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About Nic Saintey
Nic Saintey is a director and a specialist in ceramics. His effervescent nature and wide experience has seen him regularly appear as an expert on the BBC's Bargain Hunt and Flog It programmes
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The material published in this web log is for general purposes only. It does not constitute nor is it intended to represent professional advice. You should always seek specific professional advice in relation to particular issues. The information in this web log is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.

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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Today was a success which apart from a couple of lots, which will find homes tomorrow, was a 100% sold - the 154 lots totalling just over £100,000. The personal favourites mentioned in yesterday’s blog, the pair of Kakiemon porcelain dishes certainly did well selling for £3000 (obviously I have taste)! However, they were ‘pipped to the post’ for top spot by lot 3 the Bow porcelain bottle vase in the Kakiemon manner which sold for £3100 with yet another Bow porcelain bottle vase taking third spot at £2700.

 a bow porcelain vase with kakiemon decoration circa 1755

A Bow porcelain vase with Kakiemon decoration circa 1755 (FS17/3)

After that honours seemed pretty evenly spread amongst Worcester, Longton Hall, Chelsea and Champions Bristol each having a couple of candidates above the £1400 mark. But rather than make this a roll call of prices achieved I guess I ought to tell you how the two ‘ugly ducklings’ I also featured yesterday got on. The ‘comely’ Bow porcelain cream jug, achieved £340 and the ‘ugly’ Plymouth porcelain cream jug £640 it seems I am not the only pragmatist in town.

 a champion's bristol porcelain teapot circa 1770-75

A Champion's Bristol porcelain teapot circa 1770-75 (FS17/41)

Were there any surprises? The answer is yes, but we had to wait till the last lot of the day. It seems that the Japanese porcelain dish painted in blue with rather windswept cranes and a silver lustre repair might have been earlier than late 17th century and made for the Chinese market somebody rated it enough to pay £1850 for it.

 

a 17th century arita porcelain dish  for the chinese market

A 17th century Arita porcelain dish  for the Chinese market (FS17/154)

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013 6:18:49 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Monday, January 28, 2013

With a day to go till we sell the Tryhorn collection of 18th century porcelain I shall allow myself a little indulgence, having been so intimately involved with it and will try and narrow down my favourites. After much wrangling I have settled on four pieces.

 a bow porcelain craem jug circa 1758

A Bow porcelain craem jug circa 1758 (FS17/36)

Firstly I just love the Bow porcelain cream jug, it’s a real ‘double take’ - is it ugly pretty or just pretty ugly? Either way it has that well grounded, stable comely shape that you could take home to your and besides it probably has a great personality.

 a plymouth porcelain cream jug circa 1768-70

A Plymouth porcelain cream jug circa 1768-70 (FS17/50)

Next as a local man I just cannot refuse the flawed appeal of the rather smoke damaged Plymouth porcelain cream jug, if the Bow was a ‘wall flower’ this is downright ugly, so why do I love it so much? Well I’m a pragmatist and it doesn’t feel out of my league.

 a bow porcelain jar circa 1750-52

A Bow porcelain jar circa 1750-52 (FS17/28)

At the smart end it has to be the Bow porcelain oviform vase, a copy of a Chinese famille rose example, but rather than thin and precise in its execution the decoration is bold and confident, thickly applied and almost glutinous, it requires more than an admiring glance it needs to be handled.

 a pair of japanese kakiemon dishes, late 17th century

A pair of Japanese Kakiemon dishes, late 17th century (FS17/141)

Finally if there are ‘super models’ in the Tryhorn collection then they are the pair of Japanese Kakiemon dishes, their decoration is sparse, but the broad expanse of pure white accentuates their Spartan and aloof  beauty. If ever ‘less was more’ this is it and they are in perfect preservation. A pair of 300 year old Geisha’s, dream on Nic!

detail of a japanese kakiemon dish, late 17th century

Detail of a Japanese Kakiemon dish, late 17th century (FS17/141)

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Monday, January 28, 2013 9:18:35 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Sunday, January 27, 2013

