This is a wonderful little figure of a boy or putto made by the Bow Porcelain factory in about 1760.

 

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.

 

This boy figure was first modelled in the 1750s, which was at the height of Bow's ability to make beautiful figurines often copied from Chelsea or Meissen. This particular one is from a little later (1760), when Bow started putting their figures on top of a Rococo C-scroll base. The porcelain is relatively translucent with a thick milky greyish glaze. The decoration may have been done outside the factory, as many Bow decorations probably were. It is typically bright in colour, unlike Chelsea, which tended to use more subtle colours. This boy originally had a bocage, or flower tree, behind him, but like with many of these figures this was broken off, as can be seen from the surface at the back of the head and the square hole in the back of the base. The putto is seated on a beautiful Rococo C-scroll that is typical for the Bow figures of 1760 onwards. The way we know this is a boy is the placement of the ribbon over his left shoulder; with girl figures, Bow placed the ribbons on the right shoulder.

 

These figures were used to adorn the dinner table when dessert was served; groups of figures served to express something about the host, the guests, or to direct the conversation. Putti were symbolic for God's omnipresence, as well as the sacred dimension of worldy pleasures. They were very popular in the 18th Century. This figure would make a fabulous gift to a loved one or antiques lover, and with its high artistic value it is a wonderful little piece of decoration for any interior design style.

 

The item is unmarked, which is common for Bow items. 

 

CONDITION REPORT The figure is in excellent condition and looks wonderful and, except the flaked surface on the back of its head, without significant losses. A few flower petals are missing, which is clearly visible in the pictures. The Rococo scroll looks perfect. Like many Bow figures of this period, the surface looks a little grimy in places, which is either something that happened in the kiln by over-firing, or penetration of the slightly porous glaze and enamel paint over time. This is a phenomenon that can often be seen in Bow figures.

 

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 height 12cm (4 3/4").

 

SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK, mostly by Royal Mail 2nd Class for the UK and International Tracked and Signed for the rest of the world. I am happy to combine shipping charges on multiple items - please contact me to discuss. In principle I do not make a profit on shipping although for simplicity's sake I charge flat shipping fees. If the fee charged greatly exceeds the actual cost I will gladly refund you the difference - at the same time if it is slightly lower I will gladly make up the difference. In some countries shipping will end up significantly more than the expected fees and I will contact you to discuss our options. PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING SHIPPING COSTS AND OPTIONS.

 

Bow figure of putto on C-scroll base, ca 1760

SKU: A-BOW02
£595Price
  • Your item will be shipped after receipt of funds, unless agreed otherwise in writing. 

     

    We will ship your items within a maximum of 2 working days after payment (usually quicker). We cannot be held responsible for delivery times once the item has been shipped as this is at the shipper's discretion and, in case of international delivery, can be subject to customs delays, weather, holidays and/or political instability.

     

    If your delivery failed to appear or was damaged in transit, please let us know as soon as possible and, in case of damage, provide us with pictures of the damaged item and/or packaging. Cut off dates for this are 14 days after shipping, or 2 days after a damaged delivery. We will need to comply with shippers' regulations in order to follow up the issue, but it is vital that you let us know what is wrong as soon as possible. We will do anything we can to follow up faulty deliveries but cannot be held responsible if we have not been notified within the required time period. 

     

    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

  • Cancellations can only be accepted before the item has been shipped. Once an item has been shipped, the transaction cannot be cancelled anymore.


    Returns need to be requested within 2 days of receipt of the item and completed within 14 days from the date they have been agreed in writing.

    If you want to return an item because you changed your mind, you will be responsible for the return shipping. For international deliveries, this will need to be a fully tracked shipping mode. The item is expected to be received back in the same state it was sent - any damage due to insufficient packaging will be your responsibility. We will only pay for return shipping if we have mutually agreed that the item did not satisfy your expectations. A refund will be made immediately after receipt of the item.

    You are subject to the EU Consumers Rights Act, which protects your rights buying over the internet.

     

    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

Covid-19 - we are open for business! 

We can ship normally to most destinations, but some are currently closed.

For the time being we have had to raise shipping prices as shippers are now charging more.

As we are living under lock down and can't always reach our stock, lead times will be a little longer than usual.

For now, please bear with us as we do our best to get your parcels to you as quickly as we can! 

If needed we are happy to hold your parcel for you until the end of the pandemic.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss and thank you for your business - it is a vital support for our business! 🙏

© 2020 by Gentle Rattle of China - copyright on all images and text

  • Instagram Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon