Bow Porcelain Works

English, active 1744–1774

Dish, c. 1760

soft-paste porcelain

3.4 x 40.5 x 28.4 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the estate of Mrs. Gwen Inman



Ceramic, Decorative Arts Ceramic

The Bow Porcelain Works was established mainly to challenge the Chinese porcelain import market. It was among the first to produce porcelain in England, and like the Spode factory, it incorporated calcined bone ash into its soft-paste formula. This process strengthened the clay body and improved the whiteness of its appearance. At the height of production in the 1750s, Bow was the largest English china manufacturer of the day. It was particularly successful in producing large, octagonal platters in the style of Chinese export ware, such as this example featuring the Image pattern—a chinoiserie pattern of a scholar and assistant within a landscape setting. Flatwares of this size were difficult to make, often warping in the firing process; the Bow porcelain formula, strengthened by bone ash, resisted this tendency.

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