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Winterthur MuseumWinterthur Museum and TCC Sponsored Exhibit: Transferware, A Story of Patterns & Color. More Information.
Our sister transferware club, the Friends of Blue, held its AGM and Conference June 22, 2014 at Sharpe's Pottery Museum, Swadlincote in Derbyshire. The meeting feature talks by Dick Henrywood and Trevor Kentish. Members brought pots to display on the "Blue Table" for discussion and hopefully identification. There was also a sales table. For information, contact Sue Wagstaff at sue.wagstaff2@btinternet.com.
2014 Annual Meeting Survey: In January of this year, the TCC conducted a members-only survey via email to better understand member preferences with regards to our annual meeting. Read more. Members, review the full survey results.
The Spode Museum Trust has announced an expansion of its exhibits and new visitor hours. Read more.

An important collection of many pieces of British transferware from the Hickman estate was sold on December 12 and 13 by David Lay Auctions, The Penzance Auction House, Cornwall. Read Sue Wagstaff's report on the sale.


New article by Anne Anderson: "The Romance of Old Blue: collecting and displaying Old Blue Staffordshire China in the American Home c. 1870-1928". Access the article. (Note: you can download the text as a linked PDF, but the images will not be included.)
Eagle MarkRequest for Help with Importers Study
John Walthall, of the Illinois State Museum Research & Collections Center, writes "I am in the process of revising the recently published ebook, Queensware Direct from the Potteries: U. S. Importers of Staffordshire Ceramics in Antebellum America, 1820 – 1860. I have a few more importer’s marks to add to the Directory, some updates, etc. I would greatly appreciate any help that TCC members can provide in my effort to make this research tool as complete and useful as possible." More information. Email John Walthall.
A Really Great Resource
Don Carpentier (the founder of Eastfield Village in New York state) hosts a Facebook group page Pots, Tools and Techniques of Early Potters. You can spend hours exploring past entries and the many links to more great sites.
The Gladstone Pottery Museum in Stoke-on-Trent is threatened with budget reductions. Support by December 20 for the museum is requested. More Information.
Piers Wedgwood Obituary
Piers Wedgwood, who devoted his working life to the ceramic and decorative arts of the Wedgwood Brand as its international ambassador and keeper of the legacy of his fifth great-grandfather, Josiah Wedgwood, died January 29, 2014 of cardiac failure. Lord Wedgwood was a working member of the House of Lords with more than 25 years service on the Defense and Heritage Parliamentary Groups, as well as an active sportsman. Above all however, the Wedgwood Brand was Lord Wedgwood’s passion, beginning in the business in his teens cleaning the pottery kilns and learning production methods. It was soon clear, however, that his charm, speaking ability and uncanny resemblance to his ancestor Josiah made him the ideal and nearly irreplaceable spokesman for Wedgwood. For many years, Lord Wedgwood was closely identified with Wedgwood museums in England and Birmingham, Alabama, which includes the Buten Collection, formerly of Philadelphia. Full obituary.
Beyond Blue: A one day symposium at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
This symposium, held on Thursday, January 23, 2014, brought together leading academic researchers, industry experts and artists to discuss underglaze ceramic printing. More information and agenda.
Romance of Old BlueJanuary, 2014: A new article by Anne Anderson: "The Romance of Old Blue: collecting and displaying Old Blue Staffordshire China in the American Home c. 1870-1928". Access the article. (Note: you can download the text as a linked PDF, but the images will not be included.)
Goldberg Brown tureenGoldberg-Brown Collection Historical Transferware Auction
Pook & Pook auctioned 594 lots of spectacular Historical Transferware. Read Lita Solis-Cohen's Maine Antique Digest summary of the auction.
An important collection of many pieces of British transferware from the Hickman estate was sold on December 12 and 13 by David Lay Auctions, The Penzance Auction House, Cornwall. Read Sue Wagstaff's report on the sale.
Spode Works front gatespode works couryardspoe works gateWhat a facelift! The front Church Street Entrance of the Spode Works has been painstaking restored by Stoke Council to a very high standard. The Gates and Rubbing Stones are original Spode c1800. The sign above the gates was designed by Harold Holdway and erected in 1960. When Carborundum owned the factory the letters "WT Copeland and Sons" were boarded over and painted as a red band. This was the face of Spode until closure in 2008, it subsequently fell into disrepair with the prospect of it falling down. Let's hope this iconic image fronts the regeneration of the Spode Works site in the not too distant future.

