Saturday, November 1, 2014

TRANSFERWARE TREASURES AND LADY GODIVA


I bought three things at the Show and Sale at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Transferware Collectors Club; The Rabbit On The Wall, Cameleopard, and Godiva And Peeping Tom Of Coventry.

Ralph & James Clews Rabbit On The Wall 7.75 inch by 5.25 inch pie or vegetable dish.  The sides are printed with pieces of The Errand Boy.  Both patterns are part of the series titled From Wilkie's Designs.  Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841) was a Scottish painter.


Cameleopard 4.25 inch child's plate

Lady Godiva And Peeping Tom Of Coventry 7 inch plate
I have already written about The Rabbit On The Wall and Cameleopard, which are two of my favorite patterns.  However, this is the first time I have seen a Lady Godiva pattern.  It is printed in black on porcelain with Lady Godiva's famous ride through Coventry in the 11th century.  She was the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia.  Godiva is an historical person who is mentioned in the Doomsday Book.

The legend of the nude ride appears around the 13th century and is not considered plausible by historians, but the story was interesting enough to survive retelling for more than 8 centuries! It is also the subject of several Hollywood movies.  The people of Coventry suffered under the oppressive taxation of Godiva's husband.  She appealed to him to reduce the taxes, which he finally offered to do if she would ride naked through Coventry.  The caveat was that if anyone looked or jeered, the taxes would not be removed.  Because Lady Godiva was held in such high esteem by the people, no one looked except Tom (now known as Peeping Tom).  Tom, by the way, was struck blind!  Read more about the legend of Godiva, her ride, and Peeping Tom here.

My friend, Michael, said this is just the kind of pattern to get adolescent boys interested in transferware.  What do you think?




6 comments:

  1. Perhaps, though I blush to think about the things teenage boys have seen these days! I adore The Rabbit on the Wall pattern, it reminds me of my father and power cuts in the UK in the 1950s.

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  2. The Rabbit On The Wall is a wonderful pattern!

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  3. I have a Rabbit on the Wall dish that looks just like yours (I measure it 8 inch by 5.75 inch), with the Wilkie label on the right end and the Clews stamp on the bottom. However, the sides do not have pieces of The Errand Boy, but rather two different scenes: a boy(?) crossing a footbridge, with a castle tower in the background, and what seems to be a landscape with a waterfall.

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    1. Hi,

      My theory is the potters used whatever transfer would fit on what they probably thought were the not-so-important sides. Thus, the differences between our two dishes. Of course, someone might disagree! Lovely to hear from you.

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    2. Thanks for your quick reply! I know very little about the transferware industry, but I was delighted to come across your blog. I inherited the dish from an aunt, and I've always loved it.

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    3. What a wonderful thing to inherit!

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