A Documentary Bow Large Presentation or Christening Bowl
A Documentary Bow Large Presentation or Christening Bowl, of deep sided form, the slightly everted rim with lobed edge. Beautifully decorated in the Full Japanese Imari palette with an unrecorded pattern, in tones of iron red and bright blue, painted with flowering prunus trees and stylised plants beneath tied canopy draped material and on either side of large iron red lilies framed within blue leaves, the interior with further similar decoration surrounding a central flower vase standing before a fence. The underside initialled ‘IC 1752’.
The John Hewett Collection
Diameter: 10 Ins (25.5cms.)
Item No. 1666
Apart from a series of blue and white and coloured inkpots that are invariably inscribed ‘Made at New Canton’ there are only five other pieces of Bow that are recorded bearing dates prior to 1754, three are figures and one is a shell. Therefore this piece should be compared in importance to the bowl in the British Museum decorated in underglaze blue and inscribed ‘William and Elizabeth Martin November 20 1750’. That is clearly a marriage bowl but there is also an example of this type of large bowl being used for Christenings, see the description written and placed on the back of the ‘Craft bowl’, also at the British Museum with Thomas Craft’s famous narrative describing the decoration, gilding and use of the bowl at the Christening of Miss Nancy Sha, daughter of late St. Patrick Blake. Therefore a hugely important piece with a pattern copied from a late seventeenth century Japanese original, but otherwise unrecorded at Bow. The initials I C could well stand for John Crowther who was a partner in the Bow manufactory.