Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Talking Turkey.... and Transferware

For some time after that first solemn feast in 1621, both the date and observance of Thanksgiving depended on national triumphs and local inclination until 1863, when President Lincoln proclaimed the fourth Thursday of November the nation's official Thanksgiving Day. By the 1870s, America's rising middle class hungered to celebrate the occasion with dinnerware specifically made for this special holiday.   England's profit minded potters responded to the people of the United States wishes with a series of delectable transfer-printed china patterns depicting the holiday's bird of choice.  Transferware depicting turkeys has been in production for over 100 years and remains as popular today, if not more so, than it was when first it came into being.

 Turkey plates and platters are highly sought by collectors.  In fact, there are many transferware collectors who collect turkey patterns only.

 Prices can range but generally a huge, vintage or antique English turkey platter will run anywhere from $250-$1200 and sometimes more depending on the maker, pattern, etc.

Transferware depicting turkeys comes in all colors, not just brown or brown polychrome.

Here are some beautiful examples of plates and platters depicting turkeys.  A few of these are available in my Etsy shop, English Transferware.

This Midwinter Turkey Platter is one of my favorites.  It's a black transfer with hand painted touches of color.  The border around this is particularly of interest as it is a scene in itself.  The black is unexpected but very striking.

Black plates to match

Royal Staffordshire's Clarice Cliff produced several turkey patterns.
The most popular is probably that which has the Tonquin border.

Another of Clarice Cliffs' turkey themed plates is this one with a pretty border of fall foliage.

Here is the same plate, but in purple.  I sold 12 of these plates to another dealer for $145 a piece.  She marked them up to over $200 each.  Purple is such a popular color right now and looks beautiful with oranges and browns.  These would make for a stunning Thanksgiving table.

This Wood and Sons turkey plate is always a good choice.  It can be found in brown, blue, and polychrome in each colorway.  The blue polychrome is stunning!

 Next is a circa 1910 gilded edged platter by Royal Cauldon.  This is brown and white, simply stunning.  This platter is in my shop, HERE.

 For you Mason's Vista collectors, they too produced turkey transferware.  Currently, the most sought after color is the pink/red.

Here is another lovely brown transferware turkey platter by Rowland and Marcellus.  This firm commissioned wares from various English potters, mostly for resale in the United States through fine jewelry and china stores.

I served my turkey on this one last year and had it displayed in my home during the month of November.  

Feeling blue?  Crown Ducal produced this blue turkey platter in 1930 as part of the Colonial Scenes dinnerware which is very collectible.  I have this on the wall in my shop and listed on Etsy.

I recently did a tablescape with blues and oranges.  I should've pulled this platter out for that but this Johnson Brothers Barnyard turkey platter looks great with this color scheme as well.
 Isn't the squirrel on the border so cute?

I recently saw this Spode platter and 12 plates at auction.  The bidding started at $375 for the set.  With only a few hours left I was getting my hopes up that somehow, noone but me had seen this amazing set, and I'd pick it up for the opening bid.  HAHAHA.  I knew better.   In the back of my mind I knew that all of the serious bidders were waiting until the last moments to place their bids, but it's fun to hope anyway.  This set sold for over $3000.  When the bidding began it really BEGAN and I didn't even bother trying at that point.
The last platter and plate I am showing is another polychrome, brown transfer by Barker Brothers.  I get requests for pieces to this every single year and usually sell whatever I have in stock.  This year I have two of the platters and one plate.  The colors are so rich and vibrant.

Below are turkey transferware the pieces I have available for purchase online and in store.

Hope you enjoyed these turkeys!

Joining in at:

My Back Yard Eden

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Vintage Abode

Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.
John Updike
The Vintage Abode.  That is the name of my physical shop.

I have mentioned our shop in previous posts, though often I refer to it as a warehouse because it was solely used to store the English transferware and furniture that we import from abroad.  Our space is an old, 4000+ square foot building in downtown Bixby, OK...just a few miles South of Tulsa.    Formerly the building was a T G & Y, a church, an antique mall...and a few other things over the many years past.  

 When we took possession of the building we found it leaked in the front windows during rain, there were holes in the walls, accoustical tiles riddled with mold and mildew, seriously freaky insect infestations and mars and marks galore on the dreary, flat white walls.  It was such a sad, downright u-g-l-y with a capital U, space.   It was gross. 

I have long envisioned this in my mind looking much differently than the day we moved our inventory in, but always having 200 - 400 pieces of furniture and thousands of plates all over the place made it almost impossible to maneuver around.  We usually had furniture stacked on top of furniture to the ceiling.  This past Spring our furniture inventory shriveled to next to nothing and I knew if ever I was going to make this place look anything like I saw it in my mind, this was the time.  

Shawn and I were not really in a position financially to do much.  That's where my pack-rat-ish-ness came into play.  You know I love to hang on to things (to a fault, I admit) and Shawn likes to toss them out (to his credit he admits)... so sometimes it's a good balance between us although I do normally win. ;-)  hehe

We took the space on one room or area at a time.  I knew that I wanted to create several spaces or vignettes that would allow me to show off some of the wallscapes I create for clients, as well as a few dining tables throughout to show some of my tablescapes using the transferware I sell.  

Here are a few before pics so you can get an idea of what the walls looked like.

 Here are some after photos of one room.  The wallpaper, paint, rug and drapes I designed for a previous house  were used in this room...I didn't spend a penny.  Score: Nancy for being a packrat...those drapes are over 10 years old and still look great!   What is really cool is that the drapes are board mounted and I was able to literally place them directly over the light fixture in the first photo, thus concealing it.
Window shopping at night

 More of before 

 and After: 
Again, I used leftover paint from home.  My upstairs game room is this color, Ancient Spice.  I love the rich chocolate brown with an ever so subtle hint of sienna in the right light.
This apple themed tablescape was recently featured on my blog.  This area of the shop is just to the left of the wall shown above with the brown, Ancient Spice colored paint.  I'll soon change it over to something else, perhaps a Christmas tablescape.

 The wall below is now a gold was also from home but actually was my "oops I screwed up and got the wrong shade so I have to buy more" color.  I purchased two gallons and when I began using it on my walls at home it was not the color I wanted.  But, it is great here at the shop.

Another shade I picked for the house...two years ago...but changed my mind about using something this intense is this rusty orange color.  I love it paired with blues and purples.  (see the big Turkey platter?...stay tuned for an upcoming post on nothin' but Turkey transferware!)

I've filled china cabinets, bookcases and hutches in this front room with loads of transferware separated by colors...brown, blue, green, red, black, purple and polychromes.

Shawn and I have have worked feverishly over the past few months to turn this  place into something more reflective of my own personal style and love of English transferware.  It's my little transferware oasis smack dab in the middle of a quaint, all American town named Bixby.  Now all I need is some customers!

I know some of you live in the Tulsa area and have asked about the shop.  I hope you can come by sometime as I would love to meet any of you.  My shop is located at 8 W Dawes.  It is 3 blocks South and 2 blocks East of 151st and Memorial (using Tulsa street names).  We are across from Scott's Hamburgers...a famous local hamburger joint that's been featured in some national publications including Southern Living.  They have yumaliscious chocolate milkshakes too!

Next week I am going to share another room of the shop with you, a funny wallpapering (horror) story...I'm sure anyone who's wallpapered has a story,  and...

two signs in one.  A shop sign and a sign that I am converting Shawn after 25 years into saving things for other projects! yeehaw!

I'm linking to these great blogs...stop by to see all the Etsy shops, before and afters, blues and more!

Flaunt it Friday