For the uninitiated porcelain must be a minefield, it seems difficult enough to sift the Japanese and Chinese from the multitude of European ‘usurpers’ decorated in mimicry. Although I have used it before the matched Japanese and Chelsea porcelain tea bowl and saucer is a good example.

 a chelsea porcelain teabowl circa 1752 and a protoype japanese saucer

A Chelsea porcelain teabowl circa 1752 and a protoype Japanese saucer (FS17/60)

However, it can become more perplexing when one gets ‘subsequent’ European decoration on Chinese blanks (undecorated porcelain). With over decorated blue and white it is straightforward as the decoration becomes an amalgam of the original Oriental (often less than perfect) that is almost obliterated by heavy and opaque colour that is hiding the underlying flaws whilst remaining broadly true to the original Chinese scheme. But with a blank you can start from scratch and paint anything – as long as it is a seller and sometimes the results are glorious, just look at the bees on the saucer below.

 a london decorated chinese porcelain saucer circa 1760   detail of a london decorated chinese porcelain saucer circa 1760

A London decorated Chinese porcelain saucer circa 1760 (FS17110)

James Giles is perhaps the most admired 18th century porcelain decorator, operating out of the same workshop in Soho, London from 1743 until 1777. Initially buying undecorated Chinese porcelain at auction he eventually purchased most of his blanks direct from Worcester. However, if you believe he was buying seconds and ‘tarting’ them up with second class decoration you would be wrong. His work speaks for itself, he was in business for over three decades and his ledger book was something of a role call of royalty and the titled. Below is a James Giles London decorated Worcester porcelain saucer with pseudo Meissen marks – work that one out if you can.

   a worcester porcelain saucer decorated by james giles circa 1765     a worcester porcelain saucer decorated by james giles circa 1765 - with pseudo meissen marks

A Worcester porcelain saucer decorated by James Giles circa 1765 (FS17/101)

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Sunday, January 27, 2013 7:17:49 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mention English 18th century porcelain to anyone and I guess most people think of Worcester. Whilst a handful of factories including Bow stole a march on Worcester by several years, they all fell fairly quickly by the wayside, leaving it to prosper right into the 21st century.

 a worcester porcelain bowl circa 1755 in the chinese manner

A Worcester porcelain bowl circa 1755 in the Chinese manner (FS17/86)

As the first factories struggled to perfect their art it is often difficult to discern a consistency in the paste or body, Bow for instance can often be quite opaque, (lot 19) other times a muddy orange (lot 12) and sometimes almost translucent white (lot 13). Worcester porcelain on the other hand quite quickly got their act together and their paste is ‘relatively consistently a pale blue/green or a straw colour when a light is shone through it.

 a worcester porcelain two quails cup in the kakiemon palette circa 1758

A Worcester porcelain Two Quails cup in the Kakiemon palette circa 1758 (FS17/92)

Bow meanwhile had a fairly consistent range of palettes favouring either blue and white, famille rose or Kakiemon to decorate their predominantly Chinese or Japanese inspired porcelain. Worcester however, seem to display a very broad and versatile range and style of decoration. It might be argued that because Bow was, in comparison, short lived it never had the opportunity to diversify, but the pieces shown here where all made within five years and overlap with Bow porcelain.

 a worcester porcelain saucer with 'european' flowers circa 1760 in the meissen manner

A Worcester porcelain saucer with 'European' flowers circa 1760 in the Meissen manner (FS17/95)

Maybe that is why Worcester survived, it had a consistent product, but was able to produce Chinese, Japanese and European inspired pieces whilst retaining the ability to come up with innovate decoration of their own. Maybe they were just bigger with a larger pool of decorators, or they just got lucky, what do you think?

a worcester porcelain coffe cup with 'novel' european landscape decoration circa 1755

A Worcester porcelain coffe cup with 'novel' European landscape decoration circa 1755 (FS17/97)

 

 

 

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Saturday, January 26, 2013 7:47:02 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Friday, January 25, 2013

 a longton hall porcelain cup in the goose pattern circa 1758-60

A Longton Hall porcelain cup in the Goose pattern circa 1758-60 (FS17/79)

