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Transferware Designs & Styles

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 The first transferware designs of the late 18th and very early 19th centuries were copied from hand painted blue and white Chinese export porcelains depicting scenes and motifs of an Oriental nature, such as the Blue Willow pattern.   Transferware designs were later copied from manuscripts and prints.

Early Staffordshire Blue Willow Platter

Around 1820, as tastes changed, the subject matter on transfer ware was anglicized and began showing bucolic and pastoral English scenes of country life.  Cattle and sheep were popular themes as were castles and Abbey ruins.  Some depicted women in period clothing with parasols and suitors at their side in gardens or gazebos.  This is often referred to as Romantic style transferware.

circa 1825-30 Romantic Platter entitled Scroll

Spode Ruins

British Views & Historical scenes soon followed

Circa 182 Hicks & Meigh drainer Pattern, British Views

Around 1825, open botanical patterns were introduced by many factories such as this large, circa 1830 handled serving tray in light purple.

After the War of 1812, to further entice the American market, profit minded British potters began exporting transferware with scenes of American patriots and urban progress to the patriotic, eager buyers of America.

Washington at a tomb with scroll in hand by Enoch Wood

After 1828, technology allowed potters to produce two and three color transfer wares.  This Etruscan Festoon plate by Ridgway is an example which is very highly sought by collectors.  Yellow is the rarest color of transferware,  and the intricacy in transfer placement is unsurpassed.

W R Ridgway Etruscan Festoon Two Color Transfer Plate

Between 1830-40 flow blue was introduced by adding ammonia to the dye which caused the ink to run while in the kiln.

New Wharf pottery Platter

The Aesthetic Movement of the late 19th century (1870-1900), a backlash to formal Victorian times, influenced designs of Asian styled scenes with asymmetric, bold and geometric patterns.

Wedgwood Platter-Pattern Beatrice circa 1880-1890

I'll discuss each of these styles in further detail on other posts.  Some I've done already and links are provided above.

I hope you all have a great weekend...the weather here is gorgeous.
Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.
 Linked up here...visit for lots of great fun, photos and articles:

Finding Fabulous
A Few of my Favorite Things
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints on the Fridge
Hodge Podge Friday @ It's a Hodgepodge Life


  1. Nancy, I'm thrilled I've found your blog. Thank you for sharing all this interesting information and the wonderful photos. I'm off to catch up on the previous posts. Thank you for linking them.
    Have a great weekend!

  2. Just beautiful! Well, that took care of my china "fix" for the day! I love the lavendar tremendously. I don't own any pieces but my sister found a gorgeous set at an antiques store for a (relative) steal. Lucky her!

    Love, Katy Noelle

  3. Okay..I'm coveting the Lavendar lily gorgeous can that be!! I love all the pieces but this one made me gasp! LOL

    Miss Bloomers

  4. I am just entranced. Had to become a follower. Come visit the country sometime at Applejack Lane.

  5. Nancy,
    The platter are all so pretty. Thanks for posting!

  6. I know I'm not the only one absolutely drooling over these pieces. The Spode Ruins is amazing.

  7. as i looked at each piece I thought i like that one best- then i would see the next one, etc.

    what beautiful works of art- truly amazing- believe i like the etruscan two color the best-love the scroll work-noticed in earlier posts that these beauties are on display in your home and you have children as well- you have taught them well-my 6 yr loves to rearrange our accessories!!

  8. Nancy, I love your blog for this transferware stories. Its a real science and you are a master of that. You know so much about this things. I never liked transferware before because this style is in Germany very common and used also for cheap stoneware. But thats nothing like your delicate decorated transferware. Especially the yellow one is really outstanding. And what I liked in the former post, one can mix all the designs if only one uses the same colour. Thats like a book of fairytales. So much to discover. Thanks a lot.
    Greetings, Johanna

  9. Another facinating post, thank you Nancy. I don't think I've ever seen a piece of yellow transfer ware - but you can bet I'm going to try hard to find some now!

  10. Oh Nancy. That yellow is just to die for. Thanks so much for the info- I'm fascinated
    xoxo Pattie

  11. the 2 tone platter is shazam, gorgeous!!

  12. I am in love with the light purple and the yellow dishes!! They are breath taking!!

  13. A sweet hello from Frog Hollow Farm! I can't tell you how much I loved reading about transferware - your post was full of such great information and beautiful photos. Thank you so much. If you have a moment I'd love for you to stop by Frog Hollow Farm Girl. Ciao, bella!!

  14. Your blog is beautiful, very sweet and tender
    very nice to show what is truly an inspiration, Chany

  15. I learn so much when I read your posts. Thanks for all the history in dishes. The drainer platter is a first for me.
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

  16. I love your transferware.. So pretty.

  17. What a lovely blog! I'm so glad I visited; I learned a lot and imagine I will learn a lot more on future visits.
    The drainer is lovely..I have a similar one.

  18. Hi Nancy. Thanks so much for visiting. I have just made myself one of your followers. I love black and brown transferware, but now that yeallw, white, and black is now a fav and of course it's hard to find! Lol Champagne taste on a Kool Aid budget. Your blog is great. I'm placing it on my blog list right now.

  19. Nancy~I always enjoy reading your posts. This one is no exception...I thoroughly enjoyed reading and learning about transferware. I normally fall head over heels in love with anything you post in the lavender/purple color but I am drooling over that Etruscan Festoon Plate. That is just breathtaking!! Thank you so much for sharing. :)
    I hope you have a wonderful day.

  20. Nancy,
    I consider you to be THE expert when it comes to transferware. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I find it all so fascinating. That Etruscan Festoon plate took my breath away!

  21. Nancy! How lovely...what delightful pages. I have just started collecting transferware...I have decided on a mis-matched dinner service, one setting in the colours of blue ,pink, brown, green and working toward red. Each piece is a different pattern and i LOVE it!!! Your pages make my mouth water!

  22. I'm thrilled I've found your blog, delightful pages. Thank you for sharing your knowledge

    Have a great Sunday!

  23. Hi Nancy,
    I'm very interested to know the origin of the handled serving tray in light purple whit bottanical pattern. Dou you know the factory? Has it some mark on reverse. Thanks. Julio

  24. Hi Nancy,
    I'm very interested to know the origin of the handled serving tray in light purple whit bottanical pattern. Dou you know the factory? Has it some mark on reverse. Thanks. Julio

  25. Hi Nancy,
    I'm very interested to know the origin of the handled serving tray in light purple whit bottanical pattern. Dou you know the factory? Has it some mark on reverse. Thanks. Julio


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