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

Temporary Closure of Ceramics Gallery

Over the winter months, The Bowes Museum will be working on plans to  refurbish the Ceramics gallery. This aim of this programme of work will be to improve accessibility to the Museum’s large and important collection of Ceramics and increase visitors’ enjoyment of it.

The current galleries will be closed in two phases, from 10 November and from 1 December until further notice, to allow time to temporarily pack the collections away and undertake refurbishment work in the galleries.

We aim to keep disruption to a minimum we thank you for your patience during these exciting times.

For further details contact