Bird watching, twitching or whatever devotees call it seems, unless I am wrong, a curiously Northern European or American hobby, perhaps it is the migratory instincts of birds that make them so fascinating. Exotic visitors from far off places can cause a stir and provide a link to another culture and geography. Porcelain was likewise an exotic Oriental visitor to these shores, so it is little wonder that birds appear regularly on 18th century porcelain.

 an early worcester porcelain cream jug in the strutting bird pattern circa 1752-53

An early Worcester porcelain cream jug in the Strutting Bird pattern circa 1752-53 (FS17/82)

The bird most familiar to both is the Quail, a good source of food and admired by the Chinese for its strength of character and ability to fight it was used by Meissen, Chantilly, Bow, Chelsea and Longton Hall to name a few. Longton Hall porcelain also produced a rather ‘domestic’ Goose pattern, though it does seem a little over colourful in its conception. Worcester porcelain also have an early pattern called ‘Strutting Bird’ though there can be little doubt that this design in the Chinese idiom is a crane – a symbol of longevity that carried the souls of Immortals bridging the gap between this world and the next, the cranes that appear on the Arita dish certainly look more celestial.

 a late 17th or early 18th century arita porcelain dish

A late 17th or early 18th century Arita porcelain dish (FS17/154)

If you are looking for something a little more imaginary then the so called ‘Soqui’ birds that feature on Plymouth porcelain one might passably consider them pheasants and emblematic of matrimonial pairing. Whether you buy into or understand the bird symbolism or not they are a real flight of fancy.

a plymouth porcelain mug circa 1768-70 decorated with 'soqui' birds

A Plymouth porcelain mug circa 1768-70 decorated with 'Soqui' Birds (FS17/44)

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Friday, January 25, 2013 1:35:48 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Thursday, January 24, 2013

 a chantilly porcelain beaker circa 1740-50

A Chantilly porcelain beaker circa 1740-50 (FS17/122)

Like other European royalty, Louis-Henri de Bourbon the Prince de Conde was a collector of Kakiemon porcelain, but as luck would have it he met, in 1725, an ex employee of the Saint Cloud manufactory called Cirou who ‘knew the recipe’. So having plenty of cash and the secret to making porcelain the prince was free to make as much Japanese porcelain as he liked from his chateau in Chantilly. In 1735 he applied for a privilege, which can’t have pleased Saint Cloud too much, but being ‘family’ the prince got one. A moot point really as Saint Cloud made imitation Chinese and the privilege granted to Chantilly was for imitation Japanese porcelain.

 a chantilly porcelain mustard pot circa 1740-50

A Chantilly porcelain mustard pot circa 1740-50 (FS17/120)

The bulk of early production was of course Kakiemon inspired with the Two Quails and Banded Hedge patterns being favourites. The prince died in 1740, though Cirou continued production until several of his workforce gave him a taste of his own medicine and took off to a new rival concern of Vincennes – one that had the benefits of royal patronage and the deep pockets no longer available to him.

 a chantilly porcelain cup and saucer circa 1740-50

A Chantilly porcelain cup and saucer circa 1740-50 (FS17/116)

 Cirou died in 1751 and shortly after this, in 1752, Chantilly received something of a death sentence, an edict from Louis XV, banning the manufacture of any porcelain and further still forbidding the decoration of imported blanks – a fairly blunt move to allow his concern at Vincennes to gain primacy. Whilst Chantilly continued to operate in one guise or another up until 1800, its subsequent output finds little favour with collectors.

