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Database Discoveries

The purpose of the Database Discoveries (DBD) series of articles is to disseminate information derived from the TCC Pattern and Source Print Database. Although the content of articles is intended to be informative and accurate, the intent is to enable the contributor to quickly and simply prepare content. The articles are intended to be informal and relatively quickly prepared and formatted, in order to facilitate production and distribution of the articles. Any TCC member may author a DBD article. We encourage members who are not DB editors to participate. Download Guidelines for Submittals.

#25 - July 2016: Orphan Transferware Patterns and the TCC Assigned Name
Author Len Kling writes "Consider the case, then, of the Orphan Transferware Pattern. We have all seen them, languishing around the fringes of transferware society, without name or origin. If they are particularly lovely or interesting in some way they may still be taken into our homes, but most of the time we can find out nothing about them. In some ways these poor little tykes irritate us - why isn't there more information available"?

#24 - May 2016: Spring! Time to Get Organized
Author Susan Ferguson writes "Here’s my new database for my Brown and White transferware collection. I’m finally getting organized. I created it because my word processing program just provided me with loose sheets of paper that I would need to (four letter word) file".

#23 - February 2016: A Transferware Murder Mystery Episode 2 in a Transferware Detective’s Saga
Author Leslie Bouterie writes "Just as Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot were never without baffling cases to solve, the work of a TCC Database detective is never done. Pattern identification mysteries abound, but rarely do they involve the investigation of foul play. Recently, I was performing my role as volunteer ceramics researcher in the Archaeology Lab at Montpelier, the historic home of President James Madison. The lab curator approached me with an urgent request, "Please help us to solve this 'murder'!" The staff archaeologists had recently unearthed a group of transferware plate sherds found in the swept yard area between the Southeast and Southwest duplexes, which served as houses for enslaved domestic workers. Clutched in the curator's hand was evidence of the dire deed in progress, identified as “Vessel # 1079” (Fig. right)"

#22 - December 2015: A Picturesque Voyage to India by Way of China
Author Michael Sack writes “Artists Thomas and William Daniell are best known for their monumental work, Oriental Scenery (1795-1808), a collection of 144 elephant-folio size aquatints illustrating scenes of India from their eight-year sojourn there. Many of those aquatints were used by potters in the 1820s as sources for Indian patterns on transferware. However, in order to get to India, the Daniells had to travel first to China and then back-track to India. It is not recorded how long they remained in China, or for that matter, how long they were in China at the end of their journey waiting for a ship back to England. Making the most of their layovers, though, they published in 1810 a smaller book, A Picturesque Voyage to India by the Way of China, of fifty aquatints showing scenes of their voyage to China as well as sights they observed while in and around Canton and finally in Calcutta. This book didn’t escape resourceful potters in the 1820s either, and the Transferware Collectors Club database contains at least ten patterns with elements “adopted” from these prints. What hasn’t been shown in the database is the text that accompanies these prints, and in these days of political correctness, much of it is shocking".

#21 - October 2015: The “Uva” Mystery
Author Leslie Bouterie writes "The talents of master detectives like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple are often needed to decipher the mysteries of transferware patterns. As the Floral and Botanical editor for the TCC database, I channel their skills whenever possible and try to emulate their thorough investigatory techniques."

#20 - July 2015: Ways to Fit the Transfer Pattern Onto the Ware
Author Connie Rogers writes "Imagine the dilemma the transferer faces when the engraving at hand is not large enough to cover the entire center of the platter being decorated. Perhaps the managers of the pottery did not think it was worth the expense of cutting a larger engraving because the platter was larger than ordinarily used in the standard dinner set."

#19 - May 2015: Dark Blue Davenport
Author Frank Davenport writes "The Davenport pottery was first documented in a 1974 book by Terry Lockett then later by Terry Lockett and Geoffrey Godden (1989). The authors tell much about the ninety-three years of operation and the wide range of ceramics and glass produced."

#18 - April 2015: The News That Pratt Thought Fit to Print"
Author Len Kling writes "Potters like Enoch Wood, Davenport and William Smith had been experimenting since the 1830s with the application of multi-colored transfers to dinner wares and tea wares, but it was not until about 1846 that patents were taken out on a polychrome printing process that successfully emulated the look of hand painted wares."

#17- January 2015: Transfer-Printed Rice Plates for the South-East Asia Market
Author Connie Rogers writes "One of the greatest achievements in transfer printing in the last half of the 19th century was led by J. & M. P. Bell of Glasgow, Scotland. The firm was established in 1842 by the two brothers: John and Matthew Perston Bell."

#16–November 2014: A Scottish Mystery
Author Michael Sack writes "A simple question from a friend, a retired historian, has set off a chain of research and highlighted a mystery. My friend saw on eBay a 2-7/8” plate titled “Indian Chiefs” (Figure 1) and asked me if I knew of a source print for it."

#15--July 2014: Mozart, The Magic Flute, The Masons, And America
Author Judie Siddall writes "While waiting for Mozart's The Magic Flute to begin, I read the notes in the program titled Mozart's Die Zauberflote (Magic Flute) A Masonic Perspective by Tom Ellison, Past Master, Masonic Lodge 712 in California and chorus member of West Bay Opera (Palo Alto, California). I knew that Mozart was a Mason, as were many 18th century luminaries such as Joseph Hayden and Benjamin Franklin, but I didn't know much about the Masons (also referred to as Freemasons). I decided to look for Masonic patterns in the TCC Pattern and Source Print Database in the hopes of learning more about the Masons."

