Well-dressed, appealing children were an ever popular theme in 18th century porcelain. These figures were produced by Bow both as decorative sculpture, that is without baskets, and as sweetmeat holders for use on the dessert table. When the latter has holes in the back, as here, it may have functioned as two-dimensional decoration, the hole being intended for branches bearing porcelain flowers or candleholders. The decorative models may be those described as "New Dancers" in John Bowcock's memorandom book of 1760: surviving examples are spirited in appearance, with their arms raised and extended as if dancing. Certain features which distinguish this pair as Bow are the spiky flowers with projecting centers and the form of the pierced asymmetric scrolled bases.
Mrs Herbert R. Duckwall; given to the John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1960.