- Museum number
Bowl; soft-paste porcelain; rounded sides and a high foot; mouthrim bound in brass to contain two cracks; enamelled and gilt with an English design in the Kakiemon palette; round the rim both inside and outside are four floral swags with floral pendants between and scattered sprays below; inside in the centre is a flowered monogram of a double 'TC'.
- Production date
- 1760 (circa)
Diameter: 22 centimetres
Height: 9.75 centimetres
- Curator's comments
The bowl was made for the christening of Miss Nancy Sha (properly Barbara Ann Shea), illegitimate daughter of Sir Patrick Blake by Peggy Shea, a mulatto woman on his plantation on St. Kitts, baptised in St. Mary le Bone Church, London in 1778.
This is one of the few pieces in the collection with a 'slavery' connection.
Originally contained in a box with an inscription written by Thomas Craft pasted inside the cover, now stored separately (note: the inscription is incompletely transcribed below).
The original date swhen it was acquired by the Museum is unknown. It is reputed to have been found in a cupboard by A,W, Franks, but is untraced in the Museum central archive .
In some notes by Lady Charlotte Schreiber to Franks, 1890, Aileen Dawson, noticed that it weas supposed to have been given to the British Museum by Craft in 1790, but no proof of this in the Museum records is currently known. Craft lived at Morden College, Blackheath, according to the note inside the box.
Ayers, Impey & Mallet 1990
A shallow bowl with rounded sides and a high foot, its mouthrim bound in brass to contain two cracks which are riveted. It is enamelled and gilt with an essentially English design which is however executed in the Kakiemon palette. Round the rim both inside and outside are four floral swags with floral pendants between and scattered sprays below, and inside in the centre is a flowered monogram of a double 'TC'.
The 'Craft' bowl is a major document of the Bow factory's history. The Museum retains a box contemporary with and specially made for the bowl, which is inscribed:
This bowl, was made at Bow China Manufactory, at Stratford-le-Bow in the County of Essex, about the year 1760, and painted there by Thomas Craft, my Cypher is in the Bottom;- it is painted in what we used to call the old Japan taste, a taste at the time much esteemed by the then Duke of Argyle; there is near 2 peny-weight of Gold, about,; 15s.; I had it in hand at different times about three months, about 2 weeks twice was bestowed on it, it could not have been manufactured, &c, for less than £4, there is not its Similitude; I took it in a Box to Kentish town, and had it burned there in Mr Gyles's Kiln, cost me 3s..., it was cracked the first time of using it... The signature 'T. Craft, 1790' ends the account.
R. L. Hobson, 'Catalogue of the English Porcelain in the British Museum', London, 1905, I, 62.
W. B. Honey, 'European Ceramic Art: I. Illustrated Historical Survey', London, 1949, p. 139.
London, British Museum, 'Bow Porcelain 1744-1776. A Special Exhibition of Documentary Material to commemorate the Bicentenary of the retirement of THOMAS FRYE Manager of the factory and "inventor and first manufacturer of porcelain in England"', 1959, No. III.
- On display (G46/dc17)
- Exhibition history
1959 Bow Porcelain Exhibition, British Museum
- Acquisition notes
- Found by Franks in cupboard in Museum while arranging British Antiquities, before 1851.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number