Sunday, June 11, 2017

HUMMINGBIRDS ON TRANSFERWARE




Detail of a hummingbird from an Aesthetic Movement pattern, ca. 1880.

A hummingbird in my garden sent me to the database of the Transferware Collectors Club to see if there were patterns that featured hummingbirds.


Male Allen's Hummingbird (I think).  It is sitting on a rose in my garden.

I didn't find a lot of patterns, and all of them were Aesthetic patterns from the late 19th century.

Maker Unknown 3.75 inch miniature plate from a child's dinner service, ca. 1880.  It shows a hummingbird and flowers.
Maker Unknown 6.5 inch water pitcher with a pattern number of 8923, ca. 1880.  It shows a hummingbird feeding from a flower.  The other side is seen below.  The pitcher is both printed and painted.
Maker Unknown pitcher, pattern number 8923.  It is the other side of the pitcher seen above.

Maker Unknown plate with hummingbirds, ca. 1880.

Samuel Moore & Co. (1803-1874) "Fern Leaves" 10 inch plate.  There are both ferns and raspberry plants.

There were a few more patterns in the database, but you get the point.   The patterns were fairly similar.

If you want to know what kind of camera was used to take the photo of the hummingbird, it was an iPhone.  My husband took the photo. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

TRANSFERWARE CHILDREN'S GAMES AND ACTIVITIES



Mid 19th century 2.5 inch child's mug "Blind Man's Buff"

Lots of common children's games appear on transferware plates and mugs: for example, blind man's buff (or bluff) and marbles.
 
Mid 19th century 2.5 inch child's mug "Playing At Marbles"

These games were still common when I was a child in the 1950s, but I wondered if the games are still played today.  I showed my seven year old granddaughter some of the patterns.  She knew about blind man's buff, marbles, charades, leap frog, rope jumping, and kite flying.
  

Child's 6 inch plate with the following text: "Charades/My first is productive of the light/My second to wood has affiance/My whole is high polished and bright/And my first on its aid has reliance/Candle-Stick." Maya didn't feel this was a good example of Charades. 

Child's 2.44 inch mug "Leap Frog"


"Children's Play The Rope" 4.38 inch plate


"Trimming The Kite" 5 inch child's plate

She also knew some top games, although not Whip-Top.


"Whip-Top" 3 inch child's mug

She and I were totally puzzled by Puss in the Corner, so I thought we'd do a bit of research. 


"Puss in the Corner" 2.5 inch child's mug

Wikipedia is my go-to encyclopedia, although I still have my late 1970s set of World Books.  Here's a link to Puss in the Corner.  Maya thought she'd teach the game to her school friends.

She was also unfamiliar with "Thump Away Jack," but she felt "Thump Away Jack" wouldn't and shouldn't be allowed anymore.  I agreed.


Child's 6.25 inch plate"Thump Away, Jack"  The entire verse, which is difficult to see, reads: ""Thump away Jack -- take care of his head/ It's all in good fun -- now hit him hard Ned."

We were both surprised that there were no plates that feature Hop Scotch.  It was such a popular game when I was a child and continues popular today.  However, Maya and I were very happy to see a plate that showed children reading books to one another.

Mid 19th century child's mug featuring children reading aloud

She was shocked last year when I told her there were no iPads when I was a little girl.  Her pity was touching.   However, now that reading is a passion for her, she no longer feels sorry for me.



Although, she does love her apps.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

APRIL TRANSFERWARE PATTERNS

Since it's the middle of May, it's past the time to write this post about April transferware patterns.  I suppose I'd better get started on May too!

As I have said before, patterns with months make nice birthday presents.  My children have more than one.

I'll start with a Wedgwood plate printed with the April tile pattern.  Remember that the month patterns were originally made for tiles, but proved so popular that Wedgwood adapted them for plates.  Wedgwood paired the tiles with borders already in use.  Here, the "Ivanhoe" border was used.  Not surprisingly, the border is mainly found with centers that depict the Sir Walter Scott story of "Ivanhoe." 

Wedgwood (1759-2005) Month plate "April," ca. 1880.  The April center is paired with Wedgwood's Ivanhoe border.

I added a photo of an "Ivanhoe" plate to make my text clearer. 

