Sunday, August 5, 2018


Ornithological Series 7.5 inch plate by an unknown maker, ca. 1820. It features a grebe and a titmouse. The plate is printed in blue and  colored over the glaze in orange, green, yellow, purple, lilac, aqua, and blue. 

I almost didn't recognize the above pattern, even though I have owned a blue and white example for years.  The bright colors were my only focus.  Eventually, I recognized the series, so I looked in my drawer of Ornithological Series patterns. (They don't actually fill a drawer, as I only own four items.)

Ornithological 7.5 inch plate without the color.

The large bird is a Dusky Grebe and the small bird is a Titmouse.  The pattern is from the Ornithological Series that was made in the 1820s by more than one manufacturer.  If you like birds, you'll enjoy this series.  Many of the patterns were copied from Thomas Bewick's 1797 "A History of British Birds, vols. 1 and 2.

I started this post by writing about the mesmerizing added color, so I shall add one more colored pattern from this series. 

Ornithological Pattern 9 inch dish printed with a titmouse on the top right, a female kestrel on the bottom right and a male kestrel on the left. Notice the damage on the right side of the dish.*

A little color makes an amazing difference!

*Here's a note on condition. The right side of the dish has a lot of damage.  However, if something is rare and beautiful, I'll buy it anyway.  If the price is right.

Sunday, July 8, 2018


Princess Charlotte commemorative saucer

David found a lovely cup and saucer at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire (I call it the Alameda Flea).  The pattern commemorates the untimely death in 1817 of Princess Charlotte of Wales, who was the only legitimate grandchild of George III.  She was the daughter of George, Prince of Wales, who later became George IV. George was one of 15 children, so it seems a bit strange that there were no more heirs.

When Charlotte died in childbirth at the age of 21, it was very important that the sons of King George do their royal duty, which was to produce an heir.  Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, and the fourth son of George III, fathered the eventual heir to the throne, Victoria. She was born 18 months after the death of Charlotte.  And so, Victoria!

Below is a close-up of the pattern.  The funeral urn says "Princess Charlotte." Her portrait is below. The figure at the right, who appears prostrate with grief, is Britannia. The man on the left is Prince Leopold, who was Charlotte's husband.  The anchor, a symbol of the naval might of Britain, is broken.  The hour glass is a symbol of time, which is always fleeting.  On the top of the hill on the right is Windsor Castle, one of the great homes of the royal family.

Close-up of the pattern.

A portrait of Princess Charlotte, ca. 1817

One more photo.  The black print with pink lustre trim looks well with blue and white on my dresser.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


T & R Boote (1842-1906) "Yosemite" platter. The registry diamond on the back of the platter indicates it was registered on January 13, 1883.

We went to Yosemite National Park, 11 of us, to celebrate my mother-in-law's 96th birthday.  She is a native Californian, and first went to Yosemite in 1923, when she was one.  She says her first hike was on her father's shoulders.  Yosemite is one of her favorite places.  She has hiked many of the trails over the last 90 plus years, and walked to the base of Yosemite Falls and in Yosemite Village, about four miles, a few days ago. (No wheel chair, no walker, no cane.) Maya, her great granddaughter, said that Grandma Mary was probably the oldest person in the Park.  I thought so too.

What does my family celebration of a long and well-lived life have to do with transferware?  The answer is a series of patterns made by T & R Boote titled "Yosemite."  As with many Aesthetic patterns, there is rarely a connection between the title and the design.

T & R Boote "Yosemite" 14.5 inch vertical platter. Does this look like Yosemite National Park?

However, the pattern on the "Yosemite" platter below does resemble what you might have seen in Yosemite National Park in the 19th century, especially the giant sequoias, which are also known as giant redwoods. You can still see them today. By coincidence, there was an article in the New York Times recently about the Mariposa Grove of Giant Redwoods, which just reopened after three years of restoration.   Read the article here.

"Yosemite" 21.5 inch platter. Notice the giant sequoias and the man riding his horse through one.

An old photo showing a carriage driven through a giant sequoia.

