Sunday, March 27, 2016


It was recently National Butterfly Day. I know very little about butterflies and moths,  except that they are insects.  I am a bit afraid of insects like roaches and wasps, but I love bees, butterflies, and moths, so I thought I'd show you some patterns with butterflies and moths.   I have already written about bees;  Bees, Honey And The New YearBees And Transferware, and The Beemaster Pattern.  I don't know of any patterns with roaches and wasps.

Saucer, maker unknown, ca. 1825.

Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846) 10.5 inch plate in the so-called "Butterfly Border" series.

Enoch Wood & Sons 7.25 inch plate in the "Butterfly Border" series.

Thomas & John Hollins (1789-1809) pickle dish known as Butterfly and Flower.

C.M. & C.J. Mason (1813-1826) 8 inch plate "Butterfly and Mazarine Chrysanthemum" pattern.

W.T. Copeland (& Sons) 1847-1970 Aesthetic Movement pattern.  The two-digit year impressed cypher on the back is for 1878.
Minton Hollins & Co. (1868-1962) 6 by 6 inch tile, ca. 1880.

Maker unknown, 6 by 6 inch Aesthetic Movement pattern, ca. 1880.

I have shown you just a few patterns that feature moths and butterflies on items intended for adults.  There are also many on items for children.

Child's plate with a molded alphabet border, "I'll Be A Butterfly."

"The Butterfly" child's plate with a molded border.  Looks as if the boy is trying to capture the butterfly.

Three inch plate with a butterfly pattern. Possibly part of a toy tea or dinner service.

"The Butterfly" child's mug, ca. 1840.  Do you see the butterfly?

Transferware child's toy plate with butterfly.

Below are a bunch of cups and saucers printed with moths.  I was cleaning them in a tub of water.

Transferware moths, ca. 1825.

One more butterfly.  Not pottery.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


"The Immortal William Shakespeare" and the words on his tombstone "Good friends for Jesus sake forbear /To dig the dust enclosed here:/ Blest be the man that spares these stones /And curst be he that moves my bones" are printed on a 4 inch mug, ca. 1825.
I have always liked the works of Shakespeare.  My mother told me the stories of the plays when I was little, and took me to see "Twelfth Night" when I was twelve.  However, it was a trip to the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut with my tenth grade class to see "A Winter's Tale" that turned my like into love.  My class traveled from a Philadelphia suburb to Connecticut and back in one day.  It took about eight hours round trip (there was no bypass through New York City in 1960).  And, of course, the several hours for the play.  I don't remember eating, but we must have.   It turned out to be a highlight of my life; a beautiful April day and an introduction to one of my favorite plays.  What could be more romantic than that?  I fell in love with Shakespeare. 

John Rogers & Son (1815-1842) "Winter's Tale, Act 4 Scene 3" from "The Drama" Series, ca. 1825.  

The trip takes two and a half hours today (one way), but took around 4 hours in 1960.  This is a densely populated area.

What does Shakespeare have to do with transferware?  Why am I reminiscing?  This year, 2016, is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, so I thought I'd show you some transferware patterns that feature him or illustrate his plays or home.   (I remember well the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth in 1964, when I was studying Shakespeare's works at the University of Pennsylvania).

I was told years ago that there aren't many Shakespeare patterns from the first half of the 19th century, but there are an abundance in the last half.   I haven't done a formal study, but most of the Shakespeare related patterns in the Transferware Collectors Club Pattern and Source Print Database are on tiles from the end of the 19th century.  Most of the tiles were made by Mintons (1872-1950) and Minton & Hollins (1868-1962).

Mintons (1872-1950) 6 inch tile depicting "Macbeth" Act III Scene IV.  Do you see the ghost of Banquo?

Mintons "Macbeth" 6 inch tile Act V Scene VII.

Mintons made 24 patterns in the Shakespeare series, which were designed by John Moyr Smith circa 1873-1874.   They include the title of the play as well as the act and scene.

Mintons "Romeo and Juliet" Act II Scene II; the balcony scene.

Mintons "Taming Of The Shrew" Act IV Scene III.  If you click on the photo to make it larger, you should be able to see John Moyr Smith's initials to the left of Petruchio's leg.
Mintons "Othello" Act I Scene III
Minton Hollins & Co. (1869-1962) 6 inch tile "Othello & Desdemona"

Minton Hollins & Co. also made tiles that illustrated Shakespeare's plays.  The name of the play is not printed.  The scene above shows Desdemona pleading with Othello. She wants him to believe that she has been faithful.  In case you don't remember the play, it doesn't end well. 

