Cockatoo Chintz Vases (pair)

Stephen Bowers

Bowers Pair of Cockatoo Chintz Vases
Cockatoo Chintz Vases (pair) by Stephen Bowers


Stephen Bowers
Cockatoo Chintz Vases (pair)
wheel thrown earthenware, underglaze colour, clear glaze, on-glaze burnished gold,vitreous enamel
50 x 34 cm

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This pair of vases are classic cockatoo chintz and typical of Bowers’ remarkable crafting ability with their rich use of ornamentation and sumptuous finish. Amongst a complex weave of historically sourced images the interested viewer might find some images specifically sourced from The David Roche collection – this includes the faux malachite and key pattern border; the early Victorian Staffordshire zebra; as well as number of regency pieces and 18th Century Chinese works (the ‘tobacco leaf’ design for instance). The cockatoos reference the marvellous natural history paintings of Edward Lear. The glaze finish features a fat layer of soft pure burnished gold. They are an antipodean take on the palace-ware of Regency and Imperial times with a whiff of the French boudoir or salon wafting in.

An abundance of fruit and flora and the striking depiction of the cockatoos remind us of the colour, beauty and complexity of the natural world and its appropriation into man-made environments, emphasized by their placement against a lavish gold background.