Vivienne Schulman Manber
"It is with great sadness that I Inform you of the passing of my mother Vivienne Schulman Manber who always took great joy in her days at The Transfersware Collectors Club. Vivienne passed away on June 3 at home after a lengthy illness. Vivienne had a distinguished 42 year career at the State Department and retired in 1995 as Chief of Reference at the US Mission to the United Nations. She continued to enjoy the antiques business she ran with her husband in Rhinebeck, NY - Victorian Cupboard at the Beekman Arms Antiques Center. She is survived by her husband Malcolm Manber, her twin children Susan Manber and David Manber and grandchildren Max and Sarina Abraham."
--submitted by Susan Manber.

Note from the editor: Vee and Mal were among the earliest members of the TCC. They enthusiastically attended many of our annual meetings, and Vee often contributed to the Message Board by replying to even the most banal enquiries. We will all miss Vee! We extend our condolences to Mal and the entire Manber family.

New Articles page collects all TCC website articles of interest. Read more.

Spode Heritage Exhibit to Open in This Year

Members Paul and Kath Holdway report that a temporary exhibition dedicated to the Spode factory, its people and products is planned to open later this year. With an aggressive July date for its opening in mind, the exhibition committee has appointed Susan Coates, of Coatesheritage.com, a two year commission as Museum Co-Coordinator. The municipal government, current owner of the historic Spode factory site in Stoke, has granted access to a facility on site for the exhibit. The exhibition will tell the social story of all the craftsmen and women that made a happy family business, on the same site since 1770’s. Planners will take advantage of the Spode Museum Trust's large collection of photography, film footage, archival material, and the more than 40,000 pots and 20,000 copper plates. With this temporary exhibit, the Museum Trust will only be able to display a fraction of the full Spode collection. Efforts continue for the purpose of establishing a permanent museum some time in the future.

No Challenge to Wedgwood Museum Sell-Off Ruling

An appeal to Britain's high court to exclude the acclaimed Wedgwood ceramic collection and its prize-winning museum setting from the Wedgwood Company bankruptcy proceedings has failed. The High Court ruled in December that the Barlston attraction's artifacts were not held in trust and could, therefore, be sold by administrators to pay off debts. Gaye Blake-Roberts of the Wedgwood Museum stated that "the main aim now will be to ensure that this internationally important ceramic collection and archive is saved for the nation and remains permanently open to the public. A fund raising campaign will be launched in the forthcoming weeks to 'Save the Wedgwood Collection'."

Hayden Goldberg

With profound sadness, the Transferware Collectors Club announces that on January 3, 2012, veteran transferware collector Hayden Goldberg died in the hospital in Brooklyn. He had been unwell after suffering a stroke last September. Hayden is survived by his partner of 56 years, Curtis F. Brown, a renowned author. Together, they lived in Brooklyn for the past 40 years. Hayden and Curtis began collecting “Old Blue” Staffordshire of American historical interest in 1963, and successfully amassed an encyclopedic collection of nearly all of the views in the field.

The TCC owes both Hayden and Curtis an incalculable debt for allowing the club access to their collection of almost 800 specimens for the purpose of photographing and documenting the items. The Goldberg/Brown Collection is the corpus of the printed designs that now illustrate the TCC’s current interactive on-line exhibit titled Patriotic America: Blue Printed Pottery Celebrating a New Nation. Patriotic America, produced in partnership with Historic New England and the Winterthur Museum, will serve as a definitive database of images of English printed pottery that illustrate important places and commemorate historical events of the early republic.