Wedgwood (1759-2005) soup plate from the "Ivanhoe" series designed by Thomas Allen, ca. 1882.  The border was popular, so Wedgwood used it with their month tiles too.

Below is an April pattern that is part of a series known as "Seasons."  The word "April" is found in the circular cartouche in the bottom of the center of the pattern.  Here, the month of April is illustrated by a man who is hawking, not the usual rainy scene with an umbrella.

William Adams IV & Sons (1829-1861) 10.62 inch plate printed in the "April" pattern from the Seasons series.

Many of the April patterns were made for children.  They were popular gifts in the 19th century and continue popular today.


Child's plate printed with a figure representing "April."  It looks as if he is doing the Spring pruning.
Child's 7.25 inch "April" plate by an unknown maker. Notice that is is nearly the same as the pattern below.
Scott (1800-1897) "April" 6.5 inch plate.  Although the pattern looks the same as the pattern on the plate above, this one has the sign of the zodiac for April behind the girl.  The head of Taurus, the bull, is next to the girl's left arm, and its lower body and tail are near her right arm. 

"April" child's plate showing two children with the ubiquitous April umbrella.

Let me know if you have any April transferware patterns.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

GEESE ON TRANSFERWARE



Canada Geese and Goslings

Despite their messiness, I've always liked Canada geese   I saw some recently during a walk in Shoreline Park in Mountain View, CA.  They made me wonder how many transferware patterns feature geese.  There are quite a few, but none that look like Canada geese!

Many of the patterns were made for children.

"Goose" pattern cup, 2 inches high by 2.75 inches in diameter. The text says "Goose," but the bird is probably a duck!  I thought I'd include it because it looks a bit like a Canada Goose.
Known as Geese Attack, this 5.5 inch plate shows a family attacked by geese.  I was bitten by a goose when I was a child.  They look adorable, but can be quite mean.
Some patterns are humorous (sort of) like the one above, and some were designed to educate like the patterns on the mugs and plate below.
Children's patterns were often teaching tools.  This 2.75 inch mug is an alphabet mug: "Gg/G for Goose and Gardener too."
Alphabet 6.25 inch plate with a molded alphabet border: "Goose, Gate & Gun."
Alphabet 2.5 inch mug: "G stands for Gander, for Goose, and for Gift."

Some patterns illustrate Nursery rhymes and fables.

"Nursery Rhymes" 7.5 inch plate "Goosey Goosey Gander."  The plate has a printed alphabet border.

Maw & Co. (1852-1979) 6 inch tile printed with an illustration of the unfortunate end of the fable "The Goose Which Laid Golden Eggs."

Hunting patterns often include geese. 

Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846) 10 inch plate from the series known as "The Sporting Series," ca. 1825.

Hunters are not always human.
J.F. Wileman (1869-1892) "Sporting Scenes" 8.25 inch plate featuring a fox and its kill.  Would you want to eat from this plate?

Thomas Elsmore & Son (1872-1887) child's 7.5 inch plate with a molded alphabet border.  It is titled "Fox And Goose." 
 
One more photo of the Canada geese.  The child is rather close to the geese.  I hope they don't bite!



 Below is a large bronze sculpture of geese near the entrance to the Children's Zoo at the San Francisco Zoo.  Maya looks concerned, but these geese don't bite!

Bronze Goose sculpture at the San Francisco Zoo
Do you have any favorite transferware patterns that feature geese?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

HOW TO PACK POTTERY (OR ANYTHING FRAGILE)

Broken!  Lot of pieces and shards.



An 1820s transferware platter that I purchased arrived in many pieces.  It was expensive, but for me the cost was outweighed by the sadness of seeing such a lovely old item irreparably damaged.  The box was too small.  There wasn't enough room between the edges of the platter and the sides of the box.  Although the platter was wrapped in bubble wrap, there wasn't enough of it.  And, there were no styrofoam bits surrounding it.  The only cushioning was the white towel you see in the photo.  All of the items in the front, the platter, the bubble wrap, and the towel, were stuffed in the box you see behind them.

Thus, I thought I'd write some directions for wrapping fragile things.

