History, Research, Photos, Talks and Downloads

Bow Porcelain

Click here to edit subtitle

Bow Porcelain Research Topics 16-19

16) PAT DANIELS, ROSS RAMSAY, & GAEL RAMSAY, 2013. The George II busts and historic wall brackets: The motivation, symbolism and technology by which the models can be dated to 1745-6 and attributed to the first Bow factory in Middlesex
Copies of this monograph are available from:-

Barry Lamb                                                        
Reference Works (P&D) Ltd
9 Commercial Road,
Swanage, Dorset, England, BH19 1DF
Phone: + 44 (0) 1929 424423
Email: Sales@referenceworks.co.uk

92 pages. 77 black & white illustrations & 4 colour & 6 charts. Soft covers. Limited edition of 150 copies. £ 20.00.

This contribution to English porcelains follows on from a number of previous publications which can be traced back to our initial work recognising that 'A'-marked porcelains were made at Bow commencing by around 1743. This monograph researches the social and political setting of the day, the iconography of both bust and bracket, the chronological succession in the manufacture of these busts and brackets, the reasons for their production, and their chemical composition. Two broad groups are recognised, namely a pre-Culloden group and a post-Culloden group and this two-fold grouping is further subdivided chronologically. A total of 19 busts is recognised but if the Willett bust is not the Edkins bust and if the Fox bust and bracket are not the Darragh/Newton bust and bracket the number rises to 21. The authors conclude that a significant re-evaluation of the early development of the English porcelain industry is now more than timely.
17) PAT and PRISCILLA DANIELS AND DR ROSS RAMSAY, 2015. New research into the Potteries of West Cumberland following the discovery of a Whitehaven creamware ship bowl inscribed Success to the Mary and Betty/Capt Joseph Benn

25 pages, 1 black and white illustration & 2 colour illustrations including the cover. Soft cover, limited edition.

Copies of this publication may be obtained at:-

 Resurgat Publishers <resurgat@outlook.com> Phone + 44 (0)1367 243163 for the cost of £ 7.00 UK and £ 10 overseas including both postage and packing. Payment can be by cheque, paypal, or bank transfer. If necessary please ring to confirm which method.

It might appear that the Whitehaven region has been a major potting site dating back to the 1600's and associated with some of England's more illustrious potting families including Aaron Wedgwood I, II, II; Tunstalls, Gouldings, and Shaws; yet a casual glance at the ceramic literature might suggest that this area has been all but airbrushed out of existence. As we conclude in our publication;

It seems incredulous that the extensive Cumbrian potting industry is so consistently ignored and that an outstanding potter such as Aaron Wedgwood III is given no attention in ceramic history. Considering Aaron Wedgwood senior was actually born in Burslem of the same family as the renowned Staffordshire potters you would think he might have gained some reflected glory instead of being reduced to a mere "Staffordshire expert"! Hopefully, by further investigations into this region's potteries, we can endeavour to correct these injustices.

What does emerge is that if a pottery item is impressed with Wedgwood this does not necessarily mean that it has anything to do with Staffordshire.
18) W. R. H. RAMSAY, PAT DANIELS, AND E. G. RAMSAY, 2015. Limehouse Porcelain: Are 'Limehouse' porcelains in fact all Limehouse? Evidence from archaeology, science, and historical documents.

16 pages, 2 black and white and 1 colour illustrations including soft cover. Limited edition.

Geochemical studies of a total of 47 wasters and sherds from the Limehouse porcelain site have recognised three refractory ceramic bodies, a siliceous-aluminous (Si-Al) body, a siliceous-aluminous-calcic (Si-Al-Ca) body, and a transitional type between these two end-members. A lead-bearing member of the Si-Al-Ca type is also identified. Analyses of porcelains held in private collections have identified a soft-paste magnesian-phosphatic (Mg-P) body, which for over 20 years has also been attributed to Limehouse, based on decorative idioms. Predicated on archaeology, science, and historical documents it is proposed that these porcelains with a soft-paste body are not Limehouse in origin and an attribution to other mid-18th C manufactories is discussed.

19) W. R. H. RAMSAY, AND E. G. RAMSAY, 2015. The evolution and compositional development of English porcelains from the 16thC to Lund's Bristol c. 1750 and Worcester c. 1752 - the Golden Chain

Abstract of Lecture given to the English Ceramic Circle, Kensington Town Hall and Library, London, November 21st 2015.

The compositional evolution of the English porcelain tradition is traced and elucidated from the production of refractory ceramic crucibles from Stamford and the Blackwater Valley in Elizabethan times.

Recipe types recognised and demonstrated to relate to early English porcelains include the silica-aluminium body (Si-Al), the silica-aluminium-calcium body (Si-Al-Ca), the magnesium (Mg), the magnesium-phosphorus body (Mg-P), and a range of phosphatic types. Both the Si-Al and the Si-Al-Ca bodies coupled with the associated aluminous-lime-alkali glaze were produced in London some 35 years before Meissen. 

Bow is deduced to have been the conduit for these various ceramic recipes, which can be traced to subsequent derivative manufactories, yet still today Bow is the most misunderstood of all early English concerns being subjugated by the millstone syndrome and consequently has been regarded as producing little of significance prior to c. 1747. In fact, by the 1740's London was the world centre for porcelain experimentation and development.

These indigenous, technical developments, pre-eminent in the Western world, have been both obscured and overlooked in previous ceramic studies (prior to the work by Daniels in 2007), predicated on notions pertaining to the primacy of the artistic pursuit. Although considerable attention has been given to the Meissen influence, the Baroque influence, and the Rococo, little consideration or enquiry has been afforded the far more significant influence of the Royal Society of London on English porcelain development. We suggest that the father of the English Porcelain Tradition was Robert Boyle, FRS stretching back to Wadham College, Oxford in the 1650's.

This English achievement will only be appreciated and understood if and when rational science and ceramic composition are integrated with other forms of enquiry.