Thursday, November 11, 2010

Antique French & English bulb pots

From my collection 18th c English Georgian creamware lusterware crocuses pot

As Fall nears it's end and the cold long Winter blows in I'm thinking about my favorite season Spring time and beautiful blooming flowers. In the late 18th century early 19th century France and England made beautiful fashionable pots for bulbs in different styles, known as bulb pot or bough pots for Crocuses, daffodils, tulips, narcissuses and other bulb flowers. Bulbs need weeks in cold weather to start to grow and flower.

Bulb pots originated in the Chinese Song and Yuan Dynasties and later during the Qing Dynasty bulb bowls (or bulb pots) were used as containers for flower bulbs. Narcissus blooms were particularly popular around the time of the lunar New Year (late January - February) when the Chinese celebrate the coming of spring.

Our 18th-century ancestors understood how to force bulbs and grew them in their gardens and in fashionable pots placed in windows in homes. The most popular bulb pot was semi circle shaped on bun feet made with small openings on the top. It was filled with rocks an inch or so of water, the bulbs were dropped into place and soon each bulb sent leaves and flowers up through its own hole. The result was an attractive arrangement of a mass of blooming flowers. Because bulbs shrink a little after they bloom, it is possible to fish out the spent bulbs and store them for another year.

The multi-spout stylish vases are unfamiliar to many collectors today and their use is a puzzle. Bulb pots were popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, then lost favor. A few reproductions of old pots are made for museum stores. Originals were made of painted porcelain, delftware or bone china by makers in Holland, England, France and Germany.

Pair of Charles X Old Paris porcelain bulb pots

18th century Old Paris porcelain bulb pot made by French Queen's porcelain factory in Paris


English Early pearlware bulb pot on ball feet. England c.1810.

A Chamberlain's Worcester bulb pot, of near-convex shape painted with a basket of flowers and gilded against a salmon-pink ground, complete with cover

Deroche, Paris porcelain, Parcel-Gilt Porcelain Bulb Pot

Pair of English pink luster bulb pots, early 19th c

18th century French Faience Bulb Pots in the form of Louis XV Commodes. The serpentine bombe form in yellow ground with blue scrolls and flowers with birds and verses

Wedgwood and Bentley Surface Agate Bulb Pot and Cover, England, 18th century, cylindrical shape with slightly tapering sides, creamware body with marbled slips, gilded trim, the cover with three bulb cups,
Fine English Porcelain Bulb Pot, first quarter 19th century, of oblong form with dolphin-mask feet, each side centered with a well-painted floral spray on a lavender ground

Two Early Paris Porcelain Bulb Pots , late 18th/early 19th c., each of demilune shape, and painted with flowers, one with blue vermiculation, the other with jaune and gold decor

English Porcelain Bulb Pot, 19th century, D shaped with gilt trim to a yellow ground with polychrome enameled floral bouquets within octagonal panels, fluted band to footrim, pierced cover with three raised nozzles

A 18th century French faience bulb pot, semi-circular shape painted with figural scenes and guilloche borders, complete with liner, VP mark for Veuve Perrin....

MOTTAHEDAH BULB POT. N/R. Demilune shape with seashell medallion. Chartreuse and gold borders

Pair of Wedgwood Black Basalt Bough Pots and Covers, England, c. 1780, each rectangular shape with bamboo molded body, the fitted cover with two bulb wells, one impressed Wedgwood and Bentley

Derby Porcelain Bough Pot Early 19th century

Of semicircular form, flanked by ram's heads, with pierced removable lid and painted with a central rectangular harbor scene.

Pair of Porcelain de Paris landscape and floral paint decorated parcel-gilt square-form covered bough pots, mid 19th century, on molded Classical style feet

Bloor Derby Bough Pot. Early 19th C. Cover with naturalistically modelled flowers, on rococo base.

A Lynton Hamilton Imari bough pot and cover, of semi-elliptical form with pair of gilt rams head handles,

a Paris porcelain bough pot decorated with landscape scenes in reserves and gilt borders

WORCESTER BOUGH POT. c.1810. Blue fishscale ground with a gilt cartouche featuring a pheasant and other areas painted with flowers and insects.

A Paris Porcelain Polychrome and Gilt-Decorated Lidded Bough Pot , mid-19th c., café au lait ground with floral decoration, reticulated rim and base

A Pair of Paris Porcelain Polychrome and Gilt-Decorated Bough Pots, c. 1800, in decor "à la grecque", the tapering sea green bodies with dark blue Greek key borders framing gilt bisque figures and symbolic motifs on all four sides, each a different agricultural theme such as wheat, grapes and flowers, set on paw feet on square bases with foliate panels, richly
hand painted peasant scenes on pale turquoise ground, gilt highlights, mounted on square platforms with paw feet, possibly bough pots or pen stands


1 comment:

  1. These are some of the most beautiful flower pots I have seen. The mid C19th pair of Porcelain de Paris landscape/floral decorated parcel-gilt square-form covered bough pots is wonderful. Ditto the Deroche parcel-gilt porcelain bulb pot from Paris porcelain.

    By the way, I have a number of much loved Worcester flower pots in my own collection :)