Monday, December 30, 2013


This pattern looked familiar, but the words Hansall Monday were not!  The pattern is the same as Christmas Day which I posted recently. The border, of course, is different, but the child is the same boy eating his Christmas pudding.  I hadn't a clue about Hansall Monday, but Louise Scriven gave me both the image and the information.

Thomas & Benjamin Godwin (1809-1834) Christmas Day 7 inch plate, ca. 1833

Hansall Monday 6.5 inch plate ca. 1833

Handsel or Hansall Monday (there are lots of different spellings) is the first Monday after the 12th of January. It is a holiday that used to be celebrated in Scotland and Northern England. The handsel refers to small tips and gifts of money that were customary to give at the beginning of the first working week of a new year.  In this respect,  it is somewhat similar to Boxing Day (December 26) in England and Wales.

Handsel is an old Scottish festival.  Before the nineteenth century,  it was the main midwinter celebration as Christmas was considered by Calvinists to be heathen and Hogmanay hadn’t come into fashion.  Handsel was a day for giving presents, and that is where the name comes from.  Handsel (or hansel or even handsell) is a Middle English word for luck or a good omen that comes from Old Norse (from handsal which means giving of the hand to seal a promise, similar to a handshake today). It became the name for a gift given on any special occasion, such as taking on a new job, beginning some enterprise, or beginning the New Year.  It makes sense that this plate was made for the Scottish market with the same pattern as Christmas Day, as Hansall was the more important holiday in Scotland in the early 19th century.  It was more important than celebrating Christmas or the New Year.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


I recently focused on transferware dog patterns.  I suggested that many dog patterns are found on items intended for children.  Here are a few that feature children and dogs.  As you can see,  I interspersed transferware patterns with photos of real children and dogs.  Obviously, the relationship between children and dogs has not changed in the past nearly two hundred years!

My Noble Dog 4.88 inch child's plate, ca. 1830

Child riding a noble dog

Faithful Fido 4.5 inch child's plate, ca. 1840

 Faithful Fido!
The Familiar Friend 7.25 inch child's plate, ca 1840
Familiar friends!
Probably Minton (1793-1872) 7.5 inch teapot stand, ca. 1825/I would call this pattern Trusted Friend as the dog is trusting the girl with her puppies./This pattern, of course, is not on an item intended for children.
Trusted Friend/ The dog is making sure the child doesn't go too close to the ocean

Monday, December 23, 2013


Thomas & Benjamin Godwin (1809-1834) Christmas Day 7 inch child's plate with a molded alphabet border/The child is probably eating a piece of fruit cake

Thursday, December 19, 2013


In a nod to the season, I thought I would write about reindeer.  Actually, it was my sister Janet Rudolph, who blogs at Dying For Chocolate and Mystery Fanfare, who suggested it.  She had just visited the reindeer at the California Academy Of Sciences in San Francisco, so she wondered if there were reindeer on transferware.

Reindeer at the California Academy of Sciences/Photo courtesy of Janet Rudolph
The Don Pottery (Green & Co) 1801-1839 made a reindeer pattern.  A woman is milking a reindeer. The front of a sledge appears in the left corner of the plate. The pattern seems to be a rendering of a Lapland scene or Arctic scene (summer, of course). If you look carefully, you'll see two more reindeer in the background.

Don Pottery Reindeer Pattern, 4.5 inch plate, ca. 1820

The reindeer in the plate, however, didn't look the same as the reindeer at the Academy.  The horns were quite different.  I did a bit of googling and found the Norwegian reindeer with velvet horns (actually horns covered with fur).
Norwegian reindeer/The antlers are covered with fur
Although they look wild and share many physical characteristics with their wild cousins, reindeer are often domesticated animals. Members of a species (Rangifer tarandus) that also include wild caribou were first domesticated in the Eurasian Arctic more than 2,000 years ago. They’re still commonly raised as pack animals, as well as for their energy-rich milk.

My interest in reindeer goes back to my early childhood when I first heard the song, Rudolph The Red Nosed-Reindeer sung by Gene Autry.  My maiden name is Rudolph, so I felt a kinship with him.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846), The Point 3.5 inch cup plate, ca. 1825/Notice that the only part of the border used is the stringing on the inner part of the border
When it comes to dog patterns on transferware, you are spoiled for choice!  I certainly had a tough time figuring out which patterns I wanted to include in this blog post.  As with the cat patterns, see my post Cats On Transferware,  most of the dogs appear on children's plates and mugs, but there are also many patterns on dinner services (and other items intended for adults).  For example, the Transferware Collectors Club shows nine patterns in their database which feature dogs in Enoch Wood & Sons' Sporting Series.  There are five patterns with dogs in the Quadrupeds series by John Hall & Sons.  I'll show you a few of the patterns.

Enoch Wood & Sons, Water Spaniel 10 inch plate

Enoch Wood & Sons, Three Hounds 5.75 inch plate
You can read more about the Setter plate seen below in my blog post titled Golden Retriever. 
Enoch Wood & Sons, Setter 10 inch soup plate

Enoch Wood & Sons Running Dogs 4.5 inch cup plate

Enoch Wood & Sons Pointer and Quail 8.5 inch plate

Here are a few dogs from the Quadrupeds series.

