A Very Rare and Early Worcester Porcelain Bottle Vase ‘The Acrobats’ Pattern 1753-4


Product Code:20111311

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Heading : A Rare and Early Worcester porcelain bottle vase decorated with ‘The Acrobats’ pattern
Date : 1753-1754
Period : George 11
Marks : None
Origin : Worcester. England
Colour : Polychrome
Pattern : ‘The Acrobats’ reversed with a Chinoiserie House and Fence landscape
Features : The bottle of panel form and hexagonal section
Condition : Excellent
Restoration : None
Dimensions : Height 11.4 cm
Weight : 90 grams


Eric Knowles Comments

This vase belongs to that interesting period of production during the company’s early years. following the purchase of the Bristol porcelain factory of Benjamin Lund by 1752 and to whose factory such vases were initially. albeit erroneously. credited.

This example displays both a confident and skillfully pencilled and enamelled design in ‘famile rose’ colours that features versatile Chinese acrobats on a small panel form vase of hexagonal section. It would seem that this rare Chinoiserie design appears to have been exclusive to such vases

In his essential book. ‘Lunds Bristol and Early Worcester Porcelain 1750-1758. The AJ Smith Collection with a contribution by Richard Burt’ (2005). Simon Spero points out that ‘the intention was to employ the skills of their mould makers to create  luxury products superior to the Chinese in terms of ornamentation. Thus the Worcester production at this period would have been seen as a luxurious alternative to less expensive but more mundane Chinese importations’

Interestingly. in his ‘Worcester Porcelain 1751-1790’ page 81. and co-written by John Sandon. (1996) he features the same vase form decorated with a single Chinese figure within a fenced garden. in which he states that such forms of vase were ‘conceived in pairs’ and that ‘these vases  are invariably decorated with oriental motifs.’

He also points out that according to W B Honey this ‘distinctive’ design was also used on South Staffordshire opaque white glass in the mid 1750’s. A similar. but far more reaching. assertion had been made by Hayden (1932). who credits the actual decoration of these vases to the Bristol glass and porcelain decorator Michael Edkins and as to him working ‘at Lowdins (sic) China House circa 1750.’ and further stating that they ‘are precisely similar to the work found on old Bristol glass for which he is celebrated’.

For no less than three examples and a discussion of this same design See The Marshall Collection of Worcester Porcelain in the Ashmolean Museum. Sword. Rosalind (2017) Pages 96 and 97 No’s 127.128 and 129. Also See; ‘Worcester Porcelain in the Ashmolean Museum’ Reynolds. Dinah (1989) Page 17. No 610 Plate 4 and front cover.

For an example credited to the Elliot Collection. See ‘A Dictionary of Worcester Porcelain Vol 1 1751-1851’. Sandon John.(1993) page 43.

For a pair of ‘Acrobat’ vases See; ‘The Lady Ludlow Collection of English Porcelain at the Bowes Museum’ McNair. Anne. Begg Patricia and Coutts. Howard (2007) Page 203. Provenance: Lady Ludlow bought from Albert Amor. April 29th 1927 for £35.00 (inventory No 386. Museum No 1592). The present day value paid by Lady Ludlow taking into account compound inflation since 1927 amounting to 6.223% equates to £22.000 for the pair in todays money.

For examples of this vase with the alternative Chinese Figure and Fence pattern. see Worcester Porcelain The Klepser Collection Spero. Simon. (1984). Page 27 plate 11 and colour plate 7 also  Worcester Porcelain 1751-1790 The Zorensky Collection Spero Simon and Sandon John. (1996) page 81 plate 26.


Additional information

Weight500 g


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