Minton Hollins & Co.  "Romeo & Juliet."  This is the deathbed scene.  Of course, you probably remember that Juliet is not dead yet!

Wallis Gimson & Co. (1884-1890) 8.75 inch plate from "The World" series. 
The Aesthetic Movement pattern above looks like a souvenir.  The postcard-like cartouches  illustrate the room in the house on Henley Street in Stratford where it is thought William Shakespeare was born and the cottage in the nearby village of Shottery, where tradition has it his wife Anne Hathaway was born.   The pattern below is very similar to "The World" series plate, but this one is named "Shakespeare."  It shows a portrait of Shakespeare and the Collegiate Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon.  The church is often known as Shakespeare's Church, due to its fame as the place of William Shakespeare's baptism.

Wallis Gimson & Co. 8.6 inch plate "Shakespeare" plate.

Children's plates, often used as teaching tools, are found with Shakespeare subjects.  Below is a 6.4 inch plate made by Evans & Glasson (1850-1862) with the pattern "Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man Illustrated."   What an excellent way to introduce a child to one of Shakespeare's famous and meaningful works.

Evans & Glasson (1850-1862) "Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man Illustrated 6.4 inch child's plate.

An earlier child's plate, made by Lewis Weston Dillwyn (1824-1831), illustrates the sixth age of man. This plate, along with the mug and drainer above, are a few Shakespeare patterns I have found from the first part of the 19th century.

Lewis Weston Dillwyn (1824-1831) "The Ages Of Man" 7.5 inch plate; "Sixth age shifts into the lean and/Slipper'd pantaloon, with spectacks/On nose, and pouch on side."

Below is Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage" from "As You like It," Act II Scene VII.

It's strange to think I was halfway between the second and third age when I fell in love with Shakespeare.  Now, I am in the sixth age. 

I'll end with this from "A Winter's Tale."

This was true when I was fifteen, and remains true 56 years later.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


"Springer" from William Taplin's 1803 book "A Sportsman's Cabinet, etc."

I enjoy finding the source prints for a transferware patterns almost as much as I enjoy finding the pottery.  I like to compare the way the different potters used the same source print.  One of my favorite source prints is "Springer" from William Taplin's 1803 book "A Sportsman's Cabinet: Correct Delineation of the Various Dogs Used in the Sports of Field," 1803.  Such a long title! 

Ralph Stevenson (& Son) 1810-1835 10 inch plate.  Can you find the hunter?

Above is a 10 inch plate by Ralph Stevenson (& Son) 1810-1835 circa 1820.  Stevenson used everything in the source print except the hunter.  Perhaps he is hiding behind the tree!

Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846) 6 inch plate with a copy of the "Springer" source print.  If you want to see the hunter more easily, click on the photo to make it bigger.
Enoch Wood & Sons copied the same pattern on a 6 inch plate.   Wood kept the hunter, but he is hard to see.  Look carefully between the two trees on the right.

The Transferware Collectors Club Pattern and Source Print Database shows four patterns that feature the Springer Spaniel.  The two above, a third on a jug, and one that is part of a composite transfer on a portable commode (water closet).  

Unknown Maker 5.9 inch jug.  The springer spaniel and the hunter are now on the left. 

Here is an Enoch Wood & Sons Grapevine Border Series portable commode.  The main scene shows Doveridge Hall, Derbyshire, but if you look carefully above the hole in the center, you can see the hunter and the springer spaniel.  Remember to click on the photo to make it larger.

I recently purchased a 4 inch mug with another example of the springer spaniel pattern.  The hunter and the dog are part of the transfer, but the bird is missing.  However, the other side of the mug shows two more dogs, two hunters, and a rather large pheasant.

Unknown Maker springer spaniel and hunter 4 inch mug.

Other side of the springer and hunter mug shows two dogs, two hunters, and a rather large pheasant (see it on the right).

I have shown you five patterns that copied the "Springer" source print.  I am sure there will be more.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Joey is my only grandchild who has a 19th century name.  I thought I would collect some children's items for him, although I realize that he may never want them!  He prefers Mickey Mouse books and toys.  When he's older, he'll probably want a car.

Happy Second Birthday Joey!

To see the post I wrote when Joey was born, click here.