Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Willow Transferware

Willow Pattern Dinnerware

The Willow pattern is a design that has literally been around for centuries! 

Willow is a transferware pattern that is most commonly seen in blue, but it has been made in a variety of other colors including red (often referred to as 'pink'), green, brown, black, mulberry, polychrome and more.

Willow was first introduced as a dinnerware pattern by Thomas Turner in Caughley, England, circa 1780. The popularity of the pattern grew, and it was subsequently made by several different Staffordshire potters.

It remains a popular pattern to this day, and it has been copied and produced by many companies from many countries. Some of the most productive manufacturers were in England, the United States, and Japan.

Each manufacturer made their own subtle changes to the design, but it will always have certain components. These include a palatial Chinese home, a bridge with 3 or more people crossing, an island, willow trees and 2 doves. The most commonly changed element is the design on the rim.

The pattern details the story of two young lovers who ran from the woman's wealthy father so they could have a life together.

Although betrothed to a wealthy man, the young woman wanted to marry her true love. 

To escape, they crossed the bridge and sailed to a small island where they lived and prospered, until their whereabouts were discovered. 

They died when their home was attacked, and the Gods turned them into immortal doves, to remain together in death as in life.

Due to the centuries of popularity of this pattern, there are many ways it can be collected, which adds to the fun!

Blue Willow Gravy or Sauce Boat
Subcategories can include collecting by color, age, or by manufacturer and/or country of origin.

The range of products available over the years is staggering. In addition to dinnerware, one can find glassware, cookware, flatware, fabric, wallpaper, etc. The variety of items in the dinnerware category alone is astounding, including cruets, cheese dishes, tidbit servers, tureens, napkin rings, egg coddlers, candleholders etc. The list is far too comprehensive for this forum!

I hope you've found this blog informative, and I invite you to see the selection of Willow dinnerware we're offering in our shop!

About the Author

Anita is an active member of Got Vintage Shops. Please visit her store Cousins Antiques on Ruby Lane where she "is pleased to help you find the treasure that speaks to you!"