1.  Never skimp on the size of the box.  Bigger is better.
2.  Wrap the item in lots of bubble wrap.  I usually use small bubble wrap, but large bubble wrap is  fine.
3.  Find a box that is large enough so that the item is not too close to the sides.  I suggesting wrapping the item first.  Then you can see how it fits in the box.

Wrap the item before you decide on the size of the box.  The piece here is an oval vegetable bowl, so I added styrofoam (polystyrene) bits to the center for more cushioning.
4.  Fill the bottom of the box with styrofoam, and put the item in the box.  Pour styrofoam around the item.  Make sure there is plenty of cushioning on the sides of the item and on top.  You may need to use your hands to make sure the bits are settled around the pottery.

Pour some styrofoam into the box.  Enough to cover the bottom and another few inches.

Place the wrapped item into the box.  Make sure there is plenty of room between the sides of the box and the fragile item.

Fill the box with styrofoam.  Completely cover the item.  Then, use your hands to make sure there is plenty of styrofoam around the pottery.  I even shake the box a little, as there may be settling of the styrofoam during shipping.

5.  Now your are ready to tape up the box. The top is important, but don't forget the bottom.  I have received boxes with lots of tape on the top and only one tiny piece on the bottom.
6.  Cover all openings of the box with tape.  I usually overdo this.

Make sure you cover all openings of the box: top, sides, and bottom!

7.  Add "Fragile" stickers!

The "fragile" stamp is nice, but I really like a bright orange sticker.

That's it.  Also, it is good to insure any items over $100.

In case you are interested,  here's a photo of the item I packed.  It is an oval vegetable dish that is part of the circa 1820s "Domestic Cattle" Series.  It arrived at its destination in one piece!

"Domestic Cattle" oval vegetable dish, ca. 1820.




Sunday, March 26, 2017

MARCH TRANSFERWARE PATTERNS



Wedgwood (1759-2005) 10 inch "March" plate with a Florentine border. You can see the word "March" on the bottom right of the pattern. The Transferware Collectors Club Database of Patterns and Sources says: "The patterns were designed by Helen Miles who was a designer, painter and illustrator (fl.1860-1893). She designed several series of tiles for Wedgwood, including "Months".

One of my readers was hoping to see some transferware March patterns.  Here are a few, starting with a Wedgwood plate.  You probably know that Wedgwood made a series of month tiles.  They were so popular that Wedgwood incorporated the designs onto plates surrounded by one of several Wedgwood border.  Below are some tiles from the Wedgwood Museum in England.  You can see March on the planter, as well as on the center left in the group of tiles. 




The month of March is also found on children's plates.  They make excellent birthday presents.

Scott (1800-1897) 6.5 inch "March" plate.  If you enlarge the photo, you'll see a ram over the man's left shoulder.  The ram or Aries is one of the astrological signs for the month of March.

Ynysmeudwy Pottery (1845-1877) 6 inch "March plate.  The child is casting seeds for Spring planting.  The plate is one of a series of twelve.

Maker unknown 6.62 inch "March" plate.  The scene includes planting as well as a seasonal poem.  Notice the alphabet border.

Below is a plate from Adams "Seasons" series that shows a man pruning a tree.  A banner to the right of his spade says the word "March."


William Adams IV & Sons (1829-1861) 9.5 inch "March" plate.  The border includes four figures illustrating the four seasons.

March is often illustrated with a windy scene.  Below is a "March" tile with a woman and child holding their hats.  Notice the ram under the word "Aries" in the the circle near the top left.  Aries is one of the astrological symbols of March.

Minton Hollins & Co. (1868-1962) 8 inch "March" tile.

One more pattern.  Here is a March child's mug.  I find the text a bit confusing.  Wouldn't the days of feasting and gluttony be over by January?   However, 19th century children's china was often intended to instruct, so here is a poem about gluttony. 


Maker unknown 2.62 inch "March" mug printed with the words: "The jovial days of feasting past/Tis pious prudence come at last/And eager gluttony is taught/To be content with what it ought."


The other side of the mug show a mother of governess instructing a child about gluttony.


Remember that all of the patterns that illustrate a month were part of a series.  It would be fun to collect them all!


Wedgwood tiles depicting the twelve month of the year, ca. 1880.