Thursday, February 28, 2013


The Transferware Collectors Club Pattern and Source Print Database published its 10,000th pattern on Wednesday, February 28, 2013!  The milestone lasted a millisecond, as by the end of the day there were 10,007 patterns.  Thank you to the category editors and general editor Connie Rogers.  The TCC Pattern and Source Print Database is available to all TCC members (annual membership is $50 for the U. S. and $60 International).  Go to the TCC link on the column to the right of this blog to see details about membership.  You can also look at database samples.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Polychrome "Salopian" saucer with a fallow deer pattern

Polychrome "Salopian" tea plate with pheasant and roses pattern - see the monochrome example below

Polychrome "Salopian" coffee pot with cow polisher pattern - see the monochrome example below
Known in the United States as Salopian china, this style of printing decoration includes high temperature painted colors applied to a transfer print, under the glaze. Another rather long descriptive name would be underglaze polychrome painted pearlware. The name Salopian should not be confused with Caughley Salopian porcelain that was made in Shropshire. The Latin name for Shropshire is Salops, thus the name Salopian (for the porcelain).  Salopian decoration is commonly seen on teawares, but the rare dinner plate is found. Remember, that the name "Salopian" for this type of china decoration is only used in the United States.

Monochrome "Salopian" saucer with pheasant and roses pattern

Monochrome "Salopian" saucer with cow polisher pattern

Monochrome "Salopian" tea plate with a fallow deer pattern
To further confuse you, the word Salopian is also applied to one color underglaze transferware (monochrome Salopian), but mainly to teawares that have their counterparts in polychrome.  They all have a painted line around the edge, usually in blue or ochre.   I have been told that "Salopian" wares are from the 1810-1820 period. 

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."

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Creamware Child's Mug/Orange Red, c. 1820

Creamware Plate,  Josiah Wedgwood (1759-2005), Brownish Red, 18th century

"Africana" Pattern,  Edward and George Phillips (1822-1834)

"Peace" Pattern, Robinson, Wood & Brownfield (1837-1837)

"Shiraz" Pattern,  John Ridgway (1830-1841)
Shakespeare said: "What's in a name? that which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet."  Or, when is it pink or red?  If you are confused, then I shall explain.  The original British transferware color called "red" (late 18th century until about 1832) is actually reddish brown or orange.  It is the iron red seen on the child's mug and Wedgwood plate above.  According to Robert Copeland in a talk titled "Prints of Many Colors" that he gave to the Transferware Collectors Club in  California in 2001, the reason the red transfer color was brown or orange was due to technology or a lack of it.  However, by 1832  a true red was possible.  But, the color was called pink!  Every red from a pale red to a bright fire engine red was called pink.  During the 1830s a true pink (or what most of us call pink) was also used.  It is not very common.  I don't know what the color was called by the potters.  Perhaps brown.

If the "Shiraz" plate looks familiar, it appears in my post "Yellow Transferware" in yellow and green.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

LION(S) #2

The handsome lion in the photo was sent to me by Sue Wagstaff who lives in Bath.  She recognized that he was the same lion as the one found on the Lions pattern (see yesterday's post).  As he is printed on a 3.74 inch child's plate, he barely fits the center.   He is almost a cartoon of the original source print and the pattern made by Adams.

"Lion" child's plate

"Lion" center
The potters copied anything that was popular.  If they didn't have a source print available, maybe they just copied a pattern from another plate.   Where is the female lion?  Where are her cubs? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


As an English major in college, I studied "The Vicar of Wakefield" and other works by Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774).  Imagine my surprise when I learned that he published an encyclopedia of natural history in 1774 titled "An History of the Earth and Animated Nature."  Although much of his material leaned heavily on the works of others such as Pliny and Buffon, the books (eight volumes) were popular throughout the 19th century.  However, it is not the written work that interests me, but the source prints (pictures).

Lions Pattern

Lions Pattern Center

Lions Pattern Impressed Mark

Lions Pattern Source Prints
The Lions pattern, made by either Benjamin Adams or William Adams I, is copied from two prints in Goldsmith's work.  They are titled "The Lion" and "The Lioness."  The engraver is  J. Scott who copied the  work of the artist S. Edwards.  They are from Goldsmith's 1811 edition.  The pottery pattern combines both the lion and the lioness.  She warns the lion to stay away from her cubs, while he looks embarrassed and wary.  The engraver of the copper plate (from which the pattern for the pottery plate is made) added a large tree (perhaps for the lion to hide behind).  The trees and plants are not very African.  Indeed,  it appears that the poor lions have ended up in the English countryside!

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Copeland & Garrett (1833-1847) Dog Trough

Dog Trough used by a cat!
Center view of the Copeland & Garrett Dog Trough
I usually think of a trough as a feeder for farmyard animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, and goats.  However, the small bowl seen here is known as a dog trough.  It is quite small, 7 inches long by 5.5 inches wide by 3 inches high, so it would have been used for a small dog.  Hopefully, a small dog with good manners, as dogs have been known to be quite rowdy with their food.  This trough or dog bowl was made by Copeland & Garrett (1833-1847) in the British Flowers pattern. 

