The two brothers L'Herminé Declercq, Emile and Joseph, set up a ceramic manufacture in Orchies (in Flanders), in 1886. Emile already owned a pottery factory in nearby Belgium, in the town of Rimbaud, but wanted to expand his output through a joint venture with his brother.
It is worth noting that Orchies was situated close to the famous ceramic centre of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux where the Moulin des Loups factory had been based since the 18th century.

The new pottery initially concentrated on the production of faience pottery and was staffed mainly by Belgian pottery families who used to work in Rimbaud and who emigrated to France.

The company started producing majolica at the end of the 19th century and by the early 1900's produced over twenty humorous majolica jugs including modelled animals including cats, dogs, roosters, pigs and more rarely the braying donkey jug and squirrel jug. The company is only known to have produced few toby jug designs depicting three quarter length rather than head and shoulder figures and these are hard to find today

Orchies Moulins des Loups & Hamage wash basin.

Orchies Moulins des Loups &
Hamage wash basin.

They include the French soldier's jug (commemorating the French soldiers serving in North Africa), marked ZV on the base, and the French fireman jug, marked SP (Sapeur-Pompier). The letters on the base usually being an abbreviation of the French word for the picture depicted on the jug.
These jugs are generally well modelled and softly coloured. Reproductions of some models exist but their expressions tend to be much harsher and the colors brighter.

In 1904, Orchies’ ceramic production became more artistic under the name of L'Herminé et Cie. The mark OLD thus stands for Orchies L'Herminé Declercq. In 1923 the Orchies and Hamage factories merged and became Moulin des Loups & Hamage. The new company's mark generally comprises a windmill and the name ORCHIES in capitals. Production increased considerably between 1920 and 1970. The workforce increased in these years from 175 to over 500. The factory closed nevertheless in the eighties.