exclusionary condition is the surface handling. When the surface is painted with a base colour it is forbidden to use the Rocaille or Shell form. The reason for this is that the colour of the base painting varies by the curvature of the surface – actually it is the function of the angle of the surface and how the eye captures the design.This creates a strange, unpleasing look to the eye of the beholder.

A good choice for many luxurious patterns

We think that the art of fine china is not limited to the artistic painting of the given item. To choose the right form for the ornament is also important. This makes porcelain design an integrated art of different domains and talents.


Further readings

Read our blog posts for a better understanding of Herend Porcelain.

  • Serving dishes of Herend Porcelain Manufactory - Dinner sets

    The following is a brief summary, what you have to know in order to order a Herend porcelain dinner set.

    The first famous dinner set was ordered by Queen Victoria in 1851 at the World Fair. Intrestingly she did not lay the table with Herend plates for diplomats, but only for family.

    Read more »

  • Herend Porcelain History - Imola tea cup

    Porcelain is the noblest ceramic material. The word ceramics comes from the Greek Kerameia, which means ‘fired’. Porcelain is a “white wonder” made of ceramic material heated to high temperatures in a kiln.

    Read more »

  • Cake Stand 2 Tier 308-0-91 ATQ3-PT Apponyi Turquoise pattern. Herend fine china hand painted

    We’ve visited the Manufactory of Herend in Hungary the past few days. It is always a miracle to return to the hometown of the European White Gold. We met the Manufactory leaders, spoke with the painters, and discussed our new ideas with the management. This is a great moment to say a few words about the start of the Manufactory.

    Read more »


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Of course you have further questions, what pattern goes the best with which form. We are happy to answer you!

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