Skip to main content

How to Store Your Washcloths (why in transferware of course!)

Several years ago I wrote a post about a purple transferware soup tureen that I had come across and now use as a storage container for washcloths in our master bathroom.  I roll the towels up lengthwise so they resemble roses and place them in the tureen.  It mimics a huge bouquet of roses in a beautiful vessel.

This is one of my favorite pieces of transferware and I throughly enjoyed researching and learning about, though it took a little time to gather the information I found.

The stamp / makers mark on the bottom of the tureen reads Chantilian (pattern name) and R & C.  R & C which stands for Read and Clementson, Staffordshire potters at High Street at Shelton, Hanley.

   This firm, as with many of the early transferware manufacturers, had a short production period from 1833-35, when many potters sprang up out nowhere because of the huge business transfer printing had become in England.  I was elated to know I had found such an early piece, nearly 200 years of age, and that it must be quite rare being that it was produced by a firm that had a short life. I researched further and found nothing about the pattern and little, only two or three mentions of R & C, in my Staffordshire books.  One mention was in Jeffrey Snyders Romantic Staffordshire Ceramics where he shows a photo of a plate in another pattern by R & C but no additional  information is given.  I continued looking and looking until one day I found something that had me totally soupified…er, eh, er, I  mean stupefied!  I discovered that a shipwreck had taken place about 7 nautical miles off the coast of England.   The site has been named the Bottle Wreck for the many beer, wine bottles and bottle shards  found in the scattered cargo around the bow area.  It has been determined that the ship was a wooden merchant sailing vessel that sank between 1833 and 1835.  This is based on the fact that…guess what….broken pottery shards just north of a large cargo mound were found, some of them being attributable to Read and Clementson (R & C).   Quoting the article linked to about the Bottle Wreck: 

"The identification of the maker of one of the blue and white transfer printed willow pattern plates allows more accurate dating, as the pottery Read & Clementson only existed between 1833 and 1835. The terminus post quem for the sinking of the vessel is thus 1833. The terminus ante quem could tentatively be defined as 1835, but there is a possibility that Read & Clementson transfer printed ware continued to be traded after the pottery closed down."

Today, some remaining pieces from the works of Read and Clementson are housed at a nautical and archaeological museum in Littlehampton.   That makes me feel like I've found a really special piece.

Below is a photo taken in our bathroom.  The bathroom is a large, open room but oddly there isn't lots of storage and not much room at all around the sinks but for a soap dispenser.  My sink is just to the right of the large floral picture seen below so they are easily within reach.  You can see the tureen in the niche built into the wall along with some other transferware, towels, figurines and a favorite non-transferware plate that belonged to my Grandma.  

And, next to the niche, on the wall are three other pieces that I'm really fond of.  They are all antique two color transferware plates that bring together the colors in the room.    

Roll up some washcloths and enjoy the remainder of your weekend. 

Cozy Little House
Bouquet of Talent Linky Party
Share It One More Time Sundays
 Clever Chicks Blog Hop 
Sunday Showcase 
Share It Sunday 


  1. that's a fantastic way to store washcloths! I love it.

  2. OMG! I thought they were flowers! Gorgeous sweet Nancy, I love the open shelves decoration...beautiful!

  3. It so cute! Beautiful transferware pieces too!

  4. Beautiful idea..gorgeous pieces!
    Miss Bloomers

  5. I have always rolled mine up but stacked them on the open shelves....what a great idea!

  6. I love this way to display washcloths. How pretty!

  7. Love that piece of transferware. It looks so pretty with the colors in the bathroom. very creative and your information on the company and the shipwreck was wonderful to read.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it. I love the historical information that I'm able to find on some of the pieces.

  8. What a great idea, Nancy! We have put out lots of small folded washcloths for hand drying in our guest bathrooms for years. It's a MUCH more sanitary situation than providing a single towel for everyone to use, and it's better than paper towels that just go into landfills. I like the idea of the rolled towel because it's a super fancy look, and putting them in transferware makes it ultra chic! Doing so would also allow me to occasionally switch up from the baskets I currently use which are great for the summer months but a little out of place in the cold weather months. Neat idea!