Hayden’s intellectual insights and scholarly contributions to the literature are well known among “Old Blue” collectors. In the July 1981 edition of The Magazine Antiques, he published “The Earliest Known Example of Historical Blue Staffordshire,” depicting an earthenware plate with a medallion portrait of George Washington and the arms of the United States. Hayden included in that article an illustration of a then-recent discovery, which remains unique to this day: a dark blue plate by Andrew Stevenson in the Large Roses Border Series, with the central view of "Halstead, Essex" and portrait medallions of Washington and Governor Clinton, excluding an Erie Canal vignette.
But perhaps most ambitious was his pair of articles, also in The Magazine Antiques, exploring “The Architecture of Charles Bulfinch on Historical Blue Staffordshire.” (“Part I: The Early Buildings” in July 1985 and “Part II: The Later Buildings” in February 1987).
Nonetheless, Hayden may go down in history for his and Curtis’s legendary lunch invitation to TCC members Ted Gallagher and Kurt O’Hare. As Ted described in the Spring-Summer 2010 issue of the TCC Bulletin, under the title “Generosity Unbound,” pre-cut sandwiches and soup were served in some of the rarest views in all of “Old Blue.” Food never tasted so good!

Wedgwood Museum Saved!

It was announced just before Christmas that a judge at the High Court in Birmingham gave a verdict saying that the collection in the Wedgwood Museum, valued at £18 million, could be sold to help cover a £134 million pension deficit stemming back to the 2009 collapse of the Waterford Wedgwood pottery firm. This led to an outcry from the family, the local member of parliament, curators and ordinary Potteries folk, horrified by the idea that their region, which has already lost its pottery, coal and steel industries, could lose its proud heritage too. Experts believe any sale would undoubtedly see the collection broken up with the best items sold abroad. Happily on Christmas Eve, the Daily Telegraph was able to report that billionaire John Caudwell, who was born into a working class family in Stoke on Trent in the 1950s and who made his fortune from selling his home-grown mobile phone company, had stepped forward offering to keep the collection intact, in place and open to the public.

Obviously there are many formalities to be gone through, but it looks as though the Wedgwood Museum has been saved.

Thanks to Sue Wagstaff for this status report. Additional information.

Spode Artist

Illenye Bowl and BirdIllenye Floral PanelArtist Jeanne Illenye creates works incorporating Spode and other makers. View the website/blog.

 

 

Willow enthusiasts

Download a short article on the Willow pattern.

UK National Archives

1864-1871 Design Register

The UK National Archives has placed on-line various pottery (and other) patterns from the 1864-1871 Design Register.  Transferware collectors may recognize some of the patterns. Access the register.

Spode Exhibition Online

TCC partners with the Winterthur Museum and the Potteries Museum to launch leading edge interactive online exhibition of first period Spode printed ceramics. Learn more.

1630 Wedgwood / Enoch Wood Bible at Auction 

September 1st update to auction of this historic bible: the $10,000 opening bid was not attained, and the Bible, as of now, is unsold. Developments, if any, will be reported. More information on this remarkable item.

Robert Copeland passes away September 10, 2010

More information.

Did Benjamin Franklin Invent Transferware? 

Photo

Wendy Erich's research into Benjamin Franklin's claim that he invented transferware, funded by a TCC Research Grant.

Download the article


Citation: Erich, Wendy.  "Did Benjamin Franklin invent transferware?", The Burlington Magazine 1288 Vol. CLII (July 2010): 464-469.

TCC Member Seeks Images of Tiles

Sandie Fowler needs images of tiles for a book she is authoring. Download the list of tiles she needs. Below are some examples:

Tile Tile Tile
Tile Tile Tile
Tile Tile  

1820s Pearlware filled-in transfers; patterns and attributions
by Pete Christmas

PitchersMembers receive access to full article
Pearlware blue-printed transferwares are sometimes found with ‘filled-in’ enamel colours of plum, yellow, brick-red and green, usually painted on chinoiserie patterns with a distinctive deep cobalt blue background.  Often on ale jugs or mugs and less commonly on spill vases; their factory marks usually have the description ‘Opaque China’, together with the initials of the manufacturer.  This ‘filled-in’ style of pearlware had a brief popularity commencing during the reign of George IV in the 1820s, and was made in Staffordshire, Bristol, Sunderland and possibly Swansea.   Pitchers

My aim in this research article was to describe the manufacturers and known patterns, giving attributions for factory marks where possible; including guidance on attribution of unmarked wares.   I show what evidence exists to support these attributions, paying particular attention to regional differences.  The paper also examines in more detail the various ‘Boy in the door’ patterned wares, illustrating and listing the characteristics of five different engraving types in relation to their region of manufacture. Photographs of all the currently known patterns of this genre are included, together with a table of factory marks.
Members receive full access | Purchase access to article for $5

TCC Members Stick Together.  

