Sunday, May 24, 2015



You may ask what the Beatles have to do with transferware.  The answer is "nothing."  I really just want to share one of my favorite Beatles' songs; Blackbird.  I have learned a lot about life from the words of this song.  Particularly, "Take these broken wings and learn to fly."

 "Blackbird" lyrics from the Beatles "White Album" 

However, this is a transferware blog, so I thought I would see if there were any blackbirds printed on transferware.  I didn't find any in the nearly 13,000 patterns in the TCC Pattern And Source Print Database!  I did find some patterns with crows.  They are black and birds, but are not blackbirds.  Sounds like a conundrum.   A blackbird is a thrush like the American robin.  It is a bird of the genus Turdus.   A crow is a bird of the genus Corvus, which includes jackdaws, rooks, and ravens.   So, I shall show you two patterns with crows.  Both illustrate a fable by Aesop.  I have learned a lot about life from Aesop's Fables too.


Mintons (1872-1950) "The Fox & The Crow" 6 inch tile

A Fox saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak and settle on a branch of a tree. Because he wanted the cheese, the Fox walked up to the foot of the tree and said, "Good day, Mistress Crow. You are looking well today with such glossy feathers and bright eyes. Your voice must be as lovely as your looks. Let me hear one song from you that I may greet you as the Queen of Birds." The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw her best, and the piece of cheese fell to the ground and was snapped up by the Fox. The Fox provided the moral by advising the Crow: "Do not trust flatterers."

Spode (1770-1833) handled dish "The Crow And The Pitcher." 

A crow who was half-dead with thirst came upon a pitcher. He found that it had only a little bit of water that was down too low for him to reach with his beak. He started to walk away when an idea came to him. He dropped a pebble into the pitcher, and then he dropped another pebble -- and another and another until the water level in the pitcher rose to where the crow could drink from it. He was able to quench his thirst and save his life. Moral: Little by little does the trick.

I thought I'd end this post with a link to a youtube video of the Beatles singing "Blackbird."

Blackbird is on the Beatles "White Album," which was released in 1968. 

But then I thought I'd add some more information about Crows and Blackbirds.  
And, I didn't want to forget "Sing A Song Of Sixpence," with its four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.  One more thing, did you know that the collective noun for crows is a "murder."

I do love blackbirds and crows.  So does Maya.

Maya's blackbird picture


Saturday, May 16, 2015


Puzzle jug,  5 inches high by 4 inches in diameter
Close-up of the puzzle jug pattern

The pattern of a boy playing a pipe and a shepherd boy with his sheep was familiar to me.  It appears on the small puzzle jug* above, and it also appears on George Phillips (1834-1847) "Pastoral Scene" pattern (seen below).  However, I wondered about the boy with the birdcage, who takes the place of the shepherdess found on the plate.  After a bit of sleuthing on Google and The Transferware Collectors Club Pattern And Source Print Database,  I found the source for both the "Pastoral Scene" pattern and the boy holding the birdcage.  I also found a waste bowl printed with a pattern that includes the boy holding the birdcage.  Both patterns were copied from the paintings of Henry Singleton (1766-1839).

Edward & George Phillips (1822-1834) "Pastoral Scene" 10 inch plate/notice that the shepherdess has been replaced on the puzzle jug above by the boy holding the birdcage.

Edward & George Phillips (1822-1834) waste bowl/notice the boy holding the birdcage.

Henry Singleton "The Rustic Minstrel"

Henry Singleton "Innocent Captivation"

I am not sure why the potters removed the shepherdess from the puzzle jug and replaced her with the boy holding the birdcage.  At least they copied from the same artist!  I am also not sure who made the puzzle jug.  Perhaps one of you will know.

*Read about puzzle jugs in my blog post titled "Puzzle Jugs."

Monday, May 11, 2015


Some Ornithological Series patterns

My three year old granddaughter told me she wanted to be an ornithologist for Halloween.  When I asked her why, she said she liked birds.  So do I.  One of my favorite series is known as the Ornithological Series.  The series was made by many manufacturers, and most (but not all) of the patterns were copied from Thomas Bewick's  1797 "A History Of British Birds"  Vol. I (Land Birds) and Vol. 2 (Water Birds).   So,  a recent purchase of the bottom of an Ornithological Series soup tureen sent me searching for the source prints (how alliterative!) in Bewick.

Ornithological Series Soup Tureen Base

Pheasant from Thomas Bewick's "A History Of British Birds Vol.1" 1797

The Hoopoe from Thomas Bewick's "A History Of British Birds Vol.1" 1797

Inside of the Ornithological soup tureen/I didn't find the source prints/any ideas?

I have already written about the Ornithological Series in my post titled "Ornithological Series And Find The Hidden Picture."    It also featured in  "Transferware Pickle Dishes,"   "Thanksgiving And Turkeys On Transferware," and "Doves."   I hope you take a look!

Ornithological Series pickle dishes and tray

Ornithological Series 10 inch plate/Peacock and Turkey

Maybe Maya will be an ornithologist someday.  Her first words were "Caw" and "Quack."  Today (she's now five),  however,  she wants to be an artist and a baker.

Maya and Grandpa/Her pictures are actually butterflies


Friday, May 1, 2015


A collection of white ironstone
I just returned from a wonderful meeting of WICA (White Ironstone China Association) in Dayton, Ohio, where my husband, David Hoexter, gave two lectures (on advertising pottery and calendar plates).  I usually like my ceramics with print, but I was so taken with the shapes and glazes of the white ironstone, that I joined the club.  Despite the fact that David and I are transferware collectors, we were welcomed with great warmth.  We hope to go to next year's meeting in York, Pennsylvania.

A selection of the auction items in the WICA auction

I also enjoyed visiting  Dayton, Ohio.  I have never been there before.

Dayton, Ohio

We went to the Dayton Art Institute, where we saw a permanent exhibit of American Historical transferware. This was not really surprising, as lots of transferware was exported to Ohio in the 1820s (and throughout the 19th century).

Collection of American Historical transferware at the Dayton Art Institute: top left, Enoch Wood & Sons "Commodore MacDonnough's Victory" plate;  top right, Enoch Wood & Sons "Baltimore & Ohio Rail Road" plate;  middle left,  Ralph & James Clews "Landing Of La Fayette" platter; middle center,  Enoch Wood & Sons "States" platter; middle right, Joseph Stubbs "Fair Mount, Philadelphia" platter; bottom left,  Clews "Landing Of La Fayette plate;  "Our Nation's Guest" pitcher (depicting La Fayette); "Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia" soup tureen and cover; "La Fayette At Franklin's Tomb" coffee pot; and Clews "Peace And Plenty" plate

Patterns were even printed with Ohio views.  The patterns below are from the Pattern And Source Print Database of the Transferware Collectors Club.

"Sandusky" Ohio from the Cities Series, ca. 1825

Job & John Jackson (1831-1835) "Sulphur Springs, Delaware, Ohio" 10.75 inch soup plate

Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846) "Baltimore & Ohio Rail Road" 9 inch plate, ca. 1825

Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846) "Baltimore & Ohio Rail Road" 10 inch plate, ca. 1825

"Chillicothe" Ohio from the Cities Series, ca. 1825

Another view of "Chillicothe" Ohio from the Cities Series, ca. 1825

I also discovered the beautiful gardens and houses in Dayton's Historic Oregon District.

Creeping Phlox

Pink dogwood and purple lilacs

I never know where my love of ceramics will lead me.