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. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Nineteenth century British transfer printed soap dishes could be some of the most ephemeral items.  Soap, water, and china eventually meet with disaster!  I have only owned a few soap dishes in the last 20 years.  Here is one of my favorites from the early 19th century.

Soap dish, ca. 1825/Known as Lovick or Lovick's for the name of the China and Glass Emporium found printed on the bottom
Top of the Lovick's soap dish

Drainer and bottom of the Lovick's soap dish with the lid on the side

All three parts of the Lovick's soap dish/bottom, drainer and lid/A handle on the lid would have been a good idea!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I have been intrigued with transferware items printed in yellow on a brown body.  My husband likes this style of printing so much that I give it to him as a present (although I rarely find it).  When I searched the database of the Transferware Collectors Club,  I found 22 patterns printed in yellow on a brown body.  Although this type of printing does not have a formal name, Michael Bailey of England calls it "Yellow Printed Brownware" or YPB.

Yellow Printed Brownware in my collection.  Notice the sheet pattern jug on the top left.

 Below are some photos of individual YPB items.

Maker Unknown, Chinoiserie (Chinese style) Mug, 4.5 inches high, ca. 1810.  

Maker Unknown, Plate, 6.5 inches, ca. 1810

Maker Unknown, Eastern Port pattern jug, 5.5 inches high, ca. 1810

Most of the YPB patterns are Chinoiserie (in the Chinese style), but a few are printed with patterns intended for children.  Children's patterns are my favorites.  YPB is quite early, dating from around 1810, so it is lovely that items intended for children have survived so long.  If you want to learn more about YPB, take a look at the TCC link to an article titled Yellow Transfer Printed Brownware.

Maker Unknown, 2.5 inch child's mug, ca. 1810

Maker Unknown, child's alphabet mug, ca. 1810

Maker Unknown, Child's Mug, 2.5 inches high, ca. 1810/Notice the lovely saying on the mug
Most of the items found are jugs, cider mugs, small plates (really rare) and children's mugs.  I have never seen a tea or dinner service.  However, I have found a teapot from a child's tea set.

Yellow Printed Brownware teapot, 2.35 inches high.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Elephants, the largest land mammal, hold a special place in my heart.  This is probably true for many of us.  Loren Zeller and I wrote an article about elephants for the Transferware Collectors Club Bulletin,  Elephant Tracks: Tracing Britain's Fascination with Elephants on Transfer-Printed Wares c. 1790-1850, Part 1.  I have also written about elephants for this blog,  Transferware Elephants.  I love to visit the elephants at the zoo, and one of my favorite children's films is "Dumbo."  But I had forgotten about Lucy until my friend Ted sent me a photo (after he read my article about elephants).   Ted grew up in Margate, New Jersey, the home of Lucy.  He thought I would like to know about an elephant big enough to walk inside.  I did know about her.  I spent the summer I was ten in Margate where Lucy was then known as the Elephant Hotel.  I always wanted to stay in her.

Lucy Today

Circa 1950s postcard of the Elephant Hotel aka Lucy

For more information about Lucy, here is a link to an excellent blog post.

Since this is a blog about transferware, I thought I'd show a few transferware elephant patterns.

"Elephant" child's mug ca. 1840
"Elephant And Keeper" child's plate, ca. 1840

Alphabet child's mug ca. 1840
Filled-in transferware jug with elephant, ca. 1820

"Elephant" child's plate ca. 1840

Elephants on a tiny plate (2.5 in.) advertising "Mangoena"/I am not sure what kind of drink this is.  It does appear to be alcoholic!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Child's yellow glazed mug, ca. 1820
I thought I would mark the birth of my newest grandson with some children's patterns made for boys.
Children's china was often intended as a reward of merit or a christening gift.  Here are a few of my favorites.  All are from the first half of the 19th century.

Child's mug, 2 inches high by 1.88 inches in diameter, ca. 1825

Child's plate, 7.5 inches in diameter, ca. 1830

Child's mug, 2.75 inches high, ca. 1840

Child's creamware plate, 5.62 inches in diameter, ca, 1820

Child's Yellow glazed mug, 2.5 inches high, ca, 1820
Two of my dear boys/November 6, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013


One of my favorite pieces of transferware is a loving cup printed with the words: "Who'll ever doubt my Hearts (sic) True Blue."  What a lovely gift to give a sweetheart.  To me the message also says a lot about the way I love blue printed ware.  However, I wanted to know the meaning of the expression "True Blue," so I went to Google.

I learned the phrase was originally Coventry blue, as the dye in the blue cloth made in Coventry, England in the Middle Ages was known to not wash out or fade easily.  The phrase was shortened to "true blue."  A more complete discussion of the meaning of true blue is found in The Phrase Finder.