Bawo & Dotter – The Early Years
Bawo & Dotter was established in the 1860s in New York City for the purpose of importing china, notably Limoges porcelain, for the American consumer. The firm set up its own decorating studio in Limoges during the early 1870s which was named “The Elite Works.” The company did not begin manufacturing its own china until about 1896. From the 1870s through the 1890s, the company decorated the white ware made by other Limoges factories. Many examples of Bawo & Dotter’s decoration and porcelain are found in a variety of items.
Bawo & Dotter Markings
The earliest marks used by the company appear to be a vase shape incorporating the initials “B D” over “L”, and the Arms of Limoges. While exact dating is not possible, it is reasonable to assign certain periods to the marks based on examples bearing such marks and by comparing the white ware marks of other companies found in conjunction with the Bawo & Dotter decorating marks. A patent date of “Dec. 12, 82” has been found in conjunction with this type of mark.
Later decorating marks are very similar and also include the Arms of Limoges. The white ware marks seem to show the transition from decorating only to manufacturing, with “Limoges” written in script form in both the underglaze mark and overglaze mark. Another common mark is an impressed mark of “B D” over “L” and “Déposé.” This mark would reflect an early manufacturing mark after 1896. Several other variations of Elite marks have been added.
Bawo & Dotter merges with Guérin-Pouyat-Elite, Ltd
The company’s china production was interrupted in Limoges during World War I. After the war, circa 1920, the company purchased the William Guérin firm. The name of the company became Guérin-Pouyat-Elite, Ltd. (Guérin had previously purchased the Pouyat company.) The individual marks of each of the three companies appear to have been continued from the time of this merger until the business closed in 1932. Apparently, undecorated blanks by either of the three companies were used with a new mark of Guérin-Pouyat-Elite, Ltd. This mark is rarely seen, and information on exactly when it was put in use after 1920 has not been found.
Limoges Antique China Set 42 Pieces Elite Works Bawo & Dotter Floral Design GUC