Dish, c.1850, in the style of Bernard Palissy

Top 20 Ceramics

French earthenware fish dish

1. Dish, c.1850
Artist / Maker:
Style of Bernard Palissy
Place: France
Object Type: dish
Actual Date: c.1850
Century: 19th century
Size: 44cm

Material: Earthenware
Museum Accession Number: X.3876

Bernard Palissy was a French potter throughout the 16th century. He created ‘rustic' pottery by looking to the natural environment, taking casts of natural specimens.  It is evident that this Dish has been produced in a manner similar to Palissy. The Dish, with moulded decoration in the form of a fish is an example of 19th century earthenware. The oval dish represents a pond with a realistic model of a fish surrounded by other common pond life; models of shells, other fish, pond weed, insects, moths, a frog, a tortoise, fronds of fern, water-lilies, a lizard and a snake and fern leaves, all decorated in various shades of green, blue and yellow.

Pair of Delft vases

2. Pair of Vases, c.1710


Artist / Makers
: The Greek 'A' Factory, Delft Earthenware
School: Delft
Place: Delft
Object Type: vase
Actual Date: c.1700
Century: 18th century
Height: 28 cm.
Mark: AR in red
Materials: Earthenware, Enamel, Gold
Museum Accession Number: X.1599.1 & 2
 
These superb Dutch Delft vases date from the 18th century. They are marked for De Grieksche "The Greek A" factory, believed to be the marks of Adriaenus Koeks, his son Pieter and the latter's widow. The tin-glazed earthenware is painted in colours and gilt. The vase is bulbous with eight sides an octagonal base and rim.  It is decorated in the Oriental fashion with scrolls, flowers, birds and a formalized bridge in colours of white, red, blue and gold.  During this time, the Dutch Delft enthusiasts William and Mary, who would became King and Queen of Great Britain in 1689, were instrumental in making Dutch delft extremely popular. There was a strong Oriental influence in the majority of pieces produced throughout this time and this piece demonstrates the harmonious influence the East onto European designs.

 

  
Four Wallendorf figures representing the seasons

3. Wallendorf figures representing Seasons

Artist / Maker:
Wallendorf
Origin: Germany
Place: Wallendorf
Object Type: figurine
Actual Date: c.1780
Century: 18th century
Size: Height: 30 cm.
Materials: Enamel, Hard-paste porcelain
Museum Accession Number: X.4378-82

This beautifully hand painted figurine series depicts ‘the Four Seasons’. It is attributed to Wallendorf one of the oldest factories in Germany. Winter is represented by a male figurine dressed in a long coat, with his hands tucked into a muff. He is raised on an irregular mound - presumably to resemble snow. Spring is also represented by a man; he wears a long tail coat to below the knee, with waistcoat and breaches in a shade of orange. In his right hand he holds an upturned tricorn hat. The female representing summer wears a three-quarter length dress, over a pinafore, it is pale purple in colour, the pinafore is black trimmed with turquoise flower heads and she wears, perched on her forehead an oval shaped upturned hat with elaborate trimmings and ribbon. The final figurine illustrates autumn, on her head is a circular hat with a flaring brim, the back part of which is turned up and surmounted by a flower painted brownish-red.  In her hands she carries a circular dish in which is a bunch of grapes and foliage, at her feet is a similarly modelled bunch of grapes. 

Italian vezzi bowl

      
4. Bowl, c.1725

Artist / Maker: Francesco and Giuseppe Vezzi
Origin: Italy
Place: Venice
Object Type: bowl
Actual Date: c.1725
Century: 18th century
Height: 8.1 cm/
Materials: Enamel, Hard-paste porcelain
Museum Accession Number: 1988.401/Cer.

The Vezzi brothers obtained the secret of making hard-paste porcelain from a workman from the Vienna factory in 1720. The former goldsmiths then created their own factory that flourished throughout Italy until 1727. This bowl is decorated with a scene from the tale of Cephalus and Aurora after an engraving by Antonio Tempesta (1555-1630).  Cephalus has a hound by his feet as he looks back to Aurora and points to the forest. On the other side a hound is chasing a deer. It is painted by a dot technique in polychrome enamels. It is marked ‘A’ and ‘C’. The bowl is one of a number of items from small European factories acquired with the Enid Goldblatt Collection in 1988, aided by grants from the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Art Fund and the Friends of The Bowes Museum.
 

Meissen vase

5.  Vase, c.1730

Artist / Maker: Meissen Porcelain
Place: Germany, Meissen
Object Type: vase
Actual Date: c.1730
Century: 18th century
Height: 29 cm
Materials: Hard-paste porcelain, Enamel, Gilt-bronze
Museum Accession Number: 1978.39.2.1/Cer.

