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


  1. A rooster defends the chickens to his death. I'm surprised the rooster didn't get a jump on the fox before the fox jumped on the chicken. I was born in the year of the rooster. I like the Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co. (1862-1904) "Fables" that I call mouse eyes lovers locked in love and is jealous :-)