Bow's Juno

A while ago I showed you a stunning pair of porcelain figures by Derby, called Juno and Jupiter. The two gods flew through the sky in their chariots, Juno with her peacock and Jupiter waving a handful of lightning.

Today I have the pair again, but in a very different shape. This Juno was made by the Bow Porcelain factory in about 1765 and you see Juno with an eagle by her side, which is Jupiter in one of his favourite disguises.

In Roman mythology Juno and Jupiter, or Hera and Zeus to the Greeks, were the queen and king of all the gods. They were twins, but also husband and wife - I know, these things can be a little confusing when it comes to these colourful myths!! Juno was the goddess of marriage but not very happy in her own; she was very jealous and always trying to punish the countless mortal women who fell for Jupiter's charms. This never bothered Jupiter, a notorious womaniser; he would disguise himself as an eagle or a bull and could be found roaming around the country in search of his next lady.

Here we see Juno waving her shroud above her head, with Jupiter in eagle form by her side, looking up to her and seemingly in conversation. This particular figure was part of a series of four representing the Four Elements: Water, Air, Earth and Fire. Juno, waving her garment, represents Air.

This wonderful figure is tall (29cm or 11.5"), beautifully shaped and exceptionally colourful, and stands on a dramatic Rococo scroll base. It is in near-perfect condition, which is rare to find. And to make things even more interesting, it was made just down the road from me, in Bow, East London. Currently Juno is standing on a shelf where she can look out the window onto the site where she was made more th