This is one of a pair of Meissen vases, decorated on either side with lobed panels in a reserve against a canary yellow ground.  Each vase has a panel showing two Chinese men in a landscape, the reverse panel shows a group of Tartars within a landscape.  The scenes on both vases are painted in bright polychrome enamels heightened in gold. The neck of each vase is decorated with an exotic bird on a flowering branch on one side, and the other, two butterflies in flight, against the natural white of the porcelain. The vase and the figure are from the estate of the seventh Earl Spencer and were allocated to The Bowes Museum in 1978. 

Sevres porcelain teapot

6. Teapot, 1758

Artist / Maker: Sèvres Porcelain
Origin: France
Place: France, Sèvres
Object Type: teapot
Period: Louis XV
Actual Date: 1758
Century: 18th century
Size: Height: 9.6 cm.
Material: Soft-paste porcelain, coloured enamels and gilt
Museum Accession Number: X.1271

Bearing the decorator's mark of Jean Pierre Le Doux this fabulous porcelain teapot (théière), is decorated in enamel colours and gold. The background shows ornate peacock feathers against a 'rose' or pink background.  Le Doux worked at the Sèvres factory from 1758-61, his markings show interlaced L's and date letter F. Sèvres became the leading porcelain factory in Europe in the late 18th century, after the ascendance of the Meissen factory. The pot is slightly domed in shape and surmounted by a knop in the form of flower and foliage. From each scroll, at the top and at the bottom project peacock feathers in vert pre-edged in gold. The eye of each feather painted in blue and black enamel, similar to the spout and cover.  Pieces decorated in pink, produced of soft paste porcelain, are regarded as rare. A matching cup and saucer are recorded in 19th century literature.

Deruta Italian dish

7. Dish, c.1550

Artist / Maker: Deruta
Origin: Italy
Place: Deruta
Object Type: dish
Actual Date: c.1550
Century: 16th century Size: Diameter: 36.5 cm.
Size: Diameter: 36.5 cm.
Materials: Earthenware, Enamel
Museum Accession Number: X.1517

Deruta ceramics are a highlight in the history of Italian pottery. They were very popular throughout the Renaissance period and became sought after by many affluent members of society. With this particular dish the rim is decorated with a repetitive pattern embracing several brightly coloured motifs.  In the centre is a boy in a landscape holding a book in his left hand. It is painted in rich hues of blue, green, yellow and brown, which were developed in the late 15th century.
 

French dish by Bernard Palissy

8. Dish

Artist / Maker: Bernard Palissy
Place: France
Object Type: dish
Period: Henry IV
Actual Date: c.1600
Century: 17th century
Size: Width: 28 cm.
Material: Earthenware
Museum Accession Number: X.1556

This colourful plate is earthenware, painted in earth toned glazes, and uses naturalistic motifs in high relief.The dish is decorated in a typical Palissy fashion with a figurine of Roman deity Ceres, Goddess of Agriculture, in the centre and is oval on a raised foot. Bernard Palissy was a man of many talents; he practised as a French potter, scientist, painter and engineer in the 16th century and wrote numerous books on the subject.

Sèvres dessert plate

9. Dessert Plate, 1791

Artist / Maker: Sèvres Porcelain
Place: France, Sèvres
Object Type: plate
Period: Louis XVI
Actual Date: 1791
Century: 18th century
Size: Diameter: 22.4 cm.
Materials: Gilt, Enamel, Hard-paste porcelain
Museum Accession Number: X.1291.3

This is a set of six plates in the Museum from a service sold to the unfortunate Marquis de Sémonville, French Ambassador to the Court of Turin (which refused to receive him) and later to the Court of Constantinople 1792 (which he did not reach, as he was captured by the Austrians and imprisoned until 1795). Hard -paste porcelain. The decoration reproduces the effect of oriental lacquer. The rim of the dessert plate is decorated with chinoiseries in coloured gold enamels and platinum, with enamelled flowers. The central octagon chinoiserie shows a Chinese man standing holding a pole within a landscape including a pagoda.  They are marked with crossed L’s in blue enamel. The whole is surrounded by a garland of flowers painted with polychrome enamels.
 

Emille Gallé cabaret set 

10. Cabaret set, style of Marie Antoinette, 1872

Artist / Maker: Emile Gallé (1846-1904)
Place: France, Nancy
Object Type: decanter
Actual Date: 1872
Century: 19th century
Size: Height: 24.8 cm.
Material: Glass
Museum Accession Number: G.114

Joséphine Bowes met the young Emile Gallé at the London International Exhibition of 1871 and commissioned a cabaret set from him of engraved glass, intended for perfumed water. He took inspiration for the set from an earlier commission from Joséphine of a bonbonnière (small dish for sweets) engraved with lace ribbons, flowers and insects. It is to be believed that this is his first known commission for glass, and predates his work in the Art Nouveau style by some twenty years.  Some charming letters relating to the commission survive in the Museum's archive. The set is believed to be similar to a commission his father received from the Empress Eugénie.  