 

a chantilly porcelain bowl circa 1740-50

A Chantilly porcelain bowl circa 1740-50  (FS17/125)

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Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:59:28 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Established in 1664 to make faience and imitate porcelain – it seems rather successfully to have managed the latter. In 1697 Haudicquer de Blancourt wrote ‘the best porcelain comes from China, the best imitation of this porcelain is presently being made in Saint Cloud’.

 a saint cloud porcelain trembleuse circa 1740

A Saint Cloud porcelain trembleuse circa 1740 (FS17/133)

Saint Cloud was awarded a fifteen year Royal Privilege to produce porcelain (which was latterly extended twice) in 1697. There can be no doubt that Saint Cloud eventually made the real thing (very similar in appearance to Blanc de Chine of Dehua) the soft paste evidence is there to be seen, but when did this transition from faience, to ‘looky likey’ to porcelain occur?

 a saint cloud cup circa 1740 displaying typical blanc de chine appearance

A Saint Cloud cup circa 1740 displaying typical Blanc de Chine appearance (FS17/130)

Tschirnhaus visited in 1702 and purchased several pieces of ‘porcelain’ which according to him ‘fell apart by themselves’. If it was porcelain it wasn’t particularly stable and Meissen’s crown remains intact, if it was then his comments are ‘sour grapes’. Certainly by 1722 several pieces of blue and white decorated porcelain are recorded as being in the collection of Augustus the Strong. Maybe I am wrong, but there doesn’t seem to be a recorded eureka moment, but perhaps just like everyone else Saint Cloud worked hard to keep the secret.

 

saint cloud porcelain snuff boxes, both devoid mounts and covers circa 1730-40

Saint Cloud snuff boxes, both devoid mounts and covers circa 1730-40 (FS17/132)

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013 3:31:27 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, January 22, 2013

 a champion's bristol porcelain teapot circa 1770-75

A Champion's Bristol porcelain teapot circa 1770-75 (FS17/41)

Nearly every English porcelain manufactory had its roots in secrecy and sleight of hand though Richard Champion’s Bristol concern seems to have been straightforward in its conception. As early as 1765 he expressed a working interest in hard paste porcelain and was an intermediary in sending the legendary unaker or Cherokee clay to Worcester – although that did not result in any viable porcelain.

 a champion's bristol porcelain trio from the ludlow service circa 1775-80

A Champion's Bristol porcelain trio from the Ludlow service circa 1775-80 (FS17/52)

However, in 1770 after the relative failure of Cookworthy’s concern they joined forces forming ‘The Plymouth New Invented Porcelain Manufactory’ (in Bristol) - a sensible business decision surprisingly free of subterfuge, with Cookworthy transferring his patent to Champion in 1774. Wishing to protect his investment he sought to extend the period of his patent which was due to expire in 1782 – the application was met with fierce opposition by the trade and particularly Josiah Wedgwood who slated his competitors ability and knowledge. Eventually the extension was granted after much rancorous argument.

 a champion's bristol porcelain mug circa 1770-75

A Champion's Bristol porcelain mug circa 1770-75 (FS17/54)

Unfortunately it was not the panacea he had hoped for. Despite Wedgwood’s ‘bad mouthing’ Champion did manage to make some exceptionally good hard paste porcelain before personal finance got the better of him. The ‘trade’ eventually won buying much of his remaining stock at knock down prices on 28th February 1780 – with the patent sold on to New Hall in Staffordshire two years later.

a new hall porcelain cream jug circa 1785

A New Hall porcelain cream jug circa 1785 (FS17/605)

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013 1:45:26 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Monday, January 21, 2013

a longton hall porcelain crossed fence pattern cream jug circa 1756-58

A Longton Hall porcelain Crossed Fence pattern cream jug circa 1756-58 (FS17/80)

Something of an enigmatic factory based in the ‘Potteries’ it was formed by William Littler perhaps as early as 1749 until flourished until 1760. When Longton Hall was wound up the auction of the retained stock amounted to some 90,000 pieces of porcelain. Where has it all gone, we don’t see much of it now, so someone’s been pretty careless?

 a longton hall porcelain coffee cup circa 1754-55

A Longton Hall porcelain coffee cup circa 1754-55 (FS17/74)

Based in the ‘Potteries’ where there was the greatest concentration of ceramic skills in the country it ought to have lasted longer. However, as the potteries primarily produced earthenware and stoneware not all the skills were transferable, perhaps with the exception of modelling – so there is little surprise that much of the early production was for figures.

                a longton hall porcelain castle painter coffee can circa 1756-58

   A Longton Hall Castle Painter coffee can circa 1756-58 (FS17/72)

Longton Hall also produced a wide range of decorative wares including leaf shaped dishes, vases and tea wares. In the latter group my favourite has to be the unnecessarily fussy (but beautiful) leaf and bud handles of their cups. When decorated in the Chinese idiom the blue is particularly vivid, but it is with the polychrome wares that Longton Hall excels and the zenith of these has to be the work of the so called ‘Trembly Rose Painter’ and the ‘Castle Painter’.

