Rare American Market “Cow Pox” 5 1/2″ Bowl #7434 SOLD
A charming Chinese export porcelain 5 1/2″ bowl made for the American market, from a tea service ordered by Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse of Cambridge, MA. (1754-1846). Inscribed with the gilded initial W within a chain-link bordered roundel featuring the images of two cows in a pasture. The bucolic imagery was not only decorative but also an advertisement for innoculation by cowpox as a preventative vaccine against smallpox. Though the innoculation had been known since early in the 18th century, it was still a very controversial procedure (as it remains today). Dr. Waterhouse innoculated his own children with this method and commemorated the event with a special order tea set. Discussed and illustrated in Schiffer’s China for America, page 174. This bowl most likely the slop bowl from the tea set, with three lines restored, but charming imagery beautifully intact. Circa 1800.