Saturday, May 31, 2014


Which English king was known as Farmer George?  Who was the last king of the American Colonies?

Davenport (1794-1887) George III (1738-1820) Commemorative pattern known as Farmer George, ca 1815

The purchase of a battered platter with an interesting pattern necessitated some research.   I actually knew George III was at the center.  Yes,  he was the last king of the colonies, so he looked familiar.  He is surrounded by the floral symbols of Great Britain: the rose, the shamrock and the thistle.

Center of the pattern/Notice that King George is wearing a laurel wreath/Looks like the center pattern is wearing a laurel wreath also

The best information I found was in the book True Blue, edited by Gaye Blake Roberts.  It is the catalog of the Exhibition of British transfer printed earthenware, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Friends of Blue.  It was held at the Wedgwood Museum in Barleston, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire in 1998.  I had the pleasure of seeing this extraordinary exhibit.  I own the book, which has more than 1000 illustrations as well as descriptions of the illustrations.  Here is what is said about this pattern: The cornucopia and agricultural implements comprising the border of this design are probably an allusion to King George III's nickname of 'Farmer George', earned by his keen and often comical love of country pursuits. It is difficult to date the introduction of this pattern as George III ascended the throne in 1760 so that 1810 was his Golden Jubilee year, but it is equally possible that the piece commemorated the Peace of 1815 (end of the Napoleonic Wars), as the King is depicted wearing a wreath of laurels (for Victory) and the border of farming implements could be interpreted as denoting peace.   (I think the farming implements or tools may also refer to George's love of agriculture.) 

On another note, some of my blog posts show broken and disfigured pottery.   The Farmer George pattern is uncommon and was reasonably priced, so it is in my collection.   I display it on a wall.  Some people are surprised that I would hang such a broken platter.  Others don't even notice the cracks because they are so excited by the pattern.

Friday, May 23, 2014


Baker, Bevans & Irwin (1814-1838) 5 inch child's plate/The verse is from Divine Songs for Children by Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

I recently read an article about the importance of and danger to the world's bees.  It was actually a petition to save the bees on the website Move On.  The petition begins with the sentence:  Honey bees, native bees and other pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat.  Important animals.
Photos from Greenpeace International

 I thought I would look at transferware patterns that focus on bees.  I have already written about The Beemaster pattern, but found others. The pattern below says it all!

J. & G. Meakin (1851-2004) Benjamin Franklin's Maxim:  A Dead Bee Maketh No Honey

Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846) Beehive and Cottage pattern/Notice the border of alternating strawberry plants and gooseberries (dependent on bees!)

Ralph Stevenson & Williams (1825-1827) Beehive and Vases platter/Flowers and bees go together

I planted salvia, lavender and cat mint in my garden to welcome honeybees, carpenter bees and bumblebees.   They enjoy the roses too.  No pesticides!  Bees aren't pests, but they suffer collateral damage from pesticides.

Bee in my garden/Notice the bumblebee on the purple plant on the right.  Such a dear face.  The pink flower on the left is a penstemon.  The purple flowered plant is a volunteer.
Carpenter Bee on a Salvia plant
Honeybee on lavender

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Two and three color transferware patterns made their debut in the 1830s.  Usually, the border is one color and the center is another.  But this is not always the case (see below.)  I purchased my first two color pattern in the early 1990s.  I loved the cheerful colors.  Some of the colors matched and some looked odd together.  I learned that most two color patterns were exported to the United States.

Enoch Wood & Sons No. 107 pattern 9 inch plate/Notice the feathers in the border/The children are playing on a see saw.
Enoch Wood made a lot of two color patterns: Fisherman, Rail Way, Festoon Border, No. 106,  and No. 107 (they probably made other patterns too.)  There are different centers on each size and shape, and Fisherman and Rail Way even have interchangeable borders!  See the article by Margie Williams in the Transferware Collectors Club Spring 2008 Bulletin titled E. Wood & Sons' Interchanging Border Phenomenon if you want more information about the borders.


Rail Way

Festoon Border
No. 106
Other factories also made two color transferware

William Ridgway (1830-1854) Asiatic Plants 10 inch plate

John Wedg Wood (1841-1860) Hibernia 8.12 inch plate

Thomas Mayer (1826-1838) Mogul Scenery 6 inch plate

John Ridgway (1830-1841) Shiraz 10.25 inch plate

Job & John Jackson (1831-1835) Valencia 10.5 inch plate

Thomas Mayer (1836-1838) Canova plate

As you can see on the photo below, two color patterns make a colorful display. 

A Bouquet of Two Color Transferware/ Top row from left:  Ridgway Shiraz, Herculaneum plate, Davenport (three color transfer),  Jackson Moss Rose (three color transfer)/ Middle Row: Maker Unknown Cornelian, Wedg Wood Hibernia, Wood Festoon Border, Hicks Meigh & Johnson Birds & Flowers/ Front: Teapot, Podmore Walker & Co. Harvest Home, Wood Fisherman plate,  and Ridgway jug

Sunday, May 11, 2014


The purchase of a child's plate necessitated a bit of sleuthing.  I had never heard of the Thames Tunnel
Thames Tunnel commemorative child's plate, 7.25 inches/Rose, Tulip and Aster molded border
The Thames Tunnel was the first underwater tunnel. It was built beneath the Thames in London.  The text on the plate says it was:  1200 feet long. 76 feet below high water mark, was 8 years building, & cost 446, 000 pounds. Opened the 25th day of March. 1843

Close-up of the Thames Tunnel pattern

An interesting history of the Thames Tunnel is found here.  What was undertaken as a more efficient way to move goods and people across the Thames never came to fruition.  Instead, the tunnel was billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World!  People flocked to experience the walk under the water!  Souvenirs, of which the plate above is one, sold well.  However, the tunnel was a financial disaster.  A railway company purchased the tunnel in 1865, and today the tunnel is part of the London Overground.

The plate is impressed Scott for Scott & Co. (1800-1897).  The distinctive Rose, Tulip and Aster molded border was used by the factory for many of the children's patterns and commemorative patterns that they made.  Two large cracks didn't deter me from buying such an interesting piece of history.

Source print used for the Thames Tunnel plate
For a bit more history, read about two famous engineers who designed and worked on the tunnel: Marc Isambard Brunel his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Child's 7.5 inch plate, ca. 1840/Notice the charming animals in the border
Thirty years!  We met in September 1983 and married in May 1984.  Lucky me.

Judie and David/May 6, 1984
I haven't found a lot of transferware that celebrates marriage.  The Village Wedding above is a bit sweet.  The one below a bit formal.

Child's 6.25 inch plate, ca. 1840
Luckily, I have a plate that says David!

Child's 5.5 inch plate, John Roger's & Son (1815-1842)

Judie and David today/It was hard to find a photo of the two of us because I am usually taking the photos!

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Teal transferware

Is it blue or green?  It was a popular color used on 1830s transferware.  Mainly seen on Romantic style patterns and children's ware.

The first recorded use of teal (bluish green) as a color name in English was in 1917.  As a color, its name is believed to have been taken from the small freshwater Common Teal, a member of the duck family, whose eyes are surrounded by this color.  Below is a photo of a Teal and some examples of teal variations. 

Male Teal

Teal color chart

Teal is not the easiest color to use in decorating, unless you lived in the 1980s when it was wildly popular mixed with purple.  Ah, you can always add purple transferware!

Teal printed transferware with a bit of purple