 

a longton hall porcelain dish by the trembly rose painter circa 1756-58

A Longton Hall porcelain dish by the Trembly Rose painter circa 1756-58 (FS17/76)

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Monday, January 21, 2013 10:17:47 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Sunday, January 20, 2013

During the 18th century in Britain all the porcelain produced was of the soft paste type, William Cookworthy of Plymouth (and latterly his antecedents at Bristol and New Hall), made ‘true’ hard paste porcelain similar to the Oriental . As a local man I doff my cap to him for at least trying to make a dent in the seemingly London centric porcelain industry especially as china clay and petuntse were both found on the doorstep in Cornwall.

 a plymouth porcelain cream jug circa 1768-70 with 'typical' smoke staining

A Plymouth porcelain cream jug circa 1768-70 with 'typical' smoke staining (FS17/50)

From the beginning he was beset by problems not least of which was getting the recipe right. The higher temperatures required to make hard paste meant Cookworthy initially used coal, but this caused his saggars to crack (letting in smoke) and damaged his kiln, causing a collapse, which led to some pieces being sent to Bovey Tracey for firing. Tantalisingly Nicholas Crisp who had produced porcelain at Vauxhall (albeit in soft paste) was operating in Bovey Tracey at the time. Using wood seemed sensible, but a consignment of poorly seasoned timber led to further smoke staining and failures in the kiln leaving a lot of second rate ‘toffee coloured’ stock.

 plymouth porcelain sauce boat cira 1768-70 proof that cookworthy was capable. 

A Plymouth porcelain sauce boat cira 1768-70 proof that Cookworthy was capable (FS17/46)

The Chinese took centuries to perfect their paste, unfortunately Cookworthy had only two - starting his Plymouth concern in 1768 but moving to Bristol by 1770, selling up shortly afterwards. Whilst his venture was ultimately a failure he did manage to produce some beautiful pieces.

 a vauxhall porcelain mug circa 1758-60 courtesy nicholas crisp

A Vauxhall porcelain mug circa 1758-60 courtesy Nicholas Crisp (FS17/109)

Rather neatly Cookworthy was born in Kingsbridge the very place that the Donald Tryhorn the late collector of these pieces resided.

 

a plymouth or bristol porcelain figure group circa 1770

A Plymouth or Bristol porcelain figure group circa 1770 (FS17/48)

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Sunday, January 20, 2013 2:52:32 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Saturday, January 19, 2013

As I alluded to, in my previous blog, the lack of availability of Japanese porcelain made it highly desirable from the 17th century onwards and more so during the 18th century. Whilst the original is far superior in potting, design and enamelling I am speaking from the point of view as someone who is familiar with the nuances of porcelain. By comparison when someone points towards a horse and admires its movement and confirmation I can only see a big, brown, hairy beast.

I cannot help, however, to be charmed by the many Kakiemon pretenders and have been smitten by the rather ‘custardy’ appearance and feel of Chantilly porcelain. I confess an Englishman is uncomfortable with a pause in conversation, he feels the need to fill it with unnecessary dialogue. Similarly our European cousins don’t like to see the sparse, designs and the limited palettes of ‘true’ Japanese, so tend to make Kakiemon designs a little busier.

But hey enough of the clues! Today’s blog is a quiz for you – I confess that the collection has been a fantastic opportunity and unlike you I have had the opportunity to handle it, bite, prod, scratch and do whatever it takes to make it indelible to my tactile memory. I have used images uncaptioned purposely, but hover over the image in the line up below and all will be revealed. They are Japanese, Chantilly, Saint Cloud and Worcester examples. No cheating now!

