Antique Plate World

Antique Plates For Eating, Decorating, Trading Or Collecting

Archive for the ‘Staffordshire Plates’ Category

How To Collect and Buy Ironstone Plates – A Beginner’s Guide

without comments

Local Resources

Ironstone collectibles such as ironstone plates date back to when Charles James Mason registered ‘Patent Ironstone China’ for the Mason Family partnership in July 1813.

While the ‘Patent’ was real enough, trade marking and selling ironstone was a great marketing feat since it is not made of porcelain and the iron content less than half of one per cent, unlike Mason’s published recipe which describes in detail the ironstone and iron slag components.

Charles Mason went to great lengths to compete, misinform and even discredit the other 172 ironstone manufacturers in Staffordshire – many trading off the success of the Mason’s.

Mason’s plan proved to be a marketing triumph; the new ironstone was hard and durable while copying Oriental designs from Chinese porcelain imports. Everyone wanted it.

And they still do – so knowing what to look for is a great investment in time and money. Markings, collectability, history and pricing are all necessary in the landscape of ironstone.

While originally designed by Englishman Charles Mason it didn’t take long before there were other ironstone manufacturers to Mason to compete with. But Mason was considered the master of ironstone. Mason’s reputation was in part attributed to the way he sold his goods. Unlike most others selling either by catalog or door to door Mason auctioned his pieces.

Related Information

Ironstone remains highly collectible in the United States and around the world and start as low as thirty dollars to a few hundred dollars, even thousands for rarer items.

Markings on the bottom of each piece include words stamped such as CJ Mason & Co., M Mason, Fenton Stone Works, or Lane Delph as the more valuable manufacturers and often accompanied with markings of crowns or a coat of arms.

Other manufacturers of ironstone include Spode, Turner & Tomkinson, Wedgewood, Wood & Sons, J&G Meakin, T & R Boote and Birks Bros. & Seddon.

Scour the internet stores for information and pricing on ironstone china before making an expensive purchase. This knowledge will help you collect at the right price so you can continue collecting and enjoying your ironstone plates.

Written by admin

November 17th, 2010 at 11:20 am

The Love Poem that Created Blue Willow Dinnerware, Antique Blue and Antique Staffordshire

with one comment

antique staffordshire

Collecting and History of Blue Willow China List


I have seen credit given for the willow china pattern given to at least two different people. One would be Thomas Turner who is said to have introduced the famous design in about 1780.

The original copper plate for his design was engraved by Thomas Minton and is still preserved at Coalport China.

The most reported story says that the willow design was the creation of Josiah Spode, a derivation of an original Chinese pattern called Mandarin. Spode developed his willow pattern sometime around 1790.

The traditional willow design always features a large beautiful Chinese home with a willow tree, small bridge with 3 figures, a humble servants house at the foot of the bridge, a small Chinese boat & of course the famous love birds above the willow tree.


The romantic lore of the design could have added to it’s popularity over the years.

The story goes something like this…….

Long ago, in the days when China was ruled by emperors, a Chinese mandarin, Tso Ling, lived in the magnificent pagoda under the branches of the apple tree on the right of the bridge, over which droops the famous willow tree, and in front of which is seen the graceful lines of the fence.

Tso Ling was the father of a beautiful girl, Kwang-se, who was the promised bride of an old but wealthy merchant.

The girl, however, fell in love with Chang, her father’s clerk. The lovers eloped across the sea to the cottage on the island.

The mandarin pursued and caught the lovers and was about to have them killed when the gods transformed them into a pair of turtle doves.

These are seen gazing into each other’s eyes at the top of the design.

A lengthy and old Staffordshire poem of the pattern concludes with the verse: “In the oft quoted plate two birds are perceived, High in the heaven above: These are the spirits of Chang and Kwang-se, A twin pair of ever in love”.


Companies That Produce Willow China

Due to Spode’s obvious success with the Blue Willow design, many, many pottery & china companies went on to produce some version of it. Here is a list of manufacturers that I am familiar with that produced or still do produce Blue Willow.

