History, Research, Photos, Talks and Downloads

Bow Porcelain

Click here to edit subtitle

Bow Porcelain Talks 1-5

Listed are a number of talks which we are able to deliver relating to Bow porcelains and the birth of the English porcelain industry.

Please CONTACT US to negotiate arrangements should any of the topics be of interest.


1.  In search of Cherokee clay:

Examines the possible source of Cherokee clay referred to in the 1744 patent. Three potential locations are discussed, the first in Edgecombe County, NC, the second in north east Georgia, and the third in Macon County, NC on the banks of the Little Tennessee River. In the case of the latter, mention is made of Thomas Griffiths, agent for Josiah Wedgwood.
2.  The chemistry of Bow first patent porcelains:

In this talk we present the chemical evidence based on body and glaze compositions to demonstrate that the ‘A’-marked group of porcelains is in fact the ‘long-lost’ products of the 1744 patent of Heylyn and Frye. Decorative idioms are also traced from these wares into the Bow second patent phosphatic wares.
3.  Composition and decoration of Bow first patent porcelains:

Based on firing of analogue 1744 patent porcelains we discuss aspects of kiln conditions, physical properties of these porcelains, and the decorative idioms derived from London theatre and local engravings, coupled with exotic themes including Chinese blanc de chine, famille vert and famille noir, Japanese Kakiemon, Meissen indianische Blumen, and fables. These eclectic, artistic outpourings of the early-mid 1740s are allied to the skills of Staffordshire mould-makers and slip-cast potters and melded into the brilliant, indigenous, hard-paste output of Bow. This output has set the bench-mark for other British concerns – chronologically, technologically, compositionally, and artistically.
4.  A classification of Bow porcelains:

Based on the composition of some 50 Bow porcelain items we erect a classification for the recognised Bow output (hard-paste Si-Al-Ca, phosphatic, and magnesian bodies). This classification is then related to features which are visibly recognisable by both curator and collector.
5.  The use of steatite in English porcelains:

Here we examine our current knowledge regarding the use of steatite in English porcelains and we trace the research into steatite by The Royal Society of London commencing in the late 17th century. Evidence to date suggests that Mg-porcelains may have been the first semi-commercial/commercial porcelains produced in Britain dating from the 1730s. Based on our published work  and that of Daniels (2007) we conclude that the key area in English ceramics currently in need of more rigorous objective investigation revolves around the attribution of a number of wares relating to Pomona, Limehouse, magnesian-Bow, Lund’s Bristol, early Worcester, William Reid, Chaffers Liverpool, and possibly Vauxhall.

Click Here for Talks 6-10