 

a saint cloud porcelain dish in the kakiemon manner circa 1740 a (japanese) kakiemon porcelain saucer dish early 18th century a worcester ‘kakiemon’ vase in the banded hedge pattern circa 1753-55 a chantilly porcelain peach shaped dish in the kakiemon palette circa 1735-40

                                                                                       

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Saturday, January 19, 2013 10:58:03 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Friday, January 18, 2013

It seems difficult to imagine Chelsea was once a village though less difficult to imagine as the place for the ‘movers and shakers’ of the 18th century to live in, semi rural, cheek by jowl with market gardens and of course the Chelsea Hospital. Little wonder then that Nicholas Spirmont chose it as the site for a porcelain factory. Though I wonder what the well heeled inhabitants felt about a dirty, smoke producing manufactory on their doorstep even if it was the most aristocratic of porcelains.

a chelsea porcelain teaplant beaker circa 1745-50

A Chelsea porcelain Teaplant beaker circa 1745-50 (FS17/58)


Spirmont was originally a silversmith and pieces bearing his London marks date 1743-47 there seems to be little doubt that porcelain production coincided, in part, with these dates and unsurprising that his earliest porcelain (amongst them crayfish table salts) were based on silver prototypes.

 a chelsea lady in a pavillion pattern teabowl circa 1752 and an earlier and similar japanese saucer

A Chelsea Lady in a Pavillion pattern teabowl circa 1752 and an earlier and similar Japanese saucer (FS17/60)


Chelsea, like others, favoured the Kakiemon palette, but it also made direct copies of Japanese prototypes, though also pioneered more novel decoration, perhaps the earliest example being tea plant beakers. Perhaps it was the proximity of Hans Sloane’s Physick Garden that was the reason that insects, butterflies and a host of domestic flora and fauna inspired the Chelsea porcelain decorators.

a chelsea porcelain 'red anchor' cup and saucer with butterfly, insect and bird decoration circa 1755

A Chelsea porcelain 'red anchor' cup and saucer with butterfly, insect and bird decoration circa 1755 (FS17/56)

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Friday, January 18, 2013 3:11:52 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Thursday, January 17, 2013

 

Whilst Chinese porcelain was widely available during the 1750’s and their patterns and decoration were familiar to all, Japanese on the other hand was much less available after the policy of ‘sakoku’ or closed country. Little wonder then that Bow followed Chelsea (and Meissen, St Cloud and Chantilly) in using Japanese decoration to satiate the demand for the ‘real thing’.

 a chelsea 'raised anchor' 1752-53 saucer with kakiemon inspired decoration (fs17/61)

A Chelsea 'raised anchor' 1752-53 saucer with Kakiemon inspired decoration (FS17/61)

The Kakiemon palette proved to be very popular, but whilst the colours used were broadly similar, rather than following the typical sparse and asymmetric decoration, Bow, and less so Chelsea, couldn’t help but produce busier patterns for the domestic market.

 a bow porcelain dish decorated in the kakiemon manner circa 1755 (fs17/33)

A Bow porcelain dish decorated in the Kakiemon manner circa 1755 (FS17/33)

The archetypal Bow pattern, in the Japanese idiom, though has to be the Two Quails pattern, although prized as fighting birds, admired for their pugnacious character and courage they do seem to appear in a rather sentimentalised fashion as a couple of fluffy footballs in an idealised landscape, but always within a dense and narrow leafy band. The Two Quails pattern certainly struck a chord at Bow as by the mid 1750’s it was recorded as their best seller.

a bow porcelain dish in the two quails pattern circa 1760

A Bow porcelain dish in the Two Quails pattern circa 1760 (FS17/23)

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Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:09:44 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Every porcelain producer in mid 18th century European, sought to emulate the established Oriental market. The foremost influence was Chinese and particularly blue and white. From the Bow porcelain factory the collection has set patterns such as the Cross Legged Chinaman, the Desirable Residence and several others in the Chinese idiom such as the pickle dish with peony and bamboo.

 a bow porcelain mug in the cross legged chinaman pattern circa 1753-55 (fs17/30)