John Hall (& Sons) 1814-1832 Mastiff  6.5 inch plate, ca. 1825
John Hall English Setter 5.5 inch plate

John Hall Dalmation or Coach Dog 6 inch plate
I thought I would also show another dog pattern. This one was made by Ralph Stevenson (& Son).  All of the items in the Stevenson service have the same central pattern.  The dog is similar to Wood's Water Spaniel, but it is actually a springer spaniel.

Ralph Stevenson (& Son) 1810-1835, Springer Spaniel, 10 inch plate, ca. 1825

My last photo is a vignette of patterns that feature dogs.  Only the soup plate is part of a dinner service, but at least all of the items were intended for adults!

Clockwise:  Herculaneum soup plate, Field Sports; Unknown maker stilton cheese stand, Game Keeper; Unknown maker jug with pointer (same pointer that is seen in the Enoch Wood plate above); Unknown maker toothbrush box lid

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I have written about zoo patterns in my post titled Transferware Zoo Patterns #1, but here I want to focus on  Zoological Gardens by Ralph & James Clews (1814-1834). The London Zoological Gardens opened in 1828 to great fanfare. As the Staffordshire potters often capitalized on popular culture, many of them  printed zoo patterns on their dinner and tea services.   Zoological Gardens  features different animal enclosures on most sizes and shapes.  The lacy border and fairly realistic center patterns seem to be a bridge between earlier 1820s patterns and 1830s Romantic patterns.  The center patterns were often copied from illustrations of the actual zoo.

Below is a 17.25 inch by 14 inch platter that features the Brahmin-Bull House.  The source print for the platter was created by George Scharf the elder (1788-1860).  Scharf was a well-known artist and lithographer who did many illustrations of early 19th century London.  

Zoological Gardens by Ralph & James Clews, 17.25 inches by 14 inches platter, ca 1830/Other ruminants in the enclosure are a llama and a cow.
Brahmin-Bull House by George Scharf the elder, ca. 1830

Clews Zoological Gardens 12 inch by 10 inch platter, Ostrich House

Clews also copied the artwork found in an early zoo guidebook for children titled Henry and Emma's Visit to the Zoological Gardens, In The Regent's Park by James Bishop, 1830.  The platter to the right shows the Ostrich House.  The source print is below.

Another pattern copied from Henry And Emma's Visit is The Otter House,  which is seen on an 8 inch plate and its source print below. 
Clews Zoological Gardens 8 inch plate

A few years ago I purchased a Zoological Gardens soup tureen undertray in blue, but the mark had the initials for Podmore Walker & Co. (1834-1859)!

Podmore Walker & Co. Zoological Gardens 16 inches by 12.75 inches soup undertray
Unlike the Clews' items, the tray is poorly printed  and the already busy border  includes a cartouche filled with bird, flowers and fruit. The pattern is The Deer House (see the source print below).  It appears that Podmore Walker & Co. may have purchased the copper plates when Clews went bankrupt in 1834.

Pottery printed with zoo patterns gave the general public a look at what was in the zoo.   You may wonder why people didn't just go to the zoo, but  the London Zoo was not open to the public until 1847! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Although not as popular as dogs on transferware, cats are found on many patterns.  I love dogs and cats, actually any animal (perhaps not most insects or arachnids). I have noticed that most of my favorite cat patterns are found on items made for children, but not all.  Below are some of my favorite  patterns plus a few of my favorite cats.  All of the china is 19th century.  The cats are more recent.

Child's plate,  The Mischievous Cat, 5.5 inches/The cat has killed a pet bird.  Today we might call the pattern Bad Cat! This may be another inappropriate pattern for children.

Child's mug/Do you think the girl will be able to teach the cat a lesson?

Child's mug, Cat After Bird, 3.75 inches/Two handles would make the mug easier for a young child to hold

Joey waits for a bird to come to the birdbath

Bowl, 4 inches high by 9.5 inches in diameter, ca. 1825/The child cuddles the cat and looks at a dog

Child's mug, 3 inches high/the cat is not amused by the dog!

Child's alphabet plate, Cat And Kittens, 7 inches, Thomas & Benjamin Godwin (1809-1834)

Cats can be very decorative!  Here is my 25 pound Ragdoll

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  It is about food, family, fun and, of course, thanks.   There is always way too much food and family and friends at the table.  For this, I am thankful.  Here are some of my favorite turkey patterns, as well as some photos of the wild turkeys roaming the Oakland-Berkeley Hills near my sister's home,  and a photo of my Thanksgiving table last year. 

Turkey hen looking for food in my sister's garden. Photo courtesy of Janet Rudolph
Turkey hen and chicks roaming the Oakland-Berkeley Hills.  Photo courtesy of Janet Rudolph
Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846) 7.25 inch child's plate, ca. 1825
Turkey with chicks 6.5 inch child's plate/The proper name for a baby turkey is a poult

Don Pottery (1801-1839) 6.5 inch plate/The source print is from Thomas Bewick's History of British Birds, Vol. I, 1797.

Turkey 7 inch child's plate with feather edge, ca. 1820

Turkey and Other Birds dessert dish in the Ornithological Series, ca. 1820

Thanksgiving 2012/Notice the Spode "Italian" pattern plates
We had 14 people for dinner last year.  Thanksgiving 2013 will see 18 people trying to fit around the table (which has seven leaves).  Liam makes 19 people, but he is only three weeks old so doesn't need his own place at the table.