This is a stunning full tea service made by G.F. Bowers in 1843. The service consists of a teapot with cover on a stand, a sucrier with cover, a milk jug, two large cake plates, a slop bowl and six teacups with saucers; 21 pieces in total.


The teapot has cracks and therefore the whole set, although in perfectly usable condition including the teapot, comes at a reduced price As Found (A/F).


The G.F. Bowers pottery was operative in the Brownhill Works in Tunstall, Staffordshire, between 1842 and 1868, after which it changed hands and became the Brownhill pottery. G.F. Bowers was a small pottery, but it was well known for closely emulating the more famous brands such as Coalport and Samuel Alcock, and bringing these wares, which sometimes are hard to distinguish, to the middle class market at lower prices. The quality of the porcelain is excellent and although the artistry never quite matched that of Coalport and Alcock, it is always of good, and sometimes excellent quality.


This particular tea service is of that very excellent quality and would have been made for a wealthy clientele. It is shaped in a wonderful Rococo Revival shape with natural, flowing shapes, the teapot in the charming "pear" shape. The items are decorated in a sophisticated grey ground with white reserves, each of which is painted with a very fine little landscape. There is rich gilding throughout.


As the Bowers factory was small and mainly produced cheaper earthenware and stone china items, sets like these were not made in huge numbers and therefore this set is rare.


The items do not have a factory mark, but the teapot and sucrier are marked with a printed diamond mark with the date 14 December 1843.


CONDITION REPORT The set is in good antique condition although it has crazing throughout, which is quite common for G.F. Bowers items. Unfortunately the teapot has some complex cracks but miraculously it does not leak and can still be used if carefully warmed with lukewarm water before use (this has been tested). The handle has been broken and neatly (almost invisibly) been glued back. One handle of the sucrier has also been very neatly glued (hardly visible) and the finial of the sucrier cover has been repaired. One of the saucers has been riveted. Apart from this, some light wear and crazing throughout, the set is still in great condition with all items good for use, and it looks stunning on display.


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: please feel free to ask for details.


Disclaimer: Please note that we do not take responsibility in case the teapot cracks might detoriorate; at the moment they don't prevent the pot from being used (this has been carefully tested) but that is not a guarantee that they won't start leaking at a later date.

G.F. Bowers tea service, grey with landscapes, Rococo Revival 1843



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