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 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.