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Bow Porcelain Factory (1744-76)

Early English porcelain factory. Founded on the north side of Stratford High Street, then in the parish of Bow in London. In December 1744 a patent was granted to Edward Heylyn a merchant, and Thomas Frye, a portrait painter, stating that it was for a new method of manufacturing a material whereby a ware might be made of the same nature as china or porcelain. In November 1749 another patent was granted in the name of Frye alone. The factory was called New Canton and bills for purchases are known dated 1748 and 1749. The first printed advertisement appeared in August 1748. The factory made both "useful and ornamental china" in a vibrant blue-and-white. The porcelain paste contained a substantial amount of bone ash and was very heavy. Known pieces includes inkwells inscribed "Made at New Canton 1750". It also made tea wares, plates, jugs, mugs, and cutlery handles. White wares with prunus decoration in relief were inspired by the so-called "blanc-de-chine" made at Dehua in the Fujian (Fukien) province of China. The Japanese potters Kakiemon were also a source of inspiration - their "two quail pattern" was particularly popular. With European style subjects they copied botanic drawings, and painted flowers and birds in the style of Meissen and the Sevres porcelain factory. The Bow enamel blue is especially distinctive.

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