A Bow Creamboat, circa 1760-65

This small Bow cream or butterboat is painted in underglaze blue with the Desirable Residence pattern, sometimes known as the Weir pattern. This design presents an archetypal watery Chinese landscape dotted with tree-covered islands and the eponymous dwelling. The inner base is painted with a pair of books or sacred scrolls, representing one of the Eight Precious Things of Daoism. The border is of trellis-type, interspersed with demi-flower heads or shells. A scrolling border is painted around the base, and stylised dotted foliage decorates the handle.

It is no surprise that the Bow manufactory labeled itself the ‘New Canton’, as so much of the inspiration for its output came from China. The factory excelled in the production of blue and white useful wares aimed at the emerging middle class market, the main reason for its continued success over several decades.


Condition: There are tiny nibbles to the rim and foot rim, with a larger flat chip to the edge of the foot. The handle has two cracks, although it has not been off. There is some light staining typical of Bow porcelain of this period. No other damage and no restoration.

Dimensions: Length 11.5 cm

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

Godden’s Guide to Blue and White Porcelain, Geoffrey A. Godden (Antique Collectors’ Club, 2004).