The giant trees aren't the only wonders that Yosemite has to offer.  However, I don't want to tempt you to visit.  There were so many people in Yosemite Valley in early June this year that it seemed like Midtown Manhattan during rush hour!  I jest.  Sort of. 

One more photo.

David and Mary/Notice one of the beautiful water falls on the upper right.

And another.
Half Dome
It would be lovely to see Half Dome on a transferware platter.

Sunday, May 27, 2018


T. Harley 6.5 inch jug, "Bonaparte And The Quaker," ca. 1802-1808.

Serendip is a place I arrive at often when I search for transferware patterns.  My search recently took me to Geoffrey Godden's book, "An Illustrated Encyclopedia Of British Pottery And Porcelain," which was published in 1965.  I was looking for a basket undertray or stand on p. 176, but the photo below the stand caught my attention.  It showed a jug titled "Bonaparte and the Quaker,"  and I realized the identical jug was on my shelf! The only difference is that the jug in the book is signed on the bottom, "Manufactd (sic) by T Harley, Lane End."  The commentary on the jug is like a political cartoon on transferware.  It makes fun of Napoleon and touts the superiority of even a peaceful Quaker!

The text is hard to read, even enlarged, so here are close-ups. You can click on them to make them larger, but I'll add the text to the caption below.

"So they are all great Men in you Country, eh? but I suppose they are like you not very fond of fighting; is not that the case Master Quaker." The punctuation is not mine!

"Little man it is not the Case, I myself encourage not fighting, but if thou, or any of thy Comrades darest to cross the great Waters my countrymen shall make Quakers of ye all."

The pattern is based on a source print, a political cartoon, that has been in the collection of the British Museum since 1868.

"Bonaparte and the Quaker" from the collection of the British Museum.  It is dated 1803, and says it was "Pubd by Roberts 28 Middle Row Holborn London."

You might wonder what is on the other side of the jug.  Perhaps another jibe at Napoleon?

There are just some lovely flowers on the other side of the jug.  English roses?

Here's the page from Godden's book.

And the cover.  I have owned it for a long time, but haven't looked at it for quite awhile.  It's good to remember old friends.

Sunday, May 6, 2018


 I received some excellent feedback from Gary Hammond recently.  He had read my post titled "The Weaver's Arms On Transferware," where I asked if anyone could help me identify the names of the people printed on the jugs seen below.

Gary found information about Elijah Pointon, see the jug on the left, in an 1841 & an 1851 Census for Leek in Staffordshire.  Elijah Pointon was born there in 1816.

Census for 1841/Click on the photo to make it larger.

Census for 1851/Click on the photo to make it larger.
When I took the jug down from a shelf to dust and photograph it, I found a printout from Barrie Cathcart of Barrie Cathcart Antiques, dated 2007, which says "I found him (Elijah Pointon) in Leek, born 1816, and dying in 1853. He married in 1839 to Hanna, he was a silk weaver and she a silk winder. They lived at Buxton Road in Leek. Their children were Elizabeth, Mary Ann, and Ann Jane."  I should dust more often.

Earthenware 6.5 inch high jug painted in pink lustre with a name and date plus a common cottage pattern on both sides. The clay is colored cafe au lait (I don't know the proper term).  The heart surrounding the name and date is charming.

The sides and border of the Pointon jug are painted with pink lustre.

I decided to search my collection for all of my named and dated patterns.  I had more than I remembered. Most are not transferware, but some include transfer printing.

I own seven jugs and one teapot.

Most of the items are handpainted with pink lustre and other colors.  Notice that all of the items have dates from the early 19th century.

Other side of the teapot seen above. "Come friends & relations, let's join heart in hand./The voice of the Turtle is heard in our land:/Let's all walk together and follow the sound./We'll march to the place where redemption is found."

  I thought I showed you all of my named and dated jugs, but David found another!

Filled-in transfer jug with initials and date: 1825

If you want to see more photos of any of the pieces (like the sides), let me know.