Pat Halfpenny describes TCC members' recent experience helping the NPS Philadelphia Independence Living History Center Archaeology Laboratory assemble transferware shards and identify patterns. Read entire account | Supplemental Information
Posted March 2010

Three Arms of the States Series platters recently sold

Three Arms of the States Series platters recently sold at the January 2010 Pook & Pook, Inc. auction.

Plate

Arms of North Carolina
11-1/2 X 14-3/4"
Sold for $3744

Plate

Arms of Pennsylvania
16 X 21"
Sold for $30,420

Plate

Arms of Delaware
13 X 17"
Sold for $9945

Information from Maine Antique Digest, April 2010 issue; source of images TCC Database of Patterns and Sources.
Posted April 2010

World’s Largest Transferware Jug ??? 

Toddler standing  in large mugWell, maybe not, but certainly this one stands out, for both its exceptional size as well as contents!  Thanks to Dennis and Ann Berard for this photo, featuring their lovely grand daughter, Ellie, age nine months (at time of the photo).

The jug is 24" tall & 28" across from spout to handle. The top half consists of four repeating scenes of men playing cricket on the lawn of  Windsor Castle. The bottom half is four repeating scenes of a man, woman, and children, the man with a long spyglass looking out over a large city, possibly London. Abergavenny, location of Richard and John Shaw’s shop, is in South Wales.  Such huge jugs and other oversized ware were not intended for use, except as advertisement for the retail establishment named on the jug or to exhibit the skill of the maker (or both).

 We welcome submittal of photos of other exceptional items.

Robert Copeland Attic Collection Sale

On Tuesday 9th June 2009, Louis Taylor Fine Auctioneers and Valuers in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, sold the Robert Copeland Attic Collection, most of the items having belonged to his father, Mr A. Gresham Copeland. Both Items Front view of supper set Side view of supper set  William Taylor Copeland and Thomas Garrett bought the Spode factory in 1833, and the collection consisted of many early pieces of Spode blue and white pearlware in a variety of patterns and all shapes and sizes, with examples from the Copeland and Garrett and Copeland periods, and a few from the 20th century.

The 148 lots included items in bone china and ironstone in addition to pearlware, as well as wares made by Spode's competitors, such as Rogers, Clews, Davenport and Turner.

Most items have labels with the initials AGC, the collection number, and often details of where and when they were acquired, which make the objects even more interesting.

A West Country dealer was lucky to acquire a supper set in its original tray, with only the egg cups missing and in perfect condition (see photos).  The dealer stated that it was something which will be hard to part with.

--  submitted by Sue Wagstaff

Help the NPS Identify PatternsClub Info

 The Independence Living History Center Archeology Laboratory in Philadelphia (part of the National Park Service) has posted images of partially reconstructed pieces of transferware from excavations of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.  They have identified numerous patterns (many more than the two identified patterns on the site), but many are unidentified.   Please visit the web site  www.archphoto.p-j.net  and help the NPS identify these patterns. Below you will see some examples of their work.

"Ceramic Feeders" Website

On occasion, a truly wonderful web site comes to our attention.  Such is the case with www.ceramicfeeders.com, a site subtitled “Ceramic Infantilia of the 19th Century”.  We won’t write a long review; anyone viewing this note can link to the site.  Just take a look at the site’s home page images; you will be hooked.  Many Transferware items, as well as wonderful forms featuring Transferware as well as other means of decoration.   All British and primarily 19th century (although one page is devoted to some great 20th century examples).  Enjoy!  One example on an infant feeder, courtesy of Merlin Antiques (no connection to “Ceramic Feeders”), is shown below.
--  submitted by David Hoexter

Child's feeder

Pot Lids

Pot Lids are small glazed transfer-printed earthenware containers, consisting of a base and lid, which were made from the 1840s through the early 20th century (some forms of pot lids may date from the second half of the 18th century).  They contained many products, such as ointments, tooth paste, cold cream, shaving products food pastes, hair pommade, etc.  What do they have to do with transferware?  The manufacture or retail supplier name and product, often with an image, are transfer-printed on the lids.  

