The Bowes Museum’s collection of ceramics is one of the most comprehensive collections in the UK, covering the full range of continental porcelain and faience from medieval times to the 19th century. Particularly close to Joséphine’s heart, most of the objects are small in scale and delicate in decoration revealing her exquisite taste. Collecting ceramics during the period 1862-1874, provided the Bowes with rich pickings from all European countries and of all qualities, from the most finished, richly coloured and finely gilded porcelains of the Vienna, Berlin and Paris factories, to the charming naively painted 'faiences patriotiques', of which they formed a surprisingly large collection. The collection's greatest strength is concentrated in the 18th century; Delftware and French and German faience are almost unrivalled in Britain and contain many unusual or dated pieces. The collection also holds a substantial amount of the early French ‘soft-paste’ porcelain factories, such as Saint-Cloud, Chantilly, Vincennes and Sèvres.

European Pottery

European Porcelain 1700 – 1800

The Lady Ludlow Collection

European Ceramics to 1900

Echoes of Light
Until 30 October 2016
The Northern Branch of the Guild of Glass Engravers present a selection of their work in this display. By exhibiting glass engraved using modern techniques, the group aims to inform, educate and raise interest in the medium. Many exhibits will be for sale, and will comprise of different types of glass including cased coloured glass, vases, bowls and goblets, covering a wide range of subject matter and using a variety of engraving methods, which includes surface, intaglio and stipple engraving.

Related Event
Try your hand at Glass Engraving, 22 October, 10.15 – 11.45, 12.00 – 13.30 and 14.00 – 15.30, £18 Adults, £15 Museum Friends
Join Sandra Snaddon Fellow of the Guild of Glass Engravers for an introductory workshop. Learn how to use an electric engraving drill and how to apply a design to a glass by choosing appropriate burrs to achieve the desired effect. You will have a finished engraved glass to take away and the opportunity to visit the glass engraving display in the Ceramics Galleries. Participants must be 16+. Booking required.

Dining with The Bowes in the Eighteenth Century
19 November – March 2017
Over the years, The Bowes Museum has either acquired or identified pieces already in its collections that were bought and used by the Bowes family in the 18th and 19th centuries, as they advanced socially and joined the ranks of the aristocracy and the Government. This display will show some of the pottery, porcelain and silver which they used both for everyday dining and for grand entertaining.

Related Event
Gallery Talks, 25 November, 17 December, 27 January & 24 February, 2.15 
Join Dr Howard Coutts, the Museum’s curator of ceramics, for a fascinating gallery talk about this display.