Tuesday, November 17, 2020


An Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846) Sporting Series Knife Rest (top) featuring a Gnu

Gnus are not common animals on transferware. There are lots of sheep and cows, but not too many gnus.  A helpful transferware collector sent me a photo of a knife rest with the gnu on one side and a grys-bok  (also grysbok) on the other side. The gnu and grys-bok are unusual to find on a piece of transferware, but it is also unusual to see a knife rest printed on both sides.

Enoch Wood Sporting Series Knife Rest (bottom) featuring a Grys-Bok


 Both patterns are copied from Thomas Bewick's 1790 book "A General History of Quadrupeds."


I wondered if the gnu appeared on any of the patterns in the Transferware Collectors Club database of patterns and sources. I found a gnu in the border of an "Arctic Scenery" platter.  For TCC members, this is pattern #10689.

The gnu is in the border at the top of the "Arctic Scenery" platter.

I also wondered if the gnu appeared on any other items in Enoch Wood's Sporting Series. I found a basket among my many thousands of photos that showed a gnu printed on the outside under the piercings.


Enoch Wood Basket with Gnu

What is a gnu? A gnu is an antelope. It's also known as a wildebeest.  A grys-bok is also an antelope. I haven't found another grys-bok on transferware yet. I shall keep on looking!

One more thing. What is the difference between an antelope and a deer. A male deer has antlers which he sheds and grows every year while an antelope has horns that are permanent.

And another thing. The center of the basket is the Polar Bear pattern.


Sunday, November 15, 2020


J. Dimmock & Co. (1862-1904) "Japanese" 16 inch platter

We are fortunate to harbor numerous snowy white egrets in the South San Francisco Bay environs. I admire these commonly solitary fishermen and fisherwomen, as they patiently await and then pounce upon small fish and other fare. One even dropped into our backyard one day (no fish). On a recent walk in the Palo Alto Baylands, we spotted one nearby.

I wondered how and if egrets were portrayed on transferware, so I looked at the Transferware Collectors Club Database of Patterns and Sources. The results were a bit surprising. The only egrets depicted on transferware in the database were from the Aesthetic period (let's say 1860-1900, more or less). Only four patterns have thus far been documented with "egret" in the pattern name, interestingly, all produced by W.T. Copeland (& Sons).

Ignoring pattern name and using the General Search for "egret" in the database, I found only ten patterns, with several additional makers. Searching the Aesthetic/Bird sub-category, the results indicate 259 recorded patterns! I am only showing you a few patterns. Let me know if you know of others. Also, let me know if some of the birds aren't egrets!

W.T. Copeland (& Sons) Egrets and Fans 10.12 inch plate

W.T. Copeland (& Sons) undertray

Powell & Bishop (1876-1878) "Aquatic" 17.5 inch platter

Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co. (1862-1904) "Alexandra" 9.25 inch plate

Ridgway, Sparks & Ridgway (1872-1878) "Indus" 10.62 inch plate or soup plate


G.L.Ashworth & Bros. (Ltd.) 1860-1968 "Melrose" plate

Sunday, November 1, 2020



Percy Big Cat and a Blue Transferware Teapot, ca. 1825

Percy Big Cat died on April 30, 2020. I didn't post about him because his death seemed irrelevant at the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic.  In the midst of all the chaos and human deaths, it seemed wrong for me to mourn a cat. 

I have had many months to think about what it means for me to mourn Percy. He was the second of three loses, sandwiched between my beloved friend Dora at the end of January and my beloved mother-in-law at the end of September.  I did post about their deaths. It was important that friends and relatives were informed. I even wrote a Dishy News post about Dora.

So, here is a post for Percy Big Cat. Constant companion. Giver of love bites and kisses. Spreader of huge amount of fur.  Winner of the loudest purrs!  Lover of pottery! See the photos below.


One more thing.  Percy's love for me was simple: food, affection, and a bed (mine) to sleep in. My love for him was simple too. It was unadulterated by all of the complicated ways I love other humans. I miss him. Even his fur.


My beautiful twenty-seven pound Ragdoll Cat (2007-2020)