Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ridgways Polychrome Blue Transferware Tablescape

My table tonight features a pattern by Ridgway called Plymouth.  It's a cheery blue transfer with a colorful floral bouquet.

As you all know, I love to layer things so I first covered the table with two red floral drapery panels to create a large covering.  Over that I added a vintage Portuguese tablecloth with cross stitch flowers that tie in with the dishes.  
I like layering napkins to...vintage with new.  The white lace were my Mom's and the blue are new.   The floral  napkin rings are made of fabric. 

The blue goblets are Fostoria. Shawn's Mom gave us a set of these about 20 years ago.  The clear bubble glass tumblers are new.  You can buy them 12 to a box at Walmart for about $9.  I like the old fashioned look.

I like the brown version of this pattern equally to the blue.  I haven't listed the blue set to my shop yet, but will soon.  I do have some of the brown plates shown below in my English Transferware shop.
Even if it's only one or two, I love candles at the table. 

Ridgway Potteries Ltd, was founded sometime around 1744.  Sometimes called the Grandfather of the Potteries, the Ridgway family can be traced to the earliest days of the Staffordshire potteries, along with such famous names as Wedgwood, Spode and Adams.  

Under the managment of one family member, John Ridgway, the Ridgway potters were appointed as Potter to Her Majesty Queen Victoria.  This was the highest acclaim for any English pottery firm.

One of the family members, William Ridgway,  operated the Bell Works in Shelton and the Church Works in nearby Hanley from 1830-54.  The Bell Works Pottery at Bethesda Street  has been The Potteries Musuem since 1956 and houses the largest and most important collection of North Staffordshire pottery in the world.

Below is an old photo of some 19th Century bottle kilns at Ridgways factory in Shelton. These were some of the largest kilns in the area.  They were used as air raid shelters during WWII and seems shameful that they were demolished in the 1960's.
photo:  Tideswellman


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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Transferware Advertising Collection ~ French Mustard Pot

A couple of weeks back I posted about advertising on transferware.  I mentioned my French mustard pot and thought I'd show it to you especially since everything and anything 'French' is so in right now.  It is the real deal...dug from an old dump site in England and shipped to me.   It dates to the early 1900's.  It cost me $12 including shipping!  Some of these old transfer printed pieces, called advertising wares, are very collectible and often quite expensive.  I know I got a good deal.

 I have it displayed on my cheese slab along with an Aesthetic movement vase, a transferware measuring spoon and our knife block.  I cut some fresh Rosemary and tucked it inside. 
I generally collect only English transferware.   This is the second piece of French transferware I've had.  I have one German piece.  I suppose I am a transferware snob because I collect only vintage or antique pieces.  Did you know that until recent years over 90% of all transferware made was produced in the Staffordshire region of England?    Sadly, since the 1990's almost every English transferware producer / potter  has closed down, gone bankrupt or moved offshore to places like China and Malaysia where the cost of producing wares is so much less expensive.  Just as sad is the fact that the way the wares are made is not the same that it once was.  The materials used to make transferware are not the same as the clays found in the Staffordshire of the reasons this area was so famous and known the world over as 'The Potteries'.  The transfer printing process is also different as it is a more mechanized production, sometimes the transfer is actually a rubberized stamp.   Where copper plates were once hand engraved by skilled engravers who often took several months to complete a plate,  the plates are now machine etched into steel.  One of the things that has always drawn me to old transferware is that it is such a fantastic story, one of the greatest ever, of mass production.  Yet still the process required so much hand detail that it, to me, was a beautiful marriage of mass production and hand made. off subject a little didn't I?  Back to the French Mustard Pot.    Below is the Sarreguemines stamp on the bottom of the pot.  Sarreguemines is more well known for their Majolica.

You can see a few of the other pieces I have on the shelf to the right.  I plan to do a post on this sometime and show some of the other advertsing transferware pieces I've been fortunate enough to find at a price I can afford.

All of my photos look blurry to me...and I'm hoping it is just me.  I haven't posted in a few days because my computer crashed and I am working on Shawn's itty bitty freebie computer with a teeny tiny screen and I can barely see anything!  Of course it would happen that my computer would go on the fritz the one and only time ever that I had photos for several posts!  Hopefully it will be back from the computer hospital and working soon. In the mean time, my back, shoulders and neck are quite stiff and sore  due to me hunching over and having my eyeballs  an inch away from the screen for the past hour or so! 

Blogging is so worth it!
Until next time I'm joining...

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