top of page

This is a very charming orphaned coffee cup made by the Bow Porcelain factory in about 1755. The cup is decorated in a Chinese "famille rose" peony pattern. This cup would have been part of a large tea service, and the tiny size shows how expensive coffee was in the 18th Century.

 

The Bow Porcelain Factory was one of the first potteries in Britain to make soft paste porcelain, and most probably the very first to use bone ash, which later got perfected by Josiah Spode to what is now the universally used "bone china". Bow was the main competitor of the Chelsea Porcelain Factory, but where Chelsea made very fine slipcast porcelain, Bow made a different soft paste porcelain that tended to be softer and could be pressed into moulds. Bow served a larger public generally at lower prices. The factory was only in operation between 1743 and 1774, after which the tradition got incorporated into some of the later famous potteries such as Worcester and Derby.

 

The cup is unmarked, which is normal for Bow items of this era.

 

CONDITION REPORT The cup is in excellent condition without any damage or repairs. There are various glazing imperfections, which are quite normal for porcelain of this era. 

 

Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. British makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.

 

There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!

 

DIMENSIONS 5.75cm high (2.25").

Bow orphaned coffee cup, famille rose peony, ca 1755

SKU: A-BOW08
£295