Saturday, February 18, 2017


There is no real transferware connection here (so I added some lovely Japanesque patterns below),  but I wanted to tell you about a poetry reading I attended recently.  Yumiko Tsumura read from her newly published book, "Woman of March."  Every word in each poem left me both wanting to know more about the poet and wanting to know more about myself. I realize that describing a poem is like describing the taste of chocolate. You have to experience it for yourself.  So, here are the first few lines of her poem: "My Pacific War on the Hidaka Plain."

When I was six years old
I ate rice porridge and potato vines
occasionally broiled locusts
and chewed sugar cane
all the flowers were gone
And the last few lines from her poem about her mother, which is titled "Wrinkles."

when lost and tired
I wish I could crawl
in between her soft
wrinkles and

All of the poems in the book make for a poetry memoir.  I recommend that you read it.

Here is the vague transferware connection;  the patterns are Japanesque Aesthetic Movement patterns that were popular at the end of the 19th century.   They are based on motifs taken from Japanese decoration, which became popular following the 1862 International Exhibition in London and the 1867 and 1878 International Exhibits in Paris.  Such decoration remained in vogue for the rest of the 19th century. 

Davenport (1794-1887) pattern "4241" porcelain saucer
W.T.Copeland (& Sons) 1847-1970 pattern "2/2147" or Chrysanthemum pattern plate, ca. 1884.
J. Meir & Son (1837-1897) "Bamboo" 10.25 inch plate.

Maker Unknown Fans and Butterflies pattern 6.75 inch jug, ca. 1880.
Bovey Tracey Potteries (1842-1957) "Fan" 10 inch plate, ca. 1880.

Maker Unknown 9 inch jug in a pattern known as Japanese Vase, ca. 1880.

The transferware is a digression.  Read "Woman of March!"

Friday, February 10, 2017


Josiah Wedgwood (1759-2005) "February."  The pattern was designed by Helen Miles for a series of tiles that were later used as the center of plates with various borders, ca, 1880.  The border is known as "Mikado."  The border was used by Wedgwood for a series of Japanese inspired tiles.  And this series.

February is birthday month in my family: two of my sons and my granddaughter.  We celebrate Jonas' birthday on the 8th, Maya's on the 15th, and David's on the 21st.  We eat a lot of cake.

I thought this would be a good time to show you a few February transferware patterns.

Here is a later rendition of the Wedgwood pattern seen above.  Notice that the "tile" has disappeared from the center.  Obviously, a different border was used too.

This 6.62 inch plate with a molded alphabet border is part of a series of months.  Although each month is printed on the plate and has a scene to match the month, every pattern has the same poem: "Summers (sic) Sun Is Warm And Bright/Winters (sic) Snow Is Cold And White/Autumn Brings Us Sheaves Of Grain/Spring Will Scatter Flowers Again/Pleasant Changes God Arranges All Throughout The Year."  

Beech, Hancock & Co.  (1851-1855) 6.5 inch plate with a molded daisy border.  It is part of "The Seasons" series.  Each plate features a scene that represents the month of the year plus a poem.  Here the words are; "Now vapours gross obscure the air/Or by the northern blast congealed/The trees their hoary honours bear/Or sheets of snow blanch oer (sic) the field."  To me this is pure doggerel!

Scott (1800-1897) 6.5 inch child's plate with a molded daisy border. If you look carefully behind the man's left shoulder and to the right of his head, you will see the two fish that represent the Pisces astrological sign.

The February birthdays need cake.  I meant to take a photo of the chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and chocolate buttercream filling that took me more than two hours to make, but I forgot!  Here is what's left.  I made it for Jonas' birthday dinner.

Here is what's left of Jonas' birthday cake.  People liked the frosting best. 

One more thing.  Is there a "Happy Birthday" transferware plate?  Yes.

William Hackwood (1827-1843) 7 inch child's plate made for the Dutch market.  The words, translated from the Dutch, mean "Happy Day of your Birth or Happy Birthday."  What a lovely gift for a child's birthday. 

We also have family birthdays in March (two), May, June (four), July, August, September, November (two), December, and January.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Shell Edge 6.38 inch plate printed with a rooster or cock, ca. 1810.

According to the 12 year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.  The New Year begins on January 28 and lasts until February 15.  As I have mentioned in other *Chinese New Year posts (see below), each animal has symbolic meaning.  The rooster is the symbol of fidelity and punctuality. And more.

