Bott, Thomas (1829-1870) (DNB00)


BOTT, THOMAS (1829–1870), china painter, was born near Kidderminster, and brought up to his father's business of making spade handles. Disliking this occupation he took to drawing. His first employment was in a glass factory. He went to Birmingham and managed to subsist for two or three years as a portrait painter. From Birmingham he went in 1852 to Worcester, and became one of the principal artists of the Royal Porcelain Works. ‘In that year Mr. Binns introduced what is known as the Worcester enamel. Mr. Bott made the first trials, and ultimately succeeded in giving the enamel the very important character it has since assumed. The queen and the late prince consort were great patrons of his work, which also was selected or presentation to the Princess of Wales, the Countess of Dudley, and the Countess Beauchamp, on their marriages. There is now in the South Kensington Museum one of his best works .... Mr. Bott was for many years a constant student at the School of Art, and gained many prizes’ (Worcester Journal, 17 Dec. 1870). Mr. Jewitt speaks of his work in terms of the highest praise (Hist. of Ceramic Art in Great Britain, pp. 143–4 and 150). A pair of his vases, he says, still in the hands of the Worcester Company, is valued at 1,500l. For his work in this ‘Worcester enamel’ Bott obtained distinction at Paris in 1855, and in London in 1862. He was attacked with paralysis in the beginning of 1869, and was unable to work from that time till his death on 13 Dec. 1870.

[Redgrave's Artists of the Eng. School; Jewitt's Hist. of the Ceramic Art in Great Britain, 1883; Berrow's Worcester Journal, 17 Dec. 1870.]

E. R.