A Bow porcelain mug in the Cross Legged Chinaman pattern circa 1753-55 (FS17/30)

My favourite though has to be the ‘Golfer and Caddy’ whilst I am aware that the pattern name was attached later I have no idea what it depicts, but it still makes me chuckle and estimated at £50-70 it seems very little for a piece of English social history.

 a bow porcelain plate in the golfer and caddy pattern circa 1760 (fs17/27)

A Bow porcelain plate in the Golfer and Caddy pattern circa 1760 (FS17/27)

However I guess the ‘blue and white’ export market was still very strong in the 1750’s so Bow had to work hard to become competitive. There seemed to be a greater hunger for enamelled wares – thickly and boldly decorated with prunus, chrysanthemum and peony in typical rich pink, green and blue hues. With this famille rose decoration, Bow seemed to have the edge over their main rivals at Chelsea who made very little.

a bow porcelain vase with famille rose decoration circa 1750-52 (fs17/16)

A Bow porcelain vase with famille rose decoration circa 1750-52 (FS17/16)

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013 9:04:36 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thomas Frye and Edward Heylyn are credited with primacy for porcelain production at Bow – in late 1744 they lodged a vague patent for ‘a new method of manufacturing a certain material whereby a ware might be made the same nature or kind, and equal to, if not exceeding a goodness and beauty, china and porcelain imported from abroad’.

a bow porcelain jar circa 1750-52 (fs17/28)

A Bow porcelain jar circa 1750-52 (FS17/28)

Pretty short on scientific detail, but I just love the idea of legal eagles quantifying ’a certain material’ had ‘exceeded in goodness and beauty’ and therefore a patent! Certainly in April 1745, a specification was lodged mentioning unaker (white Cherokee clay) from the Carolinas and by 1748 a more specific Bow patent includes a new method of making wares not inferior to China, Japan or porcelain ware.

 a bow porcelain leaf pickle dish circa 1752-55 (fs17/37)

A Bow porcelain leaf pickle dish circa 1752-55 (FS17/37)

Despite this one cannot be sure when porcelain production actually started most place it at some point around 1747, but the recent discovery of an enigmatic ‘A class’ of porcelain, that was incised or painted with an ‘A’, seems remarkably similar to the Frye & Heylyn patent and suggests Bow porcelain existed as early as 1744. Without this earlier date the crown must surely pass to Chelsea or Limehouse?

 

a bow porcelain cream jug circa 1752-54 (fs17/25)

A Bow porcelain cream jug circa 1752-54 (FS17/25)

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013 8:32:49 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Monday, January 14, 2013

Happily we have been instructed to disperse the collection of the late Donald Tryhorn thoughtful without being too academic and whilst not a ‘magpie’ trophy cabinet of the biggest and best that money can buy it does have choice pieces amongst it and a tangible personality of its own.

 a bow porcelain vase circa 1755 (fs17/8)

A Bow porcelain vase circa 1755 (FS17/3).

The opportunity for me to gain from the collection and challenge some of my preconceived ideas has been enjoyable particularly in regard to Bow porcelain arguably the first domestic producer of porcelain. I am aware of others who would prefer the birth to be elsewhere, including Chelsea and just down the road from me here at Bovey Tracey. The latter seems pretty unlikely, but why not; Limehouse porcelain seemed to come from no where until firmly established by archaeology?

 a chantilly porcelain mustard circa 1740-50 (fs17/119)

A Chantilly porcelain mustard circa 1740-50. (FS17/120).

The Tryhorn collection has neither of those potential usurpers but does have 35 pieces of Bow porcelain, a few Chelsea pieces, together with a useful number of earlier Chantilly and Saint Cloud porcelains most quite nicely ‘joined’ by a Kakiemon thread together with some Japanese prototypes. So I hope that over the next few weeks before the sale on the 29th January 2013 I will be able to interest you in some aspects of the collection.

a saint cloud porcelain cup circa 1740 (fs17/130)

A Saint Cloud porcelain cup circa 1740. (FS17/130).

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Monday, January 14, 2013 3:18:20 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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