  9. It's a beautiful piece and I love what you've done with the towels! Just gorgeous!

  10. When I first glanced at this photo, I really thought it was of purple flowers! A very informative post - I'm glad I found it on Motivational Monday! I also love Alycia's suggestion (above) of using wash cloths for guest to dry their hands :)

  11. Nancy, I so enjoy it when you link to a party and I get to see your post. I have subscribed to receive your posts several times, but obviously feedburner does not like me! Sigh..... I'll keep trying. Vicki in Louisville Ky

    1. Hi Vicki, I'm sorry you're having problems signing up via Feedburner. Are you trying to sign up for RSS feed or for email? I know that when you sign up for email it sends you a confirmation to make sure you are the one who signed up. Could it possibly be that the email went to your spam folder? I've known that this has happened before. If I can help at all, let me know! I appreciate your stopping by and reading!


  12. What a great idea for wash cloths. Gotta do this!

  13. I love this! I honestly thought it was flowers at first! Such a great idea!

  14. You got me...with that photo, you totally did. Brilliant.

  15. Dear Nancy,

    What a gorgeous piece of art you've created - I'd love to have you decorate my bathroom! :-)
    Thanks for sharing your talents with us at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy.
    Congratulations - you are one of our Featured Guests this week!

  16. Every photo is beautiful! The washcloths in the soup tureen in gorgeous.

  17. That is so pretty! And oh my gosh, I love the history. I could read up on antiques and history all day long lol. I have a few items I've tried looking up myself, and one scale that I plan to take to an appraiser. Doesn't have any markings at all! Thanks so much for sharing, and your post is featured in tonight's What'd You Do This Weekend. Pinned :-)

    Ashley @

  18. What a beautiful and pretty way to store you washcloths. I love that wall paper in there too! I saw it at create with joy party. Congrats on the feature today.
    Julie's Lifestyle

  19. What a great way to store washcloths and enjoy your transferware!

    - The Tablescaper

  20. This is just gorgeous ! Pinning !
    Thanks so much for sharing

  21. I love the washcloth idea. The mix of colors on the plates looks great in your bathroom. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home.


Post a Comment

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

Popular posts from this blog

English Cottage Living Room - Before, Partly After & Still a Work in Progress

I am sorry for not posting more pictures of the progress we've made settling into this new (to us) home.   It seems life rushes by so fast and that at times, doing little things, even those that I love and enjoy, often get pushed aside and onto the back shelf of my mind where I tell myself, "I'll get to this later".  Well, it is later and though I don't have as much to share with you as I'd like, I'm going to at least share my favorite spot in our living room.  I promise to show the rest of the room soon but for now the opposite half of the living room has been occupied by my daughters boyfriend who has been staying with us for the past 7 or so weeks until his apartment is ready for him to move into, and so the couch is usually made up for him to sleep on!   Here is a photo of the current living room just as we found it, a small room just off the entry of the house with a nice marble and wood fireplace surround, hard wood floors, beautiful crown mouldi

The History of Johnson Brothers and The Friendly Village Tablescape

Last week, Shawn and I popped into a couple of estate sales and I picked up over 100 pieces of Johnson Brother's The Friendly Village .  I think I may have to hang on to 12 of the dinner plates and use them this year at Thanksgiving but the rest of them, including this 48 piece service for 8, will be you know where. I don't know about you all, but I have had enough of Summer and I am down right ready for the cooler temperatures of Autumn.  I've been doing a lot of rearranging around the house….I'm in one of those zones where I've got a zillion projects going on, even if half of them are just in my mind that I'm contemplating!   We've also been moving kids out and around.  Three of them are out and the three still at home are moving or rearranging their rooms around.    Since I am yearning for Fall, haven't posted any tablescapes in a while and just got these Friendly Village pieces I decided to set the table with them.      Oh great, I

