Wednesday, October 30, 2019


I thought this small item, 1.75 inches high, was a napkin ring.  I did some research and discovered that it is called an egg hoop or egg ring.  The opening at one end is larger than the other end to accommodate both large and small eggs.

Egg Hoop, 1.75 inches high by 2 inches in diameter on one side and 1.5 inches in diameter on the other side. It is printed in a variation of the Tea Party pattern. Notice that the hoop has an indented "waist."

Two inch opening at one end of the egg hoop accommodates large eggs. Notice that this opening is flared, while the opening at the other end is straight.

Smaller 1.5 inch opening on the other side of the hoop accommodates small eggs.

This egg hoop is printed with one of the many tea party patterns.* Although the pattern is a bit blurred, you can see the man and the woman sitting at the tea table.

The other side of the egg hoop features a building. Anyone know what it is?

The pattern wraps around the egg hoop. There are trees and bushes, as well as this unidentified building.

Below is the egg hoop holding a large egg. When the egg is cooked, the top of the egg can be removed so that that the egg can be eaten from the shell with an egg spoon (small spoon).

Is an egg cup the same as an egg hoop? I have written about egg cups in a previous post. Take a look at the post to find out.

Can an egg hoop be used as a napkin ring? Why not!

Egg hoop used as a napkin ring. Why not! I guess I would need more than one. Oh well.

 *Below is a version of the Tea Party pattern. There are many versions of the Tea Party Pattern in the Transferware Collectors Club Database of Patterns and Sources.

William Smith (&Co.) 1825-1855 "No. 3" saucer printed with the Tea Drinker or Tea Party pattern, ca. 1830.

Sunday, July 21, 2019


W.G. White 2.75 inch caviar pot. ca. 1900.

Did you know that July 18th is National Sturgeon Day? As I have said many times, there is a national day for nearly everything. What is a sturgeon? It is a fish that is known for its roe or eggs that we call caviar (this caviar link is really interesting). The pot above was designed to hold caviar for W.G. White, London, around 1900 (the company is still in business).  The pot was returnable (to be refilled), which may be why it has survived the dust bin.  Also, because it is so pretty. Is it transferware? I am not sure. It may be a decal transfer rather than the more time consuming copper plate to tissue to pottery process that is responsible for most of the transferware written about in "Dishy News." To learn more about the transferware process see my "The Potters' Art" post.

The lid of the W.G. White caviar pot.

The bottom of the W.G. White caviar pot.

The pot below advertises caviar sold by Fortnum & Mason in the 20th century. It was transfer printed at the Cauldon factory (1905-1920), although it may have been made by a later incarnation of this company. Notice the handsome sturgeon.

Twentieth century Fortnum & Mason caviar pot.

A picture of a sturgeon from Wikipedia.

One more photo and a bit of advice.

Notice the tape that holds the lid to the pot. I have learned from experience that this is a good idea!

Monday, June 10, 2019


Don Pottery (1801-1831) Milkmaid pattern 10 inch plate. Notice that there is no border.

One of my favorite transferware patterns is "The Milkmaid." To me it embodies 19th century rural England. Probably more myth than reality. The pattern was popular, and it was made by many factories.  For example, the Transferware Collectors Club database shows 15 milkmaid patterns made by different manufacturers.  In no particular order, I'll show you a few. All have a milkmaid, a cow, and usually some other animals nearby. And, some of the patterns are more realistic than others.

Davenport (1794-1887) 5.12 inch saucer. Notice the black and white sheep on the right.

Spode ( 1770-1833) Milkmaid pattern 4.5 inch high teapot.

Thomas Rathbone & Co. (1810-1845) Milkmaid pattern saucer. There are no additional animals in this pattern.

BelleVue Pottery (1826-1841) Milkmaid pattern.

Sewell & Donkin (1821-1852) Milkmaid plate. Notice that the milkmaid is much larger than the woman on her right!
Sewell (1804-1820) 6.75 inch Milkmaid plate. Notice the waterwheel and cottage.

Davenport (1794-1887) Milkmaid plate. The pattern is from Davenport's Rustic Scenes series.

Scott (1800-1897) Milkmaid saucer. The black sheep looks like a shadow.

Some unattributed milkmaid patterns.

This pattern is so busy, it is hard to find the milkmaid!

This milkmaid looks as if she is milking a bull or an ox!

A milkmaid 4.25 inch mug. Does this pattern seem simpler than the others?

Milkmaid 10.25 inch coffee pot. I thought you might like the lovely shape of the coffee pot.