The rooster was a popular 19th century transferware pattern.  Here are a few. 

Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co. (1862-1904) "Fables" 9.75 inch plate.  The title refers to the Fables of Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695).  There are at least 24 different patterns in this series.  

Maker Unknown, 5.5 plate printed with a version of the Fox "Quadrupeds" pattern seen next.  Both are copied from the same source print, which is found the "Cabinet of Quadrupeds" by John Church.

John Hall (& Sons) 1814-1832 "Quadrupeds" undertray, ca. 1825.

"Fox" print (notice that the rooster appears to be warning the farmer that foxes are in the barnyard) from the "Cabinet of Quadrupeds" by John Church, 1805.
Look at the plates above again.  You'll see that the fox in the "Quadrupeds" pattern is not standing on the dead chicken that is found in the source print.  The pattern on the small plate kept the dead chicken.  I think that some potters thought a pattern that included a dead animal might not be appetizing!  By the way, if these patterns look familiar,  you can see them in my post "Recognition of the Familiar and a Transferware Fox."

One more pattern.

Child's jug printed with a rooster.  It is copied from a print by the English engraver and naturalist, Thomas Bewick 1753-1828).

Thomas Bewick's print.

You may wonder why someone who writes about British transferware is writing about Chinese New Year.   Simple.  I like animals and animal patterns.

Chinese Zodiac

If you want to know more about Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rooster, follow this link.

*Here are links to my other Chinese New Year posts.
Dragon For The Chinese New Year
Year Of The Horse
Year Of The Sheep/Goat/Ram
Year Of The Monkey 2016

Sunday, January 29, 2017


Chocolate Dutch Baby with strawberries, blueberries, and powdered sugar.  *I know this plate isn't transferware, so see the bottom of this post.  

Three things were new to me in January 1977: a husband, a kitchen, and a Dutch Baby.  Not a human baby, he came later, but a buttery, fluffy, huge pancake that was gorgeous to look at (for a minute before it deflated) and delicious to eat.  The recipe arrived by mail in the January 1977 issue of Sunset Magazine.  I liked the Dutch Baby so much that I think made it nearly every week for 10 years, and then I didn't.   My kitchen grew old and my children complained.  They wanted meat!  Recently, two things happened.  I remodeled my kitchen!  And, a recipe for a Chocolate Dutch Baby arrived by email from the superb cooking blog, Smitten Kitchen.  I had never thought of adding chocolate to a Dutch Baby. It seemed perfect without it.  But I tried it and loved it, so I thought I'd share the recipe.

Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Dutch Baby January 17, 2017.  You'll get more information from the link, but I added some of my ideas here.

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
6 tablespoons (50 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (15 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, any variety, sifted if lumpy.  (I used Peet's unsweetened Dutch Cocoa)
1/2 cup (120ml) milk (I used 1%, but use whole milk if you have it)
4 tablespoons (60 grams) unsalted butter
Shaved dark chocolate and powdered sugar (to finish) I skipped the extra chocolate, but I did use the powdered sugar.
Fresh berries and syrup (to serve, if desired)  I used blueberries and strawberries, but no syrup.

Whisk (I haven't used my circa 1960s whisk in years) eggs, sugar and salt in the bottom of a medium bowl.  I  actually used the largest of my 1970s Pyrex bowls because I am a messy mixer.  Add flour and cocoa, whisking until mostly smooth (some tiny lumps are okay, but whisk out what you can).  Drizzle in milk, whisking the whole time.

Heat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet on the stove over high heat.  Add butter and melt, tipping the pan around so it butters the sides too.  Turn heat off and scrape batter into the pan.  Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until pancake is billowy.

Fluffy in the oven.

Just like my old Dutch Babies, the pancake deflates quickly.



This half of the Dutch Baby held its shape better than the half on the plate at the top of this post.  The plate is decorated with the hand-painted "Valencia" pattern made by Arabia in Finland, ca. 1960.

Here are some of my Chocolate Dutch Baby thoughts.  Despite its sweet sounding name, it is not that sweet.  I suggest using the shaved chocolate and the syrup if you have a sweet tooth.  If you want a light chocolate pancake to enhance you fruit experience (I did), than leave out the extra sweets.

One more thing.  Here is the original Dutch Baby recipe from 1977.   I always tore out my favorite Sunset recipes and put them in a folder.  I am so glad I saved them!

Sunset Magazine, January 1977

Sunset Magazine Dutch Baby
I know it's too small to read, so below I present the recipe for the large version Dutch Baby.   I always made the largest Dutch Baby (there are different sizes).