More Traditional Red White & Blue Rooms with Transferware

A couple of weeks ago I shared some pictures of beautiful rooms in red and blue color schemes decorated with transferware .    Here is another roundup of rooms that I adore, all with red and blue color schemes and all with transferware!  Enjoy!  (via Traditional Home) (via enchanted home) (my old living room) Joining some of the following parties: Between Naps on The Porch Transformation Thursday at  The Shabby Chic Cottage Feathered Nest Friday at  French Country Cottage Friday Inspiration  At The Picket Fence Cindy at  My Romantic Home Funky Junk Interiors Charm of Home No Minimalist Here WOW  Amaze Me Mondays  Making Monday Link Party  Motivational Mondays  What'd You Do This Weekend?   Inspire Me Monday   Make It Pretty Monday   Monday Link Party  Inspire Me Monday 

My English Country Mom Cave

Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch is hosting a Home Goods Mom Cave contest with four lucky winners.  Come on in to my little niche I've carved out of my house.  This is where I work, create, relax, read and chat with friends and family. This is one of my favorite spots in the house to read about one of my favorite subjects...English transferware or poetry, and drink tea.  I often start and end my day right here. Next to the chair is an antique dumbwaiter which holds some decorative items as well as lots of poetry books.  This is the view of the room from the wing back chair.  This cozy room serves as a small living room, although it's not uncommon to have 8 or 9 of the girls in here during family gatherings.  It's usually where we all wind up to have coffee and visit. . On either side of the sofa I display some of my vintage Canine figurines on Spode meat drainers. Above the sofa are some of my favorite paintings.  The one directly over the sofa my Mom pain

Decorating with Brown Transferware & $100 GIVEAWAY

Brown was introduced as a transferware color around 1829-30 and is the least expensive of colors to make. Therefore it is fairly common, so far as transferware goes, to find.  It is also one of the most collected colors and it is probably the most versatile of colors in my opinion.  Brown is neutral and looks good with any color scheme from pastels to rich jewel tones, but it is with the ushering in of Autumn that I see it popping up in home decor and vignettes the most.  Though, most of these rooms and vignettes are decorated with brown pieces year round, it just seems the perfect time to share them.  I may have to do another post because there are so, so many more equally beautiful spaces that have incorporated the use of displaying brown transferware  and I can't fit them all here. So, check these lovelies out and then stick around for the giveaway at the bottom of the post. This vignette just stole my heart the first time I saw it.  So many of us have vintage luggage

The Aesthetic Movement and Transferware

What is the Aesthetic Movement? The Aesthetic Movement refers to a period of time in the late 19 th century (1870-1900) which was a backlash to the formal Victorian years.  Artists and writers of the Aesthetic movement period maintained the belief that art should provide refined sensuous pleasure, rather than convey moral or sentimental messages.  They believed that art did not have any didactic purpose; it need only be beautiful.  Japanese art had a great influence on Aestheticism. Aesthetic interiors were often decorated with Japanese prints, screens, fans and other objects. An appreciation of the art of Japan is seen in the work of many Aesthetic artists and designers such as James McNeill Whistler and E.W. Godwin. photo credit Country Living The Aesthetes developed the cult of beauty, which they considered the basic factor in art. They ascertained that life should copy art and considered nature as crude and lacking in design

Decorating with Blue Transferware and a GIVEAWAY!

   If you haven't already been over to Enchanted Home , you'll want to go over after you finish this post because the wonderful Tina, who authors the incredibly gorgeous blog,  has a great post up about decorating with dishes plus she's hosting a giveaway to my online shop, English Transferware !  Details at the end of the post! I know Tina loves blue and white (just look at her header and you'll know!) and has a collection of her own. In honor of Tina, I've decided to share some of my favorite images of rooms decorated with and often around blue transferware collections.  You can see more rooms decorated with blue transferware on my Pinterest board . To me, Charles Faudree is just about as synonymous with English transferware as he his with French Country Decorating...he seemed to always find a use for it in his incredibly detailed decorating schemes.  Isn't this bedroom charming? I love this next image from Decor Magazine.  Look how the blu