Friday, May 25, 2012

Advertising on Transferware ~ Millennium Mills Flour

Transfer printed containers were made in England and sold to many countries where they would be locally filled and distributed.  These containers were custom made for small chemists (pharmacies) in England to large, international corporations.

One of my favorite pieces in my collection of transfer printed advertising wares is this Millennium Flour container.  It was produced by Crown Ducal for millers W. Vernon and Sons who named their mill after their most successful product: Millennium Flour, a flour product which won "The Miller Challenge Cup" in 1899 at the International Bakers Exhibition. 

  Millennium Mills is nestled along the Thames river at The Royal Victoria Docks, the docklands,  and was designed and built by William Vernon and Sons in 1905. 

 Millennium Mills was partially destroyed in 1917 by the Silvertown explosion at Bruner Mond's munitions factory that was manufacturing explosives for Britain's World War I effort.  In 1920 they were taken over by Spillers Limited.  The factory was rebuilt in 1933 on a massive scale in an art deco style and remained in operation until 1953.  

The Royal Victoria docks were closed in 1981 and the the other mills were demolished.  Millennium Mills, today, is one of the most famous abandoned buildings in the world and is referred to as 'London's Greatest Derelict Landmark" .  

Search Millennium Mills under Google Images and you can see loads of interior photos.  
The mill is a high risk destination for Urban Explorers and is under constant security patrol.  It has been a filming spot for many forms of media,  including tv shows, series and movies as well as several music videos by bands like Snow Patrol and Cold Play who filmed their video to 'Every Teardrop is a Waterfall" there.
It was also filmed in the movie Green Zone as the setting for Saddam Hussain's maze of underground tunnels and bunkers. 

Okie dokie, back to the transferware.  

 Transfer printing was first applied to containers which held such common items as toothpaste, foods (meats), shaving cream, soaps, and medical ointments between 1820-30 and to container lids in the 1840's.  This was about 60 or so years after John Sadler and Guy Green perfected the transfer printing process.  It was a common practice to market these products in transfer printed pottery containers until World War I when less expensive packaging was implemented.

I store lots of my flatware in these advertising crocks.

I love to read some of the advertisements on these pieces. 

These Dundee marmalade jars are fairly easy to find, though not always the really old ones (100 + years).  There are some repros of these available as well...maybe why we see them all over blogland so often.

This mould is printed with the recipe for Brown & Polson's Corn Flour Blanc-Mange

These vessels are great to use as small planters to.
I recently planted some English ivy in a Grimwades quick cooker.

Other posts on advertising transferware HERE and HERE

Wishing you all a safe, long and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Colorado Lady
Romantic Home
Funky Junk Interiors 

Charm of Home
A Daily Cup w/ Mrs Olson
Its Overflowing

Common Ground
French Country Cottage
Swing Into Spring 
BoogieBoard Cottage


  1. Wow! What a beautiful collection. Those are incredible pieces. I have the Dundee Marmalade crock myself and use it to hold toothbrushes in our bathroom. I love it!
    Thank you for sharing


  2. Nancy, You have an amazing collection! I have always loved anything with advertising especially the white pieces with black lettering.

  3. Nancy, this is one of my favorite posts. I'm drawn to pieces of pottery with advertising, and am thrilled to see your personal collection. It's amazing! I have a few of the older Dundee Marmalade crocks that we use to hold an assortment of butter knives, pate knives, and cheese spreaders. When we traveled in France this fall, we visited Dijon and Beaune. I returned home with a small collection of antique mustard crocks. The necks of the mustard crocks are too narrow to hold anything other than flowers, but I like the transfer labels.
    Have a terrific holiday weekend. ~ Sarah

  4. Nancy I am amazed at your collection!!! I just looked up and saw that Sherry wrote the same thing. (So I know I'm in good company.) And your knowledge just blows me away. You're a regular history book. Since I've only been blogging six months I really don't know where you got your expertise or how you obtained all your fabulous transferware that you sell in your store. But you bowl me over. I feel like I had a short course in transferware 101 and would love to know the rest of the story AND your story. Please point me to the right direction here on your blog and I'll read away. Thanks for the enlightenment.


  5. I've never ever seen any of these pieces or others on all of my excursions into the antique world!!! You are an amazing collector!!! cleo

  6. What a fantastic collection! This is like a history lesson filled with wonderful images! Thanks so much for sharing what YOU know and have here with US! I hope you have a wonderful weekend- xo Diana

  7. Hi Nancy, wow what a fabulous collection! Why do I not know about these? I really appreciated your history lesson. I love transferware, but have not seen so much beauty with advertising. I love anything that advertising or numbers so these stole my heart. Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup.

  8. I love when you give the history of a piece or pieces, Nancy! You have such an interesting collection. I love the way you use them in your home. We forget that it wasn't a "throw away society" back then so it's amazing to think that some everyday items were put into ceramics like this when we are used to seeing plastic or paper {as in the case of flour}.

  9. Dear Nancy I'm so glad you wrote this post! I've been "Studying" your previous posts in efforts to get some advertising ware online and try to pick the repro/from the's tough, lol...and some of the originals are so overpriced is not even funny! I love your collection and the way you displayed it! Seems like the marmalade crocks are the more affordable, is there any way of telling the "real dundee's from the fakes"? I have 2 of the James Carberry ones in blue and pretty! will like to get a Dundee but know me and my doubts, lol...anyhooo...Great Post Nancy! Hugs!

  10. I don't think I have ever noticed these kind of things before, or at least they haven't registered in my brain. So interesting! I love the big crocks, they look great holding your utensils.

  11. I always learn something new! Thanks, Nancy!

  12. I love advertising pieces! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  13. Nancy, Hi, I just wanted to tell you I absolutely LOVE your blog and love how informative and passionate you are about your collections and all of the history involved in Transferware. I, too, love love love vintage china, including Transferware, but have only recently developed a passion for it after purchasing some Friendly Village pieces off of Ebay. Although not as old or valuable, I love the look of the village scenes. I have collected Turquoise Fire-King for year's but the market for buying it has pretty much dried up in my area; or I've purchased it all, lol. I have a quick question, the silverware you have pictured in your crocks, what brand are they? I have been looking for a set for my new dining room but haven't ran across any that just "pops" out to me. Thank you, Nancy and have a blessed week! Tina.


I love hearing from my readers. I appreciate the time you take to post a comment and I read them all.