Chantilly cane handle

11. Cane Handle, c.1725-50


Artist / Maker:
Chantilly Porcelain
Place: Chantilly
Object Type: cane handle
Period: Louis XV
Actual Date: c.1732
Century: 18th century
Size: Height: 5.5 cm
Materials: Soft-paste porcelain, Enamel
Museum Accession Number: X.1769

This cane handle is in the form of a grotesque human head the nostrils and lips are decorated in reddish brown enamel. The character is wearing a turban, painted in pale green enamel with a border of pale blue enamel on either side of which is a line of reddish brown enamel. The eyes and hair are picked out in black enamel. It is part of a large collection of Chantilly porcelain (French soft-paste porcelain produced in the 18th century) within the Museum. This style is typical to Chantilly. 

Figure of Madame de Pompadour

12. Figure of Madame de Pompadour (1721-1764), 1755

Museum Accession Number:1997.54

This is a fine figurine of Madame de Pompadour, the official chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 until her death. The figure is of Vincennes unglazed 'biscuit' porcelain .She is shown standing in classical draperies, facing the front, resting on a column to her left, on which rests her right hand holding a heart. The column is garlanded with flowers and a tree stump supports her back.  The model (L'Amiti au Coeur) commemorates Madame Pompadour's transition from Louis XV's mistress to friend in 1750, the subject also of a statue by J. B. Pigalle in the Louvre. The figure is of Vincennes biscuit porcelain. In 1756 Mme de Pompadour persuaded Louis XV to take over the Vincennes works as the royal factory of Sèvres. This figure is modelled on a sculpture by the renowned Étienne Maurice Falconet.

Sèvres vase

13. Vase ‘Gothique Fragonard’ 

Artist / Maker: Sèvres Porcelain
Place:
Sèvres
Object Type: vase
Period:
Louis-Philippe
Actual Date:
c. 1836
Century:
19th century
Size:
Height: 40.5 cm
Materials:
Hard-paste porcelain, Enamel, Gilt
Museum Accession Number:
1999.180/Cer.

Presumably one of a pair of vases listed in the Sèvres factory archives for 1839 'Vase Gothique Fragonard dans le style de la Renaissance’. It was designed in 1823 by Alexandre-Evariste Fragonard (1783-1850), son of the famous rococo artist Jean-Honoré.  Fragonard was a noted French painter and sculptor in the ‘troubadour’ style. The vase is painted on the main body with (front) a seated winged female figure with long hair in a green dress holding a set square and dividers above a plan on her lap under an arch of Renaissance-type ornament, with a central keystone in the form of a mask. Beneath her is the inscription in a blue panel 'L'architecture’. The background to the decoration is composed of light brown arabesque interlace against a brown background with scrolling foliate ornament and imitation gems.
Louis XIV saucer

14. Saucer,

Artist / Maker: Rouen Porcelain 

Origin: France
Place:
Rouen
Object Type:
saucer
Period:
Louis XIV
Actual Date:
c.1685
Century:
17th century
Size: Diameter:
12 cm.
Material:
Soft-porcelain
Museum Accession Number:
1988.335

This saucer is soft-paste porcelain, painted in under glaze blue, marked with a motif and double-lined cross. It is shallow and raised on an inverted truncated conical foot rim. The centre has an Oriental flower surrounded by four individual crosses within circles.  The whole design is enclosed by a single ring.  This pattern is repeated in four panels below the rim; between each of these is a narrow panel containing an oriental insect. This insect design is echoed by the mark on the base. 

Japanese bowl and cover

15. Bowl and cover, Japanese (Arita) 1700

Artist / Maker: Arita 

School: Japanese

Place: Arita
Object Type: bowl
Period: Tsunayashi Dynasty
Actual Date
: c.1700
Century:
17th - 18th century
Size: Height: 41 cm
Material: Hard-paste porcelain
Museum accession number: x.4491

A substantial amount of Japanese porcelain was exported to Western countries, most notably through the Dutch East India Company. This set of three bowls from c1700 is a fine example of this. Produced using hard-paste porcelain it is painted in traditional 'Imari' colours of red and a cobalt blue and gilt. Each bowl is in the form of an inverted bell shaped and raised on a shallow foot.  The covers are domed and surmounted by a knop in the form of a rocky mound with realistically modelled pomegranates and foliage.  On top of the mound perches a cockerel. Illustrations of dragons in black with white spots prancing amidst chrysanthemums and foliage against a gold background can be seen across both bowls and covers.

