Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Japanese 14.75 inch silk-skinned doll with a painted face, ca. 1920.
This is a tale of two girls and a doll.  It begins on August 24, 1922 with the birth of the girls; one, Mary Rosenthal (my mother-in-law), the daughter of San Francisco natives, and the other,  Mamie Yoshida, the daughter of Japanese immigrants.  The families became friends, as they bonded over the babies, who were born on the same day in San Francisco.

Mamie received a silk-skinned doll from Japanese relatives as a baby gift.  It was nearly 15 inches high, clothed in silk, and protected by a large glass case.  It was never intended for play.  Instead, it was the object of both girls' admiration. 

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941,  Japanese Americans were forced out of their homes and relocated and incarcerated in camps.  Mamie and her family were among those interned, and they could not take much with them.  The Japanese doll was given to Mary.  Mary was in her twenties,  so her mother gave the doll to a much younger cousin.  Seventy-five years later, in April 2016,  Mary's cousin returned the doll.  She was moving to a retirement home, and couldn't take the doll with her.  You may wonder why the doll wasn't returned to Mamie after the war.  She died of leukemia in one of the Internment Camps in Manzanar, California

As this is a transferware blog, I thought I'd show you Aesthetic Japonesque patterns made during the late 19th century.   Japanese design was extremely popular in America and Europe.  Just not the Japanese people.

Maw & Co. (1852-1969) 6 inch tile with a geisha girl subject, ca. 1880.

Burgess & Leigh (1862-1999) 8 inch tray "The Geisha," ca. 1898.

Burgess & Leigh (1862-1999) "The Geisha" teapot.  It is part of the series seen above.  Remember to click on the patterns to make them bigger.

A close-up of the doll's lovely face

Mary on a walk in 2016 with David and Dogozshi

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846) 20 inch platter from the Sporting Series, ca. 1825

The purchase of an Enoch Wood "Sporting Series" Lion pattern well and tree platter sent me to my blog to see what I had written about lions.  I found  Lions and Lion (s) #2.   These are very short posts, and lions are popular animals on transferware,  so I thought I'd show you more patterns.  There are lions in landscape patterns, children's patterns, zoo patterns, and Aesop's Fables patterns.  Below are a few lions in landscape patterns.

Benjamin Adams (1809-1820) Lions 10 inch plate, ca. 1820.
John Hall (1814-1832) 10 inch plate from the "Quadrupeds" series, ca. 1825
Known as The Angry Lion, this pattern is printed on a 20.5 inch platter by an unknown maker, ca. 1820

Known as the Lion Hunter, this pattern is printed on a 9.5 inch plate, ca. 1820

William Hackwood (1827-1843) 12 inch cheese stand from the "Indian Scenery" series, ca. 1835
Job Meigh (& Son) 1805-1834) soup tureen base from the "Zoological Sketches" series, ca. 1835.  Does the lion resemble the lion on the Enoch Wood pattern?  Remember to click on the photo to make it larger.

Here are lots of children's patterns that feature lions.  There are many more!

Brownhills Pottery (1872-1896) "Wild Animals, The Lion" 7.25 inch plate.  Children's patterns were often used as teaching tools.  This pattern teaches the alphabet and delights the senses!
Child's 3.74 inch "Lion" pattern plate by an unknown maker.

Child's plate with a large lion.

Child's mug with objects illustrating the letter "L."  Here we see a lion, a lampost, and a lamb.

Child's plate with objects illustrating the letter "L."  As in the mug above, we see a lion, a lamp (no post?), and a lamb.

Child's  5.75 inch plate with "Lion" by an unknown maker.

Child's 2.12 inch mug printed with a "Lion."  The maker is unknown.

Aesop's Fables patterns are littered with lions.

Spode (1770-1833) plate illustrating the Aesop's Fables pattern "The Fox And The Lion," ca. 1832.

Spode (1770-1833) soup plate illustrating the Aesop's Fables pattern "The Lion In Love," ca. 1832.

Spode (1770-1833) interior of a bowl illustrating the Aesop's Fable "The Fox And The Sick Lion," ca. 1832.

Mintons (1872-1950) 6 inch tile illustrating the Aesop's Fable "The Lion and the Rat," ca. 1870-1880.

Mintons (1872-1950) 6 inch tile illustrating the Aesop's Fable "The Goat, Calf and Sheep in Partnership with the Lion," ca. 1870-1880.

Minton Hollins & Co. (1868-1892) 6 by 6 inch tile with a scene illustrating the Aesop's Fable "Androcles and the Lion."

Child's 3 inch mug printed with a pattern illustrating the Aesop's Fables "Androcles and the Lion."

Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co. (1862-1904) 18 inch platter with a pattern illustrating a fable by Jean de la Fontaine; "The Lion and the Gnat."  Although La Fontaine (1621-1695) said he was merely copying the tales of Aesop and other writers, he actually held the proverbial mirror up to his own society; the court of Louis XIV.

Child's plate illustrating the Aesop's Fable "The Lion And The Frog."

I only found one zoo pattern with a lion.  I did, however, find a photo I took at the London Zoo that shows a poster about the dwindling number Asiatic lions in the wild.  You may want to take a look at my London Zoo post.

Robinson, Wood & Brownfield (1837-1837) 17.5 inch platter showing a unrealistic lion enclosure at the London Zoo.  It is part of a series that commemorates the popular opening of the zoo in 1828.

Poster at the London Zoo in October 2015.

Below is a photo of the well and tree platter that started this post.  It doesn't photograph as well as the flat platter above, but it is as beautiful in reality.

Enoch Wood & Sons "Sporting Series" 21 inch well and tree platter.

The purchase also included a drainer.  It would have been a match for the flat platter, not the well and tree.  Too bad about the placement of the drainer holes!

Enoch Wood & Sons "Sporting Series" drainer

A coda:

The King of Beasts!  No wonder he was so popular on transferware and fables!

One more lion photo.
Doesn't the real lion above resemble the lion on this jug?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Whittaker & Co. (1886-1892) "Hey Diddle Diddle" 5 inch plate/See the source print below.
Hey Diddle Diddle from "Favourite Rhymes For The Nursery" published by Thomas Nelson in 1870

May 1 is National Mother Goose Day.  Mother Goose and nursery rhymes often appear on transferware.  Many of the patterns, like the one above, were copied from popular 19th century books of children's nursery rhymes.  I have already written about both Mother Goose and nursery rhymes in my posts Nursery Rhymes On Transferware, Inappropriate Or Frightening Patterns For Children, and Cumulative Rhymes on Children's Pottery.   Take a look!

A selection of Mother Goose books