The middle photo shows the perfect Persian cat, Mykonos,  feeding from the bowl.  If you are going to use an antique piece of pottery as a food bowl for a pet, I suggest giving it to a cat. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013


In general, probably 99.9% of small plates with a molded border were intended for children.  However, the two seen here look more like love tokens.  Let me know what you think.
"Forget me not" and "Love the giver"
These plates are poorly printed, but the sentiment is rich.  They have been treasured for more than 150 years. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I have been told that yellow is the rarest color used for transfer printing. It is usually found printed with another color, and most of yellow print is found from the mid 1830s through the mid 1840s.  I am hoping to be corrected if I am wrong.  I asked Robert Copeland why yellow print was rare, and he said it was a combination of taste and technology.  That said, here are a few of the patterns found printed in yellow.

"Shiraz" was made by John Ridgway (1830-1841) in Staffordshire. It was printed (as seen here) in yellow and green, yellow and brown, blue and black, and pink and black. Perhaps even in other color combinations.  Shiraz, by the way, is a city in Persia (now Iran).

"Etruscan Festoon" was made by William Ridgway & Co. (1834-1854) in Staffordshire.   It is, like Shiraz, also found printed in pink and black. Years ago, I owned a coffee pot in this pattern that was printed in yellow only.  I found 14 patterns with the word "festoon" as part of the title in the pattern database of the Transferware Collectors Club. "Festoon" must have been the advertising buzz word of the 1830s 1840s!

Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846) made an extensive yellow and brown printed dinner service known as "No 106." The patterns include many European views.  Here, you see the 10" dinner plate with the view of "Oberwessel On The Rhine."  The TCC pattern database illustrates 13 different views in this series.

John Ridgway made another yellow printed pattern titled "Villa." It is printed in yellow and brown and pink and black. The pattern has various centers depending on the size and shape. Seen here is the 9 inch plate.
Etruscan Festoon
No 106

Sunday, February 10, 2013


A boudaloue is not a creamer.  Or a gravy boat.  It is sometimes referred to a ladies' coach pot.  Named for an 18th century French priest, Louis Bourdaloue, who was popular but verbose, the combination of a cold church and a long sermon made this item a necessity for women.  I hope you are beginning to guess its use.  I created this blog to share with you the bits of history that I didn't discover in my school books.  Did you know that women didn't wear underpants until late in the 19th century?  The lack of underpants certainly made the boudaloue easier to use.  Perhaps the underpants information is incorrect.  Let me know.

The bordaloue seen here was made by Minton in Staffordshire around 1830.  The pattern name is "Arabesque."

Friday, February 8, 2013


"Zoological Sketches" 6.25 inch plate featuring a skunk!

Skunk Close-Up

"Zoological Sketches" mark. 

Source print for "Skunk" from "The Cabinet of Quadrupeds" by John Church, 1805
A few years ago I purchased a partial dinner service called "Zoological Sketches" made by Job Meigh & Son in Staffordshire around 1830.  Job Meigh wanted to capitalize on the zoo craze that was sweeping Great Britain after the opening of the London Zoological Gardens in 1828.  (Take a look at my post from January 19, 2013 for more information about the zoo.)  Lions, Tigers, elephants, zebras, kangaroos and many other animals surrounded by birds, scrolls and leaves graced each item in the  service.  All of the items sold well.  Except the skunk.  Even though it is quite a lovely skunk copied from the same source prints found in John Church's "The Cabinet of Quadrupeds" (1805), only one plate out of five found a home.   Oh well.

I am always interested in what the engraver copied from a source print.  The skunk is looking cautiously at the dog in the source print.  As you noticed, there is no dog on the plate.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


In honor of the Chinese New Year that begins this year on February 10,  I am showing you a gorgeous pattern known as Dragon.  It is an English transferware pattern, circa 1800, but it is copied from a Chinese original design.  What is unusual about this pattern, is that the dragon's tail and claws flow over the rim onto the back of the plate!  The back of the plate also features a pseudo  Chinese mark.  The plate is printed underglaze in blue and painted over the glaze in vibrant burnt orange and green.  According to the entry of this pattern in the database of the Transferware Collectors Club,, the dragon holds the Flaming Pearl in his claws.  The Flaming Pearl (I hope someone will enlighten me about this) is the round shell-like object in his claw on the front of the plate.  I assume there is also symbolism regarding the cloud-like objects.  Any help will be much appreciated.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Lover's Knot Child's Plate, c. 1840

Try the Lover's Knot Puzzle!

Lover's Knot 19th century children's plates
In preparation for Valentine's Day, I am going to write about what I call a "Lover's Knot" pattern.   The pattern, although printed on plate intended for a child, may also have been a love token for an adult.  The puzzle in the knot is quite tricky.  The clue is to find the starting word and turn the plate around in order to find the next words.  It is a bit like being in a maze.  Here is the poem, but you need to follow it on the plate!  "Ah woe is me my tender heart is pierced by Cupid's fatal dart/Long time against its point I strove/But oh how strange to strive 'gainst Love/The wound I have is almost through/And only can be healed by you/Loving true like the Dove/An endless round of blameless love."  I have yet to see an adult figure out how to follow the poem without help the first time.  Good Luck!