Monday, February 25, 2013


I love the stories that transferware patterns tell.  Some of the stories are obvious and some need  us to bring our individual points of view.  The Beemaster pattern was copied from a watercolor by George Robertson, which is in the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery in Bedford, England.  The watercolor is titled "Autumn: Swarm of Bees."   There appears to be a swarm of bees on the ground.  You do need to look carefully.  The beemaster is carrying a bee skep to place over the bees.  I was a bit confused about the title of the painting until I located the small patch of bees on the ground.  I thought swarming bees needed to be in the air!

Beemaster Pattern, c. 1820
An elderly  English friend of mine said the pattern always made her think of a country wedding.  The young couple are wearing their best clothes.  He has his arm around her, and she leans toward him.   The beemaster is holding a bee skep, which my friend said was a traditional English wedding gift.   Bees, she added, offer both symbolic and real gifts; honey for a sweetness and wax for candles.  Jonathan's Swift's "sweetness and light."


  1. Mind you, bees rarely swarm in autumn. Something terrible must have been wrong..

    1. Thank you for the information. I hadn't a clue. I suppose the artist didn't either.