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Congleton
Thursday, February 9, 2023
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Bossons buffs get back together

The committee and members of the European Bossons Collectors Society celebrated being reunited at a long-awaited 14th anniversary gathering.

After a lapse of three years due to covid, finally a meeting took place at Astbury Village Hall when the nation was mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Members and visitors held a minute’s silence to pay their respects.

The event was busy throughout the day with members and visitors travelling from across the UK. There were happy reunions for collectors and especially former employees and painters from the Bossons factory who recognised the artwork pieces they had skilfully painted by hand, evoking many memories.

Much of the day was spent admiring and discussing the displays of rare pieces not seen outside the meeting.

Of special interest was a newly-restored model entitled The Bears and Bees, which is believed to be a pre-production paint test piece made in plaster instead of Stonite, the usual medium used for the production run of the special Crown Collection including the Bears and Bees.

The restorer was Jobie McPartland, a talented artist and restorer of Bossons artware.
This was just one of many interesting and rare pieces taken along for discussion or appraisal by the experts. Many visitors wanted to find out more about the manufacturing process of their artware and its value.

The organisers were pleased to welcome collectors who were selling their Bossons pieces, and much negotiating took place over complimentary refreshments.
Society chairman Martyn Chapman commented that everyone who attended the meeting said they enjoyed the experience and had learnt more about the industrial heritage of the Bossons Company.

Whittaker and Biggs auctioneers held a special online auction sale of more than 250 lots of Bossons artware and promotional items from the Bossons family’s private collection on 20th October.

This sale date coincided with what would have been Ray Bossons’ 104th birthday. The staff of the auction house thanked the European Collectors Society during the online sale for the opportunity to visit the Astbury meeting and took pleasure in meeting the collectors and ex-employees of the factory.

The European Bossons Collectors Society is part of the International Bossons Collectors Society, based in the USA.

Known as the Home of Bossons, Congleton was the base of the company that manufactured a vast range of chalkware plaques, figurines and wall mounted artware pieces in various mediums from 1946 until 1996, situated in Brook Mills – which became known locally as Bossons Mill.

The large mill has now been demolished, but the smaller attached mill known as the Silk Mills complex became apartments. Bossons was headed by Ray Bossons, an accomplished and creative artist.

For further information on the European Bossons Collectors Group, contact Martyn Chapman on chapfpx@aol.com or 07806 635 757.

(Photo: Bossons Society).

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