Saturday, February 18, 2017


There is no real transferware connection here (so I added some lovely Japanesque patterns below),  but I wanted to tell you about a poetry reading I attended recently.  Yumiko Tsumura read from her newly published book, "Woman of March."  Every word in each poem left me both wanting to know more about the poet and wanting to know more about myself. I realize that describing a poem is like describing the taste of chocolate. You have to experience it for yourself.  So, here are the first few lines of her poem: "My Pacific War on the Hidaka Plain."

When I was six years old
I ate rice porridge and potato vines
occasionally broiled locusts
and chewed sugar cane
all the flowers were gone
And the last few lines from her poem about her mother, which is titled "Wrinkles."

when lost and tired
I wish I could crawl
in between her soft
wrinkles and

All of the poems in the book make for a poetry memoir.  I recommend that you read it.

Here is the vague transferware connection;  the patterns are Japanesque Aesthetic Movement patterns that were popular at the end of the 19th century.   They are based on motifs taken from Japanese decoration, which became popular following the 1862 International Exhibition in London and the 1867 and 1878 International Exhibits in Paris.  Such decoration remained in vogue for the rest of the 19th century. 

Davenport (1794-1887) pattern "4241" porcelain saucer
W.T.Copeland (& Sons) 1847-1970 pattern "2/2147" or Chrysanthemum pattern plate, ca. 1884.
J. Meir & Son (1837-1897) "Bamboo" 10.25 inch plate.

Maker Unknown Fans and Butterflies pattern 6.75 inch jug, ca. 1880.
Bovey Tracey Potteries (1842-1957) "Fan" 10 inch plate, ca. 1880.

Maker Unknown 9 inch jug in a pattern known as Japanese Vase, ca. 1880.

The transferware is a digression.  Read "Woman of March!"

Friday, February 10, 2017


Josiah Wedgwood (1759-2005) "February."  The pattern was designed by Helen Miles for a series of tiles that were later used as the center of plates with various borders, ca, 1880.  The border is known as "Mikado."  The border was used by Wedgwood for a series of Japanese inspired tiles.  And this series.

February is birthday month in my family: two of my sons and my granddaughter.  We celebrate Jonas' birthday on the 8th, Maya's on the 15th, and David's on the 21st.  We eat a lot of cake.

I thought this would be a good time to show you a few February transferware patterns.

Here is a later rendition of the Wedgwood pattern seen above.  Notice that the "tile" has disappeared from the center.  Obviously, a different border was used too.

This 6.62 inch plate with a molded alphabet border is part of a series of months.  Although each month is printed on the plate and has a scene to match the month, every pattern has the same poem: "Summers (sic) Sun Is Warm And Bright/Winters (sic) Snow Is Cold And White/Autumn Brings Us Sheaves Of Grain/Spring Will Scatter Flowers Again/Pleasant Changes God Arranges All Throughout The Year."  

Beech, Hancock & Co.  (1851-1855) 6.5 inch plate with a molded daisy border.  It is part of "The Seasons" series.  Each plate features a scene that represents the month of the year plus a poem.  Here the words are; "Now vapours gross obscure the air/Or by the northern blast congealed/The trees their hoary honours bear/Or sheets of snow blanch oer (sic) the field."  To me this is pure doggerel!

Scott (1800-1897) 6.5 inch child's plate with a molded daisy border. If you look carefully behind the man's left shoulder and to the right of his head, you will see the two fish that represent the Pisces astrological sign.

The February birthdays need cake.  I meant to take a photo of the chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and chocolate buttercream filling that took me more than two hours to make, but I forgot!  Here is what's left.  I made it for Jonas' birthday dinner.

Here is what's left of Jonas' birthday cake.  People liked the frosting best. 

One more thing.  Is there a "Happy Birthday" transferware plate?  Yes.

William Hackwood (1827-1843) 7 inch child's plate made for the Dutch market.  The words, translated from the Dutch, mean "Happy Day of your Birth or Happy Birthday."  What a lovely gift for a child's birthday. 

We also have family birthdays in March (two), May, June (four), July, August, September, November (two), December, and January.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Shell Edge 6.38 inch plate printed with a rooster or cock, ca. 1810.

According to the 12 year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.  The New Year begins on January 28 and lasts until February 15.  As I have mentioned in other *Chinese New Year posts (see below), each animal has symbolic meaning.  The rooster is the symbol of fidelity and punctuality. And more.

The rooster was a popular 19th century transferware pattern.  Here are a few. 

Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co. (1862-1904) "Fables" 9.75 inch plate.  The title refers to the Fables of Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695).  There are at least 24 different patterns in this series.  

Maker Unknown, 5.5 plate printed with a version of the Fox "Quadrupeds" pattern seen next.  Both are copied from the same source print, which is found the "Cabinet of Quadrupeds" by John Church.

John Hall (& Sons) 1814-1832 "Quadrupeds" undertray, ca. 1825.

"Fox" print (notice that the rooster appears to be warning the farmer that foxes are in the barnyard) from the "Cabinet of Quadrupeds" by John Church, 1805.
Look at the plates above again.  You'll see that the fox in the "Quadrupeds" pattern is not standing on the dead chicken that is found in the source print.  The pattern on the small plate kept the dead chicken.  I think that some potters thought a pattern that included a dead animal might not be appetizing!  By the way, if these patterns look familiar,  you can see them in my post "Recognition of the Familiar and a Transferware Fox."

One more pattern.

Child's jug printed with a rooster.  It is copied from a print by the English engraver and naturalist, Thomas Bewick 1753-1828).

Thomas Bewick's print.

You may wonder why someone who writes about British transferware is writing about Chinese New Year.   Simple.  I like animals and animal patterns.

Chinese Zodiac

If you want to know more about Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rooster, follow this link.

*Here are links to my other Chinese New Year posts.
Dragon For The Chinese New Year
Year Of The Horse
Year Of The Sheep/Goat/Ram
Year Of The Monkey 2016