Pot lids were produced by the millions, by some of the same UK makers who produced the transferware you see elsewhere on this site, but few remain, as they were generally discarded after use.  Pot lids are both mono and poly-chromatic (including so-called Prattware lids).  We plan to do much more with pot lids on this web site in the future.

Three Pot Lids

More Pot Lids

Examples of American-themed pot lids, generously provided by Greg Dean of Dean Antiques, http://www.deantiques.com/PLG/index.htm, are attached.

More Information

Philadelphia Excavations Revisited

Photo with woman working on transferwareYou may have read of the National Park Service archeological excavations in Philadelphia (examples of recovered shards are shown in "Transferware Serendipity", Summer/Fall 2007 TCC Bulletin), and the considerable number of shards unearthed within the city block which is now occupied by the National Constitution Center.  A year after initially viewing some of the shards, TCC members Sue and Frank Wagstaff revisited the Independence Living History Center Archeology Lab, to check on progress in identifying the finds.  The attached views show several transferware (and other pottery) being pieced together, and the use of printouts from the TCC Database to identify patterns and assist the volunteers in their work.  Another example of the benefits of the Database

Plate being reconstructed
Cups being reconstructed

Status of Spode Factory Sale and Collections at Stoke-on-Trent: Friends of the Spode Museum have a Website with up-to-date information on the status of the museum. Contributions can be made through PayPal. www.spodefriends.org.uk | December 2007 Status | Details  | Spode Press Release | Message for Transferware Collectors | December 2006 Newsletter

Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibition, Colonial Philadelphia Porcelain: the Art of Bonnin and Morris, an exhibit of rare American-made underglaze blue porcelain closed June 1, 2008. Read more about this exhibition
The San Francisco Ceramics Circle has prepared a list of Museums with Major Collections of Ceramics, available at the following link: http://www.patricianantiques.com/sfccmuseumlist.html.  Transferware is included in many of the entries.

Four Classics on the Internet
Classic pottery books from the turn of the (last) century featuring transferware are available (some for free) on the Net. Each is a must for serious collectors. All are occasionally available in the original edition; each has been subsequently reprinted. However, three of the four are available for free as PDF downloads.

China Collecting in America (1892, Alice Morse Earle); 12.1 MB PDF download from Google Books http://books.google.com/

The Old China Book (1903, N. Hudson Moore); 46 MB PDF download from Internet Archive Universal Library http://www.archive.org/details/oldchinabook013639mbp. Reviewed in the Autumn 2003 TCC Bulletin.

The Blue China Book (1916, Ada Walker Camehl) http://books.google.com/books (apparently still under copyright; need to purchase).

Anglo American Pottery, Old English China with American Views (1901, Edwin Atlee Barber); 4.5 MB PDF download from Google Books http://books.google.com/books

—submitted by David Hoexter

Recent article on Transferware: Journalist/writer Caroline Tiger, who attended our 2006 Philadelphia meeting, has published her article on Transferware.
The 2007 Eastfield Village Symposium "British Ceramics:  The Development of Technical Genius in the British Ceramic Industry -- 1650-1850" (June 22--24, 2007) has run its course. Click here for a description of the symposium (as it was planned).  We are hopeful one of the attendees will provide us with a summary and highlights of the event!

Photo - China TureenThis ironstone china vegetable dish, made by E. F. Bodley and Company, of Burslem, Staffordshire, England, bears the motto of the CSS Alabama, "AIDE TOI ET DIEU T'AIDERA" (loosely translated: "God helps those who help themselves"). --submitted by TCC Member Jane Diemer, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution web site.

"Northern Ceramics Summer School" by Connie Rogers. The annual Northern Ceramics Society (NCS) Summer School ran from August 8 to 13 at the University of Chester in the U.K. The theme of the conference was "Looking at the Evidence". Various lectures .... more info

Swansea Verse JugLate-18th century pearlware jug, probably Swansea, barrel shape with out-turned foot and simple strap handle, printed in blue. Large floral sprays on either side of a verse "Sit down & spend a Social hour / In harmless mirth & fun / Let Friendship reign be just & Kind / And evil speak of none", all beneath a geometric border and with a different geometric border around the inside of the rim. Height 17.6 cm, unmarked, circa 1790-1800. Sold at auction February 2005 for 1300 GBP plus buyer's premium (estimate was 500!).
--submitted by Dick Henry wood
Enlarged View

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