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  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1756 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bow Porcelain Factory (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Soft-paste porcelain, transfer-printed and enamelled

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mr Arthur Hurst

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 53, case 2

Object Type
The Bow porcelain factory often decorated its tea and coffee wares with transfer prints, and the small size and application of transfer-printing here may mean that this plate was made to accompany a tea or coffee service. If so, it would probably have been used to serve up cakes or bread and butter, as can be seen in 18th-century paintings of tea parties. The gap between breakfast and dinner increased during the second half of the 18th century (dinner was pushed from early afternoon to around five o'clock), so a snack of bread and butter or cakes would have been a welcome addition to afternoon tea. The tea itself was usually prepared by the lady of the house.

Materials & Making
Although the Bow factory concentrated on utilitarian pieces, it made comparatively few transfer-printed wares, possibly because the printed image all too easily sank into the soft-lead glaze. The printing here is unusually crisp. Sets of 'printed teas' are mentioned in a factory document of 1756.

Physical description

PLATE depicting a scene from Virgil's 'Aeneid'

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1756 (made)


Bow Porcelain Factory (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Soft-paste porcelain, transfer-printed and enamelled


Diameter: 19.7 cm

Object history note

Made at the Bow porcelain factory, London

Descriptive line

E, P, BOW, 18

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Guy-Jones, Gordon & Sue. Bow Porcelain, On-glaze Prints and their Sources. English Ceramics Circle, 2013. For this design see no. 3, the original drawing by Gravelot is given fig. 3C and the print which is the source for this design on Bow, published in The Compleat Drawing Book, 1762 is fig. 3B.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
The engraver has copied the figure composition and its surround from a design by Hubert Gravelot (1699-1773) who was admired and imitated by British artists for his elegant treatment of Rococo motifs. The Rococo style spread rapidly during Gravelot's years in Britain (1733-1744). The scene shows Aeneas rescuing his family from Troy. [27/03/2003]


Ceramics; Porcelain


Ceramics Collection

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