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?

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Everard, Colclough & Townsend (1837-1845) "Plenty" jug. 

I've been watching "Victoria" on PBS.  A few episodes deal with the the need to repeal the Corn Laws that made it so expensive for the common working people to buy food (grain for bread). The laws, passed in 1815, were meant to protect the price of grain (corn) from the competition of foreign markets.  However, the laws created a monopoly that enriched the landowners.  This worked until 1845 when the potato blight in Ireland, poor harvests in England, plus the high cost of grain created a famine in Ireland and near famine in England.
Other side of Everard, Colclough & Townsend (1837-1845) "Plenty" jug

I have often wondered about transferware patterns that feature the words "Corn Laws" and "Free Trade."  I knew nothing about these laws, nor their consequences (or forgot).*  Once again, the study of transferware patterns has opened a window onto history. One of the things I learned is the word "corn" refers to wheat, rye, and other grains, not just what Americans think of as corn. Another is that one of the biggest motivating features of politics is greed (I actually knew this already).  And yet another is that free trade can both benefit and destroy.  The Corn Laws were more complicated than I am telling you, so I suggest you look at the link above.

Here is a close-up of the photo above. The flags say "Free Trade" and "No Monopoly."  The bags are easier to read: "Corn" and "Cheap Corn."

The mark for the above teapot.
A child's plate with the same pattern as the above jug.

Child's plate with the caption "Our Bread Untaxed Our Commerce Free." This was the motto of the Anti-Corn Law League. The pattern is the same or nearly the same as one side of the "Plenty" jug.

A jug with the same pattern or a similar pattern to the plate above.

The Corn Laws were repealed in 1846, but not before many people died of starvation.

Just one more pattern to show that the Potteries wanted Free Trade too, although Free Trade may have helped the demise of the Staffordshire pottery industry at the beginning of the 21st century. I may only be surmising, so please let me know what you think.

Child's plate "Commerce/The Staffordshire Potteries/And free trade with all the world."

I'll end with pointing out that free trade remains an issue today.  Just read the newspaper!

*And one more thing.  If you are a Transferware Collectors Club member, see the excellent article written by Michael Weinberg titled "British History by the Jug" in the Spring-Summer 2010 Bulletin, pp. 4 and 5.

Friday, February 23, 2018


"The Familiar Friend" 7.25 inch plate by an unknown maker (most children's plates are by an unknown maker).
February 20 is National Love Your Pets Day. I think the day could also be called National Love Your People Day! We love our pets and they love us.  There are lots of transferware patterns that show people and pets.  Most of the patterns feature children and were intended for children.  The Transferware Collectors Club Database of Patterns and Sources shows 95 patterns in the category Children's Subjects/Pets.  I thought I'd show you a few of my favorites.  I actually own quite a lot of them!

Not all pets are what most of us consider household animals such as dogs and cats.  Much of England in the 19th century was rural, so a pet could be a lamb.

"My Favourite Lamb" 4.5 inch plate, ca. 1830.

"Pet Lamb" 2.56 inch mug with a molded alphabet rim.  It is harder to see the alphabet than to feel it! 

"The Pet Lamb" 4.25 inch mug.

Even a sheep!

"The Pet Of The Village" 6 inch plate with a molded alphabet border, ca. 1880.

William Adams IV & Sons (1829-1861) 6 inch saucer "The Pet," ca. 1835. The saucer is part of a tea service for adults.

Or a pony.

"The Little Pony" 4.5 inch plate includes the poem: "I had a little Pony/ They called it Dapple Grey/ I lent it to a young man/ To ride a mile away."

Or a fawn.

"The Pet Fawn" 2.75 inch mug.

Or a chicken!

"My Hen" by an unknown maker, ca. 1810.

Rabbits probably bridge the space between domestic pets and farm animals.

"My Favorite Rabbit" 5.25 inch plate. 

Plate, 6.5 inches. The pattern is found with the title "My Rabbits."
"Feeding The Rabbits" 2.75 inch mug.

J. Meir & Son (1837-1897) 8 inch wash jug, ca. 1840.  The jug is part of a toilet set.

Which brings us to cats and dogs.

"Faithful Fido" 4.5 inch plate.  Fido was a popular name for a dog for a long time. President Abraham Lincoln named his dog "Fido," and the name was used so often that it referred not just to one dog but to any dog! It remained popular in the United States into the 20th century. The word is Latin for faithful or loyal.

"Faithful Playmate" 4 inch plate, ca. 1830.

"A Lady's Pet" 7 inch plate with a molded alphabet border, ca. 1880.

Podmore, Walker & Co. (1834-1859) "Soldier Tired" 4.4 inch plate.

John Wilkinson (1828-1867) "Our Early Days, The Pet."

Cats don't have a reputation for loyalty or loving, but I can attest that some cats, like some humans, are more loving than others. Of course, there is the joke about dogs having masters and cats having staff.  This mug illustrates that.

"Pus's (sic) Breakfast" 2.75 inch mug. This cat has staff!

The cats on the plates below looks as if they are on a pedestal! How appropriate.

"Favourite" 6.12 inch plate.
"The Favorite" 6.62 inch plate.  Notice that the spelling of favorite is sometimes favourite (see above).

Ford & Challinor (1865-1880) 7.75 inch jug "Childhood." Is the cat taking advantage of the sleeping child?

Below are my cats.  Dare I say pets?

Charlotte on the left and Percy

They add beauty and warmth to my house.  They also destroy the carpets and furniture. See the cartoon below. I do love them anyway!

The End.