The End.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Four inch transfer printed jug with a sponged blue and red border. The rabbits on one side and a Spanish pointer on the other side are part of hunting scenes.
I've written about finding hidden pictures in transferware patterns before; see my post titled "Ornithological Series And Find The Hidden Picture." It is one of my great pleasures to spot transferware patterns that are copied from original source prints, which is the main reason I purchased this small jug.  I'll add that I also like the combination of sponge and print.

I recognized that the rabbits were copied from a source print by Julius Caesar Ibbetson found in "The Cabinet of Quadrupeds" by John Church, which was first printed in 1805.

"Rabbits" by Julius Caesar Ibbetson from "The Cabinet of Quadrupeds" by John Church.

Close-up of the rabbits on the jug. Notice that only two of the rabbits were used from the source print. Also notice the cartoonish rendering of the rabbits.

The rabbits also appear on several items in the database of the Transferware Collectors Club.

Spode "557" Two Rabbits pattern mug.  Notice that only two rabbits were used from the source print.
Rabbits 8.62 inch saucer, by an unknown maker, featuring all four of the rabbits found in the source print.  Two rabbits are in the foreground and two are in the background on the right. If the rabbits are hard to see, click on the photo to make it larger.

The other side of the jug shows a Spanish Pointer ensconced in a hunting scene.

The other side of the jug shows a Spanish Pointer, which was copied from "A General History of Quadrupeds" by Thomas Bewick, which was first printed in 1790.

"Spanish Pointer" from "A General History of Quadrupeds" by Thomas Bewick.

A Close-up of the Spanish Pointer on the jug. Again, the pointer is a cartoonish copy of the original source print.

The Spanish Pointer was copied by other manufacturers. 
Wedgwood (1759-2005) coffee can or mug, ca. 1820., with an example of a Spanish pointer. The word "Wedgwood" is impressed on the bottom of the mug.

Spanish Pointer, maker unknown on a saucer, ca. 1825. 

I wondered why the dog wasn't an English pointer, but Bewick says the Spanish pointer was easier to train.

As I have said, it is a pleasure when I connect a source print with a transfer print.  Let me know if you can think of other examples.

Sunday, March 25, 2018


Worshipful Company of Weavers 6 inch Presentation Jug

When I first saw this jug, I thought the animals were pussy cats.  I wasn't sure about the object in their mouths, but was surprised that a cat was used to fetch something.  They never do that.  At least mine don't.

Close-up of the pattern, which shows the Arms of the Worshipful Company of Weavers: "By Our Industry The Naked Are Clothed" and "Weave Truth With Trust." Click on the photo to make it larger. The cute dragon-like animals are wyverns.

I was also intrigued by the name Jonas.  I have a son with that name, and it is not common in the U.S. or Britain today. I didn't think it was common in 19th century either.

The name under the spout is "Jonas Crowder" and the date is "1819." The poem reads: "When this you see remember me./ And keep me in your mind./ Let all the World say what they will/Speak of me as you find."  All of this appears to be hand-painted. The poem is not uncommon to find on 19th century English pottery.

A close-up of the above.

The other side of the jug shows a leopard (not a house cat) with a shuttle in its mouth plus another poem: "Before weaving was invented/Nakedness walk'd every where/And the Rich was well contented/The Skins of hairy Beasts to wear./In the Night like dolesome Spirits/They walk'd both naked forlorn/Then may we say bless'd be the day/A Weaver in the World was born." And, "In God Is All"

A close-up of the above.

I loved the jug, so I bought it.  I knew I would have to do some research. The patterns illustrate the arms of the Worshipful Company of Weavers (granted in 1490),  poems about weavers, and the name of the person to whom the jug was presented, Jonas Crowder. The cats are actually leopards who are holding  shuttles in their mouths.  The dragons are wyverns, who are winged two-legged dragons (a wyvern may not be considered a dragon by everyone) with barbed tails.  I could not find any information about Jonas Crowder.  I hope someone can help me.

I added my new jug to a few others that have names and dates.  Any help in identification of the people named would be appreciated!

Notice there is another Jonas on the jug that is second from the left! Are all the jugs transfer printed?