Monday, January 25, 2010

Welcome!

Having been a collector of something or other since early childhood, I found myself drawn to red toile plates around the age of 20 while decorating my first home. I had collected a few scenic plates but had never heard the term ‘transferware’ used to describe them. I just knew I’d become fond of it from a decorative aspect. It matched my home d├ęcor’ and I loved the look of the aged plates hanging on my wall or placed in my curio cabinet. As a Christmas gift one year, my husband surprised me by giving me several vintage pieces of ‘Old Britain Castles’ by Johnson Brothers. The dealer described them as vintage pieces and told my husband that you could tell the age of the piece by the unique back-stamp on the back of the plate. This intrigued me. I found myself perusing antique shops, flea markets and yard sales for these items. My collection grew slowly, and with it, my knowledge of it. While browsing online one day, I discovered that ‘transferware’ was the term for this type of pottery I had become so fond of. I spotted an auction for an oblong platter in the ‘Old Britain Castles’ pattern, bid on it and won! Coincidentally, the seller lived only a few miles away so I decided to make the drive to her home to pick up my purchase…and that is when my passion for transferware really began. She had amassed an enormous collection of Mason’s Vista. One look at her soup tureen complete with the under-plate and ladle was all it took, I was officially hooked. I fell in love with the deeper, bolder red of the Vista (it matched my house better!) as opposed to Old Britain Castles softer hues of pink. Additionally, there was an unusual variety of shapes and sizes in the Vista pattern. I couldn’t afford many of the Vista pieces, but I knew I just had to have them! I decided to get rid of some of the pieces I had collected in order to ‘trade up’ to the pieces I really wanted. I started selling online and before long I was not only selling to buy, but I was buying to sell. Over time I developed numerous contacts with sellers and dealers throughout the world and literally had stacks of plates, platters, cups and saucers, teapots, etc. sitting around my house to sell. I was storing them under sofas, in the closets, in the guest bath, and anyplace else I could until they sold. Eventually I took over one side of the garage for my transferware, all the while adding to my own collection. Before long, I’d taken over our entire garage with dishes. Today I have a 4000 square foot warehouse that houses my collection of transferware that I continue to collect and sell.

Some of the transferware at the warehouse, currently listed on Etsy:

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There are many things to love about English Transferware: Its history and origins. It is one of the greatest stories of mass production ever. Each piece has a hand-made quality and is in itself a piece of art. The transferware history is interwoven with famous authors, artists and historical figures and places. Beautiful designs and patterns were all engraved and hand produced. It's impossible for me to settle on just one thing that creates such passion.

This blog is devoted to English Transferware...learning about it, collecting it, decorating with it and using it. I strive not only to offer one of the largest and best vintage collections available online, but to also provide an informational and educational experience for others who share this passion. I hope to learn from my readers as well. Whether you're a novice who simply likes "red & white" china, a decorator who uses transferware in wall displays, or an avid collector like me who just HAS to find that rarest of platters in that rarest of patterns from the 1830’s, I hope that this sight proves to be an invaluable resource for you. Enjoy and come back often!

Sincerely,

Nancy

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A homes poetry for the day: 
To collect anything, no matter what, is a healthy human impulse of a man and boy, and the longer and harder the search, the greater the joy of acquisition.
~Agnes Repplier~

4 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! Now I know why it's so hard to find these days. :)

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  2. I want to thank you for visiting me and giving me the opportunity to find YOU!

    I was up very late last night browsing your Etsy site and reading many of your posts.

    I am a follower and will be placing your button on my sidebar!

    Talk to you soon ;)
    Bunny Jean

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  3. Oh wow! I had no idea that you had collected so much and were selling it from your own warehouse. LOOK at all those beautiful pieces!!

    Which pattern is you very favorite one of all?

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  4. Transfer ware is such a timeless beauty collecting it must bring you lot joy and thrill of the hunt. You have just inspired me to start collect some. Although I have a ways to go to catch up with your collection. LOL Thanks for the information on transfer ware. I know this is an old post, but I enjoyed reading it anyways. Decor. Lady

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