Adams Adderly Alfred Meakin Allerton Barratt Booths Buffalo (restaurantware & hotelware) Burslem Churchill Coalport Cuthbertson Homer Laughlin John Maddox & Sons Johnson Brothers McCoy Pottery Myott Made in China Made in Holland Made in Japan Maruta Moriyama Pottery (Japan) Norcrest Ridgeway Royal China Royal Doulton Royal Wessex Scio Pottery (Ohio) Spode Staffordshire Syracuse China(Restaurantware & Hotelware) Wedgewood Wood & Sons


As the popularity of Blue Willow grew & grew over the years many companies begin to make a variety of merchandise to coordinate with the customer’s china pieces.

You can find just about anything in Blue Willow including but not limited to: glassware, wallpaper, linens , tablecloths & towels, flatware & cutlery, picture frames, piggy banks, cookware, enamelware, fabric, tins, needlepoint pillows & kits, planters, candles, switchplates, items for bed & bath, soap dishes, even paper products including paper plated & napkins!

Besides numerous price guides written to aid collectors, there is a child’s story book entitled BLUE WILLOW by Doris Gates. You might enjoy recipes from The Blue Willow Inn Bible of Southern Cooking.

In 2005 there was even an animated short movie made in New Zealand that tells Blue Willow’s story of love & family betrayal.

The willow design is also made in red (sometimes called red transferware, or pink willow), green, brown & multicolored.

There are many Blue Willow pieces now being made in China. These are nice pieces to fill in your collection with & much more reasonable than antique or vintage pieces.

There are sellers however that try to pass these newly produced items off as vintage or antique.

Be sure you are buying from a reputable sellers.Also be sure what you are buying is actually blue willow. I have seen Flow Blue, Blue Onion, Blue Calico & other Blue Transferware advertised as Blue Willow.

The most valuable Blue Willow items are the early English, Staffordshire & Spode pieces. The Mid Century Made in Japan pieces are growing in popularity as well & can command a good price on unusual styles.

There are quite a few restaurantware collectors out there too, so the heavy restaurant weight china usually does well.

I hope this has given you a little insight into collecting Blue Willow China ~ Have Fun!

Author: Luanne Oda

Luanne R Oda aka NANALULU

Article Source:

Hollinshead and Kirkham Famous, Collectable Art Deco Plates, Dinnerware and Hand Painted Porcelain

with 3 comments

staffordshire plates pottery, H&K

H&K Tunstall – The Delicious Dozen

Hollinshead and Kirkham, originally of Burslem in Staffordshire, moved their pottery works to nearby Tunstall in 1890.

They catered mainly for the middle class end of the market and, in the main, produced a range of conservatively designed dinner ware.

However in the economic slump following the First World War the company needed to do something to address their falling sales.

Designer Harold Growcott was their White Knight.

Growcott came up with a range of designs for hand painted porcelain that tapped into the growing interest in all things Art Deco.

The designs featured an abstract painted background of two or more colours on which bold fruit or floral designs were hand painted. The result was bold and exciting.

The Delicious Dozen as it came to be known was actually a range of 14 designs, but let’s not be pedantic about a good nickname.

H&K tea cup and saucer

The designs were applied to many of the existing pre-war shapes, to give them a new lease of life, as well as some fresh new shapes more in keeping with the Art Deco style.

Due to its similar subject matter and large bold painting style H&K has also been dubbed ‘Poor Man’s Moorcroft’ but if the prices I have had to pay for some of my pieces are anything to go by, that’s not a title that fits today’s collecting market.

This is the major collectible area for this pottery. Hey made many dinnerware designs, many of them very attractive but none of any real collector interest (except, of course to people who have a set handed down to them from their grandmother).

But the Delicious Dozen have become extremely popular in recent years and if you come across a piece you will understand why.

Author: Karen Bellamy

Karen Bellamy is a digital as well as a traditional scrapbooker from Australia. She writes the Scraps of Mind blog which she describes as: A feast of Scrapbooking information and tutorials for both the Digital Scrapbooker and the Traditional Paper Scrapbooker. Seasoned with Antiques & Collectibles, Music inspired, and Blog Presentation articles to add some extra spice. All served up with a light hearted and fun style.

Article Source: