Transferware is about as close as you can get to printing on ceramics. Developed in Staffordshire, England in around 1760, the technique consists of transferring a print from an engraved and inked copper plate to a sheet of paper.

The paper is then applied to the unfired clay, be it earthenware or bone china, which absorbs the ink from the paper. After the paper is removed, the clay is glazed and fired.

Staffordshire had long been a center for fine ceramics, but the Industrial Revolution made the area a center for mass-produced wares for England’s growing middle class. Transferware permitted potteries to produce far more than if they were hand painting everything, which Wedgwood and especially Spode capitalized on.

The sources for the earliest transferware designs were 18th-century blue-and-white porcelain platters and plates from China, which were very popular in England at the time. Italian scenes were also replicated in blue on white. During this early period in transferware, patterns such as Willow were introduced and quickly became entrenched in the form’s visual vocabulary.

After the War of 1812, Staffordshire potteries produced imagery calculated to appeal to American customers. Around 1820, a pottery called Ridgeway created a series of what is today regarded as Historical Blue Staffordshire, or Old Blue as it’s sometimes known, called “Beauties of America.” These handsome, patriotic pieces depicted important U.S. buildings such as City Hall in New York.

Other potteries turned out jugs and platters bearing pictures of Boston Harbor and Niagara Falls. And potter Thomas Mayer produced a highly collectible series of transferware pieces known as the “Arms of America,” which featured coats of arms for many American states.

By about 1830, some potteries were pushing the limits of blue on white by adding lime or ammonia to a kiln during firing, which made the blue glaze run or flow. These “flown” pie...

English manufacturers of antique flow blue included Wedgwood, Johnson Brothers, Minton, Royal Doulton, and Swansea. Patterns ranged from Blue Danube to Idris to the classic Willow. As for the objects themselves, they ranged from teapots to platters to vases. Even dog bowls were produced in flow blue.

One interesting subset of flow blue is the blue-marble effect. All-over patterns such as Lazuli lent itself to this look: When given the flow-blue treatment, the pattern would blur so that from afar the object resembled a piece of carved, blue-veined marble.

Today, collectors choose transferware based on the pottery, the subject, or even the border. Some like to collect only pieces with “Crown, Acorn, & Oak Leaf” borders, others prefer “Tulips,” or “Pineapple,” or “Grapevine.”

Use is the last major transferware-collecting category. Plates and bowls, of course, are good examples of objects designed for everyday use, while platters where often reserved for special occasions, which means their transferred patterns are often more elaborate and intricate.

Dessert items can range from pierced plates and baskets to footed serving dishes. Teapots and cups are also popular, as are jugs, ladles, and a category of specialized items delicately described as toilet ware.

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Antique 36 Piece Blue & White Transferware Childs Dinner/tea Set Fishers C.e.&m Dark Blue Staffordshire Transferware Creamer Bear Forest Ireland Ca 1825Antique 19th C English Chinoiserie Transferware Porcelain Purple Pitcher #2 YqzDark Blue Staffordshire Transferware Sugar Dish Gilead House LancashireDark Blue Staffordshire Transferware Creamer Bear Forest Ireland Ca 1825Antique Minton Aesthetic Transferware Platter Faisan Pheasant 1887Antique Phillips Marino Pattern Transferware Platter, Burslem, StaffordshireJohn Ridgway Red Staffordshire Transferware Giraffe Covered Sugar BowlJohn Ridgway Red Staffordshire Transferware Giraffe 15"x13" Serving PlatterAntique 19th C English Chinoiserie Transferware Purple Porcelain Chamber Pot Yqz1889-1918 O&eg Royal Austria Transferware Hand Painted Roses Gilt Fish Plate YqzAntique Child's Abc Plate Macabre Seal Hunting Scene Staffordshire Transfer WareCapper & Wood Brown Transferware 3 Pc Covered Butter Dish Rooster Bee Wasp Nr Old Antique 19th C Miles Mason Blue Transferware Sm Platter Or Tray Willow StyleHawthorn Tg & Fb Square Covered Dish Handled Brown Transfer WareSet (8) Copeland Spode's Seasons Blue & White Transferware Cabinet Dinner PlatesAntique 1880s Brown Transferware Shaw's Peruvian Horse Hunt Luncheon PlatesAntique Transferware Black Plate Gorgeous Birds Motif Leaves & MedallionsAntique Aesthetic Brown Transfer Ware Platter Stratford H. Alcock & Co 1881Mulberry Transferware Chutney Dish Fruit Basket Wm Ridgway Staffordshire 1850 Large Antique Brown Transferware Bowl With Birds - Pb &s Feather Mark Song BirdsMason's Vista Blue And White England Ironstone Transferware Octagontal BowlAntique Staffordshire Transferware Mug The House That Jack Built Ca 1825Antique 1830 Staffordshire Large Dark Blue Transferware Pains Hill Surrey BowlAntique 1880s Brown Transferware Shaw's Peruvian Horse Hunt Dinner PlatesEnglish Scenery Enoch Woods Ware Blue Transferware Casserole Dish Acorn FinialGorgeous Antique Flow Blue Transferware Large 16" Platter Botanical PatternStaffordshire Transferware Black Ironstone Milk Jug PitcherLot Of 5 Ironstone Pottery Brown Transferware Aesthetic Butter Pats Small DishBrown Aesthetic Transferware Ironstone Butter Pat America Staffordshire 1883Antique Davenport Flow Black Transferware Large Sugar2 Alfred Meakin Dinnerware Red Transferware England Tonquin 10" Dinner PlatesCattle Scenery Vint Adams Plate 1915 Rare Green Transfer Ware 8" Staffordshire2-handle Jar Wedgwood & Co Melton Blue Transferware C1883 Dog Fox Pheasant BirdBrown Transferware Two Handled Serving Bowl & Plate Floral Pattern GildingChurchill "the Brook" Pink Transferware (5) SaucersFranconia Notch Nh Blue Transferware Souvenir Plate English StaffordshireVintage Red Willow Japan Transferware Oval Serving BowlVintage Red Willow Japan Transferware Creamer - Small PitcherRidgway Historic Flow Blue Transferware Plate Christ Church OxfordVinatge Red Willow Japan Transferware Dishes LotEnoch Wood & Sons Blue Transferware Creamer English Scenery PatternTwo Spode Blue Tower England Transferware Salad Plates 7 5/8'' DiaSpode Blue Room Collection England Transferware Warwick Vase Dinner Plate Antique Tureen Ladle Transferware Blue Patt.staffordshire Pottery,unmarked C1900East Liverpool Pottery Semi-vitreous Cream Pitcher Geen Transferware AntiqueJohnson Bros England Chippendale Lid Cover Red Transferware Dinnerware Vintage Royal Wessex Soup Tureen Red Transferware Hunting Horses & Dogs W LadleBeauti Antique English China Flow Blue Transferware Two Handled Vegetable Bowl Mason's Bow Bells Brown Oval Serving Bowl And Cup With Saucer Transfer WareSpode Blue Room Collection Warwick Vase Plate Transferware 10 1/2"Antique 1885 W T Copeland & Sons Midnight Blue Transferware "delhi" Dinner Plate

Recent News: Transferware

Source: Google News

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Sweet transferware dishes are so versatile you could transform them for every season simply by pairing them with different accent colors: red for the holidays, blue for spring, orange for summer. For a fall table, we brought in shades of browns through...Read more

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When Spode came out with a line of transferware dishes that depicted hunting dogs, I fell in love. These richly colored pieces are especially lovely in the fall and winter, when you want warmer, deeper, earthy tones in your decor. If a full set of...Read more

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Style: Old things to love
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Transferware: If my house was on fire, I would run back in for my transferware dishes. A quick snapshot of history: Transferware was developed in England in the 1750s as a way to mass produce dinnerware so it was accessible and affordable for middle...Read more

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