Milkmaid coffee pot.  Notice the interesting repairs to the spout and handle.

Milkmaid with other people!

It's a bit of a stretch, but the above teapot could be added to my post "Recognition of the Familiar and Transferware Cows."

It would be interesting to chart the similarities and differences between all of the patterns. Perhaps someone will offer to do it!  One more thing.  Let me know if you have a milkmaid pattern that I haven't included in this post. 

Saturday, May 25, 2019


"A Present From The Staffordshire Potteries" plate, ca. 1830. If the photo looks familiar, I used it in my post "The TCC England Tour 2015: Part I - The Victoria and Albert Museum."

When I was a child in the 1950s, my grandparents brought me a pink glass flamingo from Florida. The base of this gift said "Greetings From Miami Beach." They knew I'd like this pink souvenir. I did like it, but I loved that they thought of me when they were far away. Now that I'm a grandmother, I  think about my grandchildren when I am away from home. I recently brought them stuffed bison from North Dakota and red money boxes from London.  I don't know when souvenir giving became popular, but I imagine it is an ancient custom. The word "souvenir" means "to remember" in French. It is from Latin "subvenire" which means "occur to the mind."

I digress as usual, but I have been leading up to showing you souvenirs from the Staffordshire Potteries. The souvenirs from the Potteries did two things; they not only reminded children that they were remembered (and loved),  but they also advertised the Potteries and their wares. Below are a few early 19th century souvenirs from the Potteries.

Mug, 2.5 inches high, "A Trifle From The Potteries."

Mug, 2.41 inches high, "A Present From The Potteries."

John Wilkinson (1828-1867) 4.25 inch darning egg, "A Gift from the Pottery."

Mug, "A Gift from the Pottery." Notice that this mug is poorly printed. Souvenir china was very cheap, so quality was not always important.

Mug, 2.5 inches high, "A Gift From The Potteries," ca. 1830

The item below is not from the early 19th century. It is a coaster that was made for members of the Transferware Collectors Club who attended the TCC meeting in England in 2015. Notice that it is the same pattern as the 19th century plate at the top of the page.  I use it everyday.  It sits on my desk and usually holds a cup of coffee.  It always reminds me of the Staffordshire Potteries and the excellent 2015 TCC meeting. 

A 4.5 inch coaster made for the 2015 TCC meeting in England. Notice that this is the same pattern as the early 19th century plate above.

The back of the coaster reminds me of the wonderful TCC meeting in 2015, and it advertises the name of the Pottery that made it, "Royal Stafford, Made In Burslem The Heart Of The Potteries."

Friday, April 5, 2019


You can serve cookies on stilton cheese stands. Fruit too.

My youngest grandson asked if we could make cookies together. He had some Australian animal cookie cutters that he wanted to use for the first time. I rarely, if ever, turn down a request from a grandchild, but this meant I couldn't make the simple drop cookies I usually do. The ones that take no talent or time (at least for me). I looked online for the best cookie dough recipe for cookie cutters.  I soon learned that cookie dough needed to be refrigerated ahead of time so it would be easy to roll and cut. At least an hour or two. My grandson is five, so I made the dough the night before his visit.  I practiced rolling and cutting the next morning, so that I could avoid any difficulties. I needn't have worried. I channeled my Bubby, Fanny (Faiga) Berenson (1882-1960). Really, it was nearly as if she had taken over my hands! Bubby, who lived with us, made cookies every week. I always helped her.  My hands remembered rolling, cutting, folding the extra dough, and rolling again.

I digress.  As this is a transferware blog, I'll show you how I served and displayed the nearly 100 cookies Joey and I made. You may wonder what happened to the Australian animals we cut out with his cookie cutters. He ate one, and took the rest home to his mom and dad. Below, you'll just see round cookies. (I used a glass to cut them, like my Bubby did.)

A small footed bowl, ca. 1825. It was probably used as a waste bowl for tea dregs, but it is excellent for holding cookies.

"The Goldfinch" 12 inch platter, ca. 1820. 

Thomas Fell (1817-1890) "Antiquarian" dessert dish. Perfect for cookies!

One of my favorite stilton cheese stands (I own nine). The pattern is known as Willow Mandarin I, ca. 1790-1800.

Did I mention that I learned about transferware from my Bubby? She lived in London at the turn of the 20th century, where she enjoyed finding pieces of blue and white pottery at the Petticoat Lane markets. She loved her Willow plates, so I have shown you an early Willow cheese stand.

