Museum of London Ceramics and Glass Collection Museum of London Ceramics and Glass Collection Ceramics Glass

St James's (Charles Gouyn)

(1748 - 1759)

The group of unmarked but distinctive figures and luxury miniature 'toys' made by this factory was attributed to early porcelain specialists to Chelsea's first period of production. They became known as 'Girl-in-a-Swing' after a white glazed figure of a girl sitting in a swing, which was given to the Victoria and Albert museum in 1918.

The factory that produced this group of wares has only recently been identified as that owned by Charles Gouyn, a jeweller with premises in St James's, in fashionable Westminster. Charles Gouyn had been one of the proprietors at Chelsea until about 1748, and newspaper advertisements suggest that there had been an acrimonious split from Nicholas Sprimont.

The figures, scent bottles, bodkin cases and other trinkets made at Charles Gouyn's factory were very finely glazed which meant that very detailed modelling was possible, and the figures and miniature animals have very individual, delicate features. They are often finished with gilt mounts.

The precise location of the factory is still uncertain, and it was only active for about ten years.

Related objects

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