BOSSONS, BOSSONS, BOSSONS, BOSSONS, BOSSONS, Bossons And Still More Bossons
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.
In addition to being a highly talented Artist, sculpting some of the favorite Wall Masks, Ray Bossons was a photographer designing and printing distinctive colored advertising brochures. In the 1990 large brochure entitled The Collections, WRB categorized the character wall heads, wall figures and plaques into these twelve divisions: The Seafarers, The Dickensian Collection, The Europeans, Men of the Deserts, Mountains and Sea, Birds of Prey Wall Figures, High Relief Scenic Plaques, Regal and Traditional, The Victorians, The Americans, Wildllife Wall Figures, High Relief Floral Plaques, and Cats of Character and Dogs of Distinction.
In 1982, Dr. Robert E. Davis authored the first comprehensive publication on Bossons, entitled 'The Imagical World of Bossons. It is a large, hard covered, full colored pictorial guide to Bossons. In 1994, Dr. Davis published a companion Book II of the same title. Unfortunately the two books are no longer published. They may be obtained on the secondary market or directly from the author. Dr. Davis also organized the International Bossons Collectors Society (IBCS) in the early 1980's. This organization holds annual meetings. 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 contact the Editor, Teena Derocher, or the Director, Norm Derocher at IBCS, readily available through Google searches. We encourage all interested individuals, vendors, and collectible entrepreneurs to submit relative articles and join us at the Annual meetings.
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 link to donsbossons web site easily obtained through any search engine e.g., Google or Bing. Updated 11-30-13 by D. M. Hardisty.