Rare moulded Dish, Bow or Isleworth, soft paste porcelain, c.1755-65


Painted with a plantain beside a scholar's rock, and bamboo and flowering prunus blossom issuing from banded hedges, this rare dish is moulded in the form of a chrysanthemum with 30 flutes. The underglaze blue, overglaze enamels and gold decoration is clearly influenced by Japanese Kakiemon designs of the late Seventeenth Century. The chrysanthemum shape, produced at both the Bow and Isleworth manufactories, derives from Japanese dishes, which in turn were after Chinese originals.

Simon Spero illustrates a near identical example (also with 30 flutes) in the catalogue to his 2010 exhibition. Based on the distinctive shiny glaze and the shape of the footrim, Spero recognises it as the first piece of polychrome porcelain to be firmly attributed to Isleworth. As the palette is more usually associated with Bow of the 1750s, Spero dates his example to 1760-62, the earliest period for porcelain production at Isleworth.

Unglazed wasters of fluted chrysanthemum-shaped dishes with both 32 and 40 scallops were found on the Isleworth factory site at Railshead Creek, Hounslow. The footrim of the present example corresponds with fluted sherds recovered from the Isleworth site.

Condition: One flute has a flat chip at the rim. There are also two smaller chips to the rim. Some surface wear to the decoration in places, and glaze wear to some of the high points. No cracks or restoration.

Dimensions: Diameter 21.3 cm; Height 5 cm

Bow Porcelain, Elizabeth Adams & David Redstone (Faber and Faber, 1981). Illustrated pl. 47B and discussed on page 122.

Bow Porcelain: The Collection formed by Geoffrey Freeman, A. Gabszewicz & G. Freeman (Lund Humphries, 1982).

Isleworth Pottery and Porcelain: recent discoveries (English Ceramic Circle and Museum of London, 2003). Page 70, right hand fluted sherd 110, has the same footrim as this dish.

English and Continental Porcelain and Enamels, 1740-1775, Simon Spero exhibition catalogue (London, 2010). No. 12, page 33.



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