by Dr. Don Hardisty
The "Imagical World of Bossons," was created by William Henry Bossons (W. H. Bossons), and later advanced to worldwide prominence by his son W. Ray Bossons (W. R. Bossons). The senior Bossons opened the business early in 1946 that continued until his death in 1951. Then, Ray Bossons succeeded his father as Chairman and Managing Director with his wife, Ruth Fraser Bossons in charge of financial affairs. In 1994, Jane Bossons Roberts, Ray's daughter, directed the operations until the business closed in December 1996. Ray Bossons died in 1999. He is survived by Ruth, his wife, and by daughter Jane, and his son Richard Bossons. The business was officially named W. H. Bossons, Limited of Congleton, England where operations were undertaken out of the historic old mill buildings known as Brook Mills, originally used around 1800 for manufacturing silk. Currently the site is under construction as a high end apartment complex.
W. Ray Bossons designed the first 'Character Wall Masks' (Heads as collectors call them) starting in 1958. Worldwide popularity of these Bossons creations (always include the 's', not Bosson), spread over the entire world as exports and were sent to many countries. Over the years various part-time artists were employed to sculpt the original models; however, the body of the works were done by Fred Wright, Alice Brindley, and Ray Bossons, himself. In addition to the Series B (5-1/2-inch heads) were larger models in the Series A (up to 11 inches), the Wildlife Collection, and many dogs and cats. The very first productions were high relief plaster Wall Plaques (not called plates) listed in the first complete catalog of 1948 and included the 'Beautiful Britain Series.' They included many flower designs, and depicted historic buildings, castles, bridges, and English, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish scenes. From the beginning, all Bossons were 'Hand Painted,' and this became the hallmark of original Bossons works of art.
Bossons not only include the gypsum plaster items mentioned, but they also experimented with the fired pottery medium which includes some of the most rare and collectible Bossons known today: the four Aboriginal Plaques, African Pottery Masks, Bookends, Boxed Bird Sets, Character Dogs, larger Birds, Garden Figures, table lamps, and Modern Pottery Figures, among many others. Perhaps the most unique and detailed creations from Bossons came from the Fraser-Art Division (named for Mrs. Ruth Fraser Bossons). This Division was planned for production of 'premier art works of the future.' Fraser-Art was a special PVC, or 'Stonite' product and was very durable. The process also allowed for extremely fine detail. Fraser-Art was produced from Bossons during 1966-1982 and included all kinds of animals, birds, clocks, barometers, thermometers, wall mirrors, the elegant Copper Collection of Birds, Vikings and ships, and American rodeo and football players. The final releases of Fraser-Art were the Crown Collection of animals and birds modeled into typical scenes from nature by Mrs. Alice Brindley. The hundreds of scenic plaques and Character Wall Masks offer ample opportunity to keep collectors busy for many years.
This short article was written in 2008 at the personal request of Richard Bossons, Son of W. Ray Bossons,
written and submitted by Dr. Donald M. Hardisty, USA. For questions, comments, and more detailed information
about Bossons go to
Dr. Hardisty's web site http://www.collectiblebossons.com
The 29th conclave gathering of avid Bossons collectors will meet in Orlando, Florida,
May 1-4, 2014. There is also a summer meeting of the European Bossons Collectors,
affiliated with the IBCS, and will be held in Congleton at the Lion & Swan Hotel,
August, 2014.The IBCS also publishes quarterly 'Bossons Briefs' for members with technical articles about Bossons, new findings, and news from members. For information contact the Director, Norm Derocher, at the International Bossons Collectors Society (IBCS), www.bossons.org.
This short article was written in 2008 at the personal request of Richard Bossons, Son of W. Ray Bossons, written and submitted by Dr. Donald M. Hardisty, USA. For questions, comments, and more detailed information about Bossons go to Dr. Hardisty's web site http://www.collectiblebossons.com