#14--May 2014: Source Prints (Not Just Pretty Pictures)
Author Weston Palmer writes "The Transferware Collectors Club (TCC) database, now with over 11,000 records, also has well over 750 source prints, the supposed inspiration to the potter of the scene or depiction on his ceramic creation...These source prints are not just pretty pictures or works of art, but are often a different type of clue as to the scene itself and its location. Source prints can be critical to the dating of the ceramic piece."

#13--February 2014: "Yes – Transfer-Printed Tiles are in the Database"
Author Connie Rogers writes "Tiles are among the earliest examples of the use of ceramic material for decorative purposes. We may think of the blue and white Dutch Delft tiles found on fireplace surrounds in the 18th century."

#12--November 2013: Death and Bereavement on Transfer-printing
Author Colin Murray Parkes writes "Death is an unpopular topic in our society and we may ask why anyone would want to include death-related imagery on items intended to decorate homes or to be used in the daily consumption of food and drink. A systematic trawl of the current TCC database reveals 104 patterns that are directly related to death." (Lengthy article; please be patient for the download.)

#11--September 2013: Don't Believe Everything You Read on that Plate
Author Len Kling writes ""It's a painful thing to have to admit, because we all love our dishes and want to be able to trust them. However, the plain truth is that for almost two centuries, some of them have been deceiving their owners. We read the pattern marks and naturally take it for granted that what is printed there is accurate, but alas, that's not always the case."

#10--April 2013: Surprising Spout Prints
Author DeeDee Dodd writes "Recently I was intrigued when working with several patterns, used on tea and coffee wares. More specifically, the intrigue had to do with the varying spout prints found on these pieces. In fact, three of the spout prints appeared to be quite out of context, if not downright bizarre."

#9--February 2013: Enoch Wood's Series No. 106
Author Len Kling writes "Enoch Wood's No.106 Series of European views was probably produced in the early to mid 1830s. Unlike many series of patterns dating from that time, it was not made in a variety of hues, but always in a very attractive two-color combination, a yellow printed border with contrasting floral sprays and central design in brown or black. Yellow, of course, is the rarest of transferware colors, and it follows that items in this series are also uncommon."

#8--December 2012: Inappropriate Children's Patterns
Author Judie Siddall writes "Children haven't changed in the past two hundred years, but the concept of childhood and what is appropriate for children has changed. Nineteenth century British children's mugs and plates were created as inexpensive gifts or rewards to teach religion and the alphabet as well as to delight with pictures of animals and children's activities. However, some of the patterns found on this pottery are frightening!"

#7--November 2012: British Shipping Company China
Connie Rogers writes "The database is made much richer with the patterns and information sent to us by TCC members. Aside from a willow pattern platter that I found many years ago with its mark of the Allan Line, I was not aware of the many types and styles of transferware produced in the U. K. for individual ships and shipping companies. Thanks to Frank Davenport we are building a very interesting array of patterns in the database on this subject."

#6--October 2012: What’s in a Word: Vocabulary Discoveries from Transfer-Printed Advertising Ware
David Hoexter writes "It's amazing what one can learn from transferware and the examples included in our Database. English 19th century advertising product containers and other ware contain a wealth of vocabulary or word usage which I have never heard before. Often related to medicinal products, these words offer the 21st century observer a chance to impress friends, business associates, doctors (not surprisingly, many of the words are medical in origin), and others in our everyday life."

#5—August 2012: Searching the Bibliography for Source Prints and Patterns
Michael Sack writes "One of the powerful features of our Database of transferware patterns is that the various searchable elements in it can be combined in many ways."

#4--July 2012: Aesthetic Movement Transferware: Some Things of Beauty (and Utility)
Rita Robbins writes "Although I have been intrigued with Aesthetic Movement transferware for many years, it
wasn’t until I volunteered to enter patterns in this category into the TCC Database that I discovered the variety, richness, diversity, and scope within the movement. This was both an amazing and delightful discovery and made entering these patterns an almost daily delight."

#3--June 2012: Wood's Italian Scenery
Len Kling writes "Very little is known today about the life of early 19th century artist Elizabeth Frances Batty. Italian Scenery, From Drawings Made in 1817 by Miss Batty, was published in 1820 by Rodwell & Martin of London. The beautifully drawn and well engraved plates displayed what a contemporary critic called her 'eminent...topographical taste,' and it was not long before the publication came to the attention of Enoch Wood. The result was a series of dark blue views on dinnerware."

#2-- May 2012: Transferware Darning Eggs
A request from Tony Calvin of Cumbria, England about a possible attribution of a jug to the (John) Wilkinson Pottery of Whitehaven, West Cumberland (1820-1867), led to the serendipitous discovery of the uses of the rare egg-shaped transfer printed objects that have fascinated transferware author and TCC Database Category Editor Judie Siddall for years. Intrigued by this information, Judie writes about what she learned about the Wilkinson Pottery and its production of transferware eggs.

#1-- April 2012: Yellow Transfer Printed Brown Ware
Database General Editor Connie Rogers has prepared a short article, to be followed by contributions from category editors. Yellow Transfer Printed Brown Ware -- referred to here as YPB -- is a type of transferware that has only recently been added to the TCC Pattern and Source Print Database. Some collectors of transferware may not be aware of this type of transfer decoration as it is not commonly found. Read the article.

Publishing Information about Transferware

The following information is provided to assist in the publication of information about British Transferware.  Publishing Guidelines and Need-to-Know Information

Publishing Guidelines by Margie Williams
Commercial Publishing by Dick Henrywood

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