Heat oven to 425 degrees
Pan Size: 4-1/2 - 5 quarts - I used a 14.5 inch paella pan.
1/2 cup butter
6 eggs
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups milk

Put the butter in the pan and set in the oven. Mix the batter quickly while the butter melts (I always had the mixture ready before I did this).
Put eggs in a blender, and whirl at high speed for about 1 minute.
With motor running, gradually pour in milk, then slowly add flour, and continue to whirl for about 30 seconds more.  It is so easy to do in a blender!
This is when I put the pan in the oven and melt the butter.  When butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter into the hot melted butter.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
Use your favorite topping.  Perhaps chocolate? 

*Actually, I should have plated the Dutch Baby on a transferware plate, but I didn't.  The Dutch Baby would have looked beautiful on any of my transferware plates.  Or yours. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


John Meir (1812-1836) "Flora Pattern" 10 inch plate, ca. 1825.

January 21 is National Squirrel Day.  As I have mentioned before, there appears to be a national day for almost everything.  I love squirrels.  (Not so much when they eat my birdseed.)  I have written about squirrels before,* so take a look at the links at the bottom of this post.  Luckily for me, squirrels were popular transferware patterns, so I have a few more to show you.  Remember that the squirrel you see on 19th century English transferware  is the Eurasian or British red squirrel, not the interloper who goes by the name of the Eastern or American grey (sometimes gray) squirrel.  The print below is the source print for the squirrel in the "Flora Pattern" plate above.  It is from the "Cabinet of Quadrupeds" by John Church.

"Common Squirrel" from the "Cabinet of Quadrupeds" by John Church, 1805. This is a red squirrel.

The following patterns are similar to the source print, but were probably not copied from it.

This cup may be from a child's tea service.  I like the excellent print.

"A Squirrel For Mary" child's yellow glazed mug

Child's Mug

Child's plate with a molded alphabet border

Many squirrel patterns appear on children's items.  For example, the child's teapot below. It is printed with a squirrel copied from Thomas Bewick's "The General History Of Quadrupeds," which was first published in 1790. 

Child's teapot printed with a squirrel copied from Thomas Bewick's "The General History Of Quadrupeds," which was first published in 1790. 

"The Squirrel" from "The General History of Quadrupeds" by Thomas Bewick. 

 The squirrels below are part of Aesthetic Movement patterns. All, except the child's plate, are on items intended for use by adults. 

T. & R. Boote (1842-1906) 6 inch by 6 inch tile known as Four Seasons, ca. 1880.

Unknown Maker, 6.5 inch Pitcher, ca. 1880

David Methven & Sons (1847-1928) "Squirrel" pattern 10.5 inch bowl, ca. 1880.

Child's plate with a molded alphabet border, a squirrel, and Aesthetic Movement decoration.

As I said, I do love squirrels, just not the mess they make of my bird feeder!

Squirrel on my bird feeder.  It is an American Grey Squirrel.  The squirrel needed to jump onto the roof of my house and shimmy down the feeder in order to steal the food!

*Endangered Animals And Transferware and "Flora Pattern" And Squirrels

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


All of these photos are featured in one of my blog posts.  See if you can find them.

January 17, 2017 is the fourth anniversary of "Dishy News - A Transferware Blog."  I have published 257 posts.   As I have done in the past, I shall show the posts that are the most popular.  I'll also show some of my personal favorites.  I mainly want to thank everyone who reads my blog.  There would be no blog without readers and encouragement!

My most popular post ever is "Clematis."  I think gardeners are hoping for some planting and pruning information!

"Crimean War Again" probably appeals to people seeking more information about this politically charged area.

What is this?  The debate goes on.  Read "What Is A Custard Cup."

Aesop's Fables "The Dog In The Manger" is a "Dishy News" favorite.  And mine too!

Another question is what is the difference between shell edge and feather edge.  Read "Shell Edge Or Feather Edge?"

"Yellow Transferware" may be more appreciated today than when it was new.  Take a look.

Below are some of my personal favorites.  Actually, I like most of the posts.

"Spodes Love Chase"

"Ferrets On Transferware"

"In The Wood Or Little Red Riding Hood Again"

Here are links to the first three anniversary blog posts.  They contain many photos and links.

First Anniversary

Second Anniversary

Third Anniversary

Thanks again for reading my blog!  

All of these patterns are in my blog posts.  Can you find them?