Bow Botanical Dish in the Hans Sloane Style England 18th Century Circa 1760


Why we love it: Look at the flower!
This rare Bow porcelain botanical plate was hand-painted in England circa 1760. The exuberant flower painting is still fresh and exciting today. The fully-painted center shows an exquisite flowering hibiscus. The image is vibrant; the three flower heads and the leaves extend beyond the center, curling up onto the border. Two colorful butterflies, a lavender-pink caterpillar, and other insects are painted along the border. They add beauty and movement to the image. The plate is altogether a delight. In the mid-18th century, when Bow painted this plate, the Chelsea porcelain factory was making the “Hans Sloane” botanicals. At Bow, the large bold botanical designs for flat pieces, like this dish, were often borrowed from Chelsea. We can find a similar flower in an album of 141 watercolors of plants made by Henry Fletcher, Catalogus Plantarum*. The hibiscus appears on plate 10. The owner of this album was Sir Hans Sloane, of the Chelsea Physic Garden, which the designers at Chelsea Porcelain were known to use as models for their “Hans Sloane” botanical plates. Like this plate, Bow porcelain of this early period generally has a warm, creamy body that is glassy, and the glaze tends towards an ivory color. The shape of the dish is octagonal with a traditional brown rim.

*Sir Hans Sloane bequeathed the album to the British Museum SL,5284.31.

Dimensions: 8″ wide and 8″ from top to bottom.

Condition: The current condition is excellent. Very small flakes near the corners have been invisibly restored, and some green on the leaves has been touched in.

In stock

A similar Bow octagonal plate painted with flowers and insects can be found in the M Dudley Westropp Collection, sold by Bonhams on 5 March 2003, lot 68.

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