Japanese Arita vases

16. Vases

Artist / Maker:
Arita
School:
Japanese
Place:
Arita
Object Type:
bowl
Period:
Tsunayashi Dynasty
Actual Date: c.1700
Century:
17th - 18th century
Size: Height: 41 cm
Material:
Hard-paste porcelain
Museum accession number
x.4453

These vases and covers are of the 'Kakiemon' style. The word 'Kakiemon' is sometimes used as a generic term describing wares made in the
‘Arita’ factories using the characteristics of ‘Kakiemon’ enamels and decorative styles. This style was later adapted in factories across Europe. Hexagonal in form narrowing towards the foot and broadens towards the shoulders and tapering again towards the vertical hexagonal neck.  The vases are fitted with a domed cover surmounted by a flattened bun shaped knob. The sides of each are decorated with exotic birds, flowers and foliage and the shoulders with lobed panels. The Japanese decoration stands out wonderfully against the natural white of the porcelain. The panels are in reserve against a blue band of formalised scrolls, leaves and flowers.  The covers are similarly decorated in colours of blue, brownish-red, yellow, turquoise and black

Pair of peacocks

17. Lady Ludlow Collection

The Lady Ludlow Collection begun around 1910 by Alice ‘Birdie’ Sedgwick Mankiewicz, later Lady Ludlow. It is especially strong in lavishly decorated figures and vases of the Rococo period and it includes many rare and early examples. Nicknamed  ‘Birdie’ due to her love of birds, Lady Ludlow’s collection, formed over the two World Wars, is largely dominated by figurines of birds together with shepherdesses, cooks, goats and bees. These are joined by some impressive plates and vases.
A prominent figure in London society between the wars, Lady Ludlow was a close personal friend of Queen Mary, wife of George V; in fact she bequeathed these two Bow peacock figures to the Queen, who later returned them as she is alleged to be afraid of "the evil eye on them." By 1932 her remarkable collection had grown to over 500 outstanding pieces from major English porcelain factories of the 18th century, including Chelsea, Bow, Worcester, and Derby. The collection was presented by the Art Fund in 2004.
 


Bohemia wine glass

18. Set of wine glasses, c1855, Bohemia, attributed to Karl Pföhl (1826-1894)

Artist / Maker: Karl Pfohl (1826-1894)
Place:
Czechoslovakia
Object Type:
glass
Actual Date:
c.1855
Century:
19th century
Size:
17 cm.
Material:
Glass
Museum accession number
G.286.1

This set of twenty-four wine glasses is one of the highlights of the collection.  Each clear glass is coated in an amber stain overlaid with two oval raised panels.  One of these is engraved with the Bowes arms and motto; the other a figure of a horse, whose attitudes vary between four stances within the set. The art of cutting overlay glass involves an outer layer of stained glass being cut away to highlight clear glass underneath. This method developed rapidly in Bohemia in the 19th century. The bowl of each is approximately cylindrical with a round rim, supported by a cut stem with a knop. The whole is supported by a star cut foot with a scalloped edge, striped with amber; the remaining glass is cut flat.

French figure group

19. Figure Group 

Artist /Maker: Nevers Faience
Origin: France
Place: Nevers
Object Type: figurine
Period: Louis XV
Actual Date: c.1760
Century: 18th century
Size: 23cm
Material: Earthenware
Museum Accession Number: x.1348

This figurine from 1760 shows three figurines of children watching a peep show. It is an example of ‘faience’ a form of tin-glazed earthenware originating in Italy and popular in France throughout the eighteenth century. The whole is raised on an oval base and decorated in strong bright hues of gold, green and white.

Pair of tile panels

20. Pair of tile panels 

Artist / Maker: Firm of Simpson and Company
Place: London
Object Type: ceramic tile
Period: Victoria

Broad Date: Late Victorian

Actual Date: 1871
Century: 19th century
Material: Earthenware

Size: Height: 109 cm
Museum Accession Number: 1991.18.1 & 2/Cer

This pair of 'Art Tyle Panels' was purchased at the London International Exhibition, 1871. It is of lead-glazed earthenware, painted in colours. Towards the end of the 19th century, there was a reaction in England against the flamboyant nature of much 19th century design, and a more restrained style took its place.  The movement, today termed the 'Aesthetic' movement, was based on the parallel influences of William Morris and Japanese art.  The tile panels depict a stork and an eagle. Each panel consists of six large narrow tiles at the vertical sides; in addition, the whole is framed by 28 narrow black borders. An example seen on one tile depicts a white stork in profile turned to the right, its head turned to the left, resting on one leg on the branch of a tree.  Behind is a large red sun set against a yellow background, the whole picture framed by a border painted in black with a zig-zag pattern, surrounded by a plain blue border.