One more thing. I used Bubby's rolling pin to roll out the cookie dough. I only wish I had her cookie recipe. It wasn't written down.  Let me know if you have a good sugar cookie recipe that you are willing to share.

Bubby's rolling pin and some cookies

Thursday, February 28, 2019


 "The Sower" child's 3.5 inch teapot, ca. 1820*

I recently purchased a very damaged small teapot with "The Sower" on one side and "The Reaper" on the other. I have long been interested in these patterns because I have entered so many in the database of the Transferware Collectors Club. They are part of a series titled "The Progress of the Quartern Loaf." There are six different patterns: the Ploughman, The Sower, The Thrasher, The Reaper, The Miller, and The Baker. All are in the Transferware Collectors Club Database of Patterns and Sources.

The patterns are based on illustrations* that accompany the poem "The Progress of the Quartern Loaf"* by Mary (Belson) Elliott (ca.1794-c.1870). The poem describes the labor involved in the genesis of a loaf of bread from the preparation of the earth by the ploughman to the making of the bread by the baker.

"The Ploughman" is one of the illustrations from the "Progress of the Quartern Loaf" by Mary (Belson) Elliott, ca. 1820. You can click on the photo to make it larger.

Child's plate, 7.44 inches. The verse reads: "The Ploughman's labour first prepares/The bosom of the earth for seed:/This done he has no further cares/Then other labourers succeed." You'll notice that only the first verse is used on the plate.

"The Sower" is another of the illustrations from "The Progress of the Quartern Loaf" by Mary (Belson) Elliott.

Child's plate, 5.5 inches. The verse reads: "With steady hand the Sower throws/That seed on which so much depends/Following the Ploughs deep track he goes/And plenty every step attends."

"The Reaper" is another of the illustrations from Mary (Belson) Elliott's "The Progress of the Quartern Loaf."

Child's plate, 6.2 inches, The verse reads: "The ruddy Glow and sun-burned Cheek/The harvest Labourer bespeak./The sweeping sickle clears the Field./Whose warming Rows resistless yield."

"The Thrasher" illustration from "The Progress of the Quartern Loaf."

Child's plate, 5 inches. The verse reads: "And see another Friend appears./ With active flail the corn to thrash./To separate the clustering ears./And clear the Grain from stalk & trash."  Today we would call this threashing, which is the separation of the corn (wheat) from the trash.

The mark on the back of the plate above is the title of the poem.

Mark on the back of "The Thrasher" plate.

 I haven't been able to find a print of "The Miller." We will have to make do with the print on the plate.

Child's Plate, 6.5 inches. The text reads: "It is now the Millers (sic) turn we find/Who into Flour the Corn must grind,/The husk or shell is used as Bran/The flour is general Food for Man."

Below is the mark found on the back of the "Miller" plate.

Mark found on the back of the plate above.

"The Baker" is the last illustration from "The Progress of the Quartern Loaf."

Child's Plate, 7 inches. The text reads: "With yeast the baker forms the dough/ Kneading it into loaves of bread/ When baked, their use we too well know/ To need much comment on that head."

There are 17 "Progress of the Quartern Loaf" patterns by many different makers in the TCC database.  I think the popularity of the series is due to the importance of bread as a staple of the 19th century diet. The plates were made at a time when the Corn Laws made the import of grain from Europe and elsewhere too expensive. Many people starved. I wonder if the poem was a subtle reference to the unpopular law.  Just a guess.  The law was repealed in 1846.

One more thing. The poem and patterns usually appear on children's plates and mugs, but I own 9.25 inch plates printed with four of the patterns surrounded by a Canova border! They all are marked Canova and have the initials J T.  I'd love to hear some of your thoughts as to maker and owner.

A set of four 9.25 inch plates with  a Canova border and the "Progress of the Quartern Loaf" center: from left, Ploughman, Reaper, Thrasher, and Sower.

The back of the plate shows the printed mark, Canova, and the initials J and T (I think). The plates were probably made by George Phillips (1834-1847), as the urn mark is similar. However, the Phillips name is not printed under the mark.

Shown is the Phillips' mark from another item.

*The illustrations are from the Toronto Public Library,

*According to the dictionary (Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary), a quartern loaf weighs about four pounds. A quartern, a traditional English unit of weight for bread, is made from a quartern of flour, equal to 1/4 stone or 3.5 pounds. The finished loaf usually weighs about 4 pounds; as a result a quartern is sometimes described as a weight of 4 pounds.

*The other side of the teapot which shows the "Reaper."

"Reaper" child's 3.5 inch teapot, ca. 1820