Thursday, February 19, 2015

YEAR OF THE SHEEP/GOAT/RAM

Enoch Wood & Sons (1818-1846) 5.5 inch plate featuring a ram and sheep
Source print for the above pattern is from "The Cabinet of Quadrupeds" by John Church, 1805.  Notice that the plate has the ram standing behind the sheep.  The two sheep are to the left of the ram in the source print.  And, the female has horns!  Perhaps this animal is a goat? 

The celebration of the Chinese Lunar year is five thousand years old.  There are twelve animals in the Chinese calendar; a different one for each year of a twelve year cycle.  The beginning of the Chinese New Year always falls between January 21 and February 21.  This year it begins on February 19.  It is the Year Of The Sheep or Goat or Ram.  I was a bit confused but I read good explanations on Mystery Fanfare and CNN.  It turns out that the Chinese use one character for horned animals (you'll see there is way more to it than that).   Below is a child's sugar bowl with a sheep on one side and a goat on the other.



Sugar bowl from a child's tea service, ca, 1880

Here are two more of  my favorite sheep and goat  patterns.

"Sheep" 5.62 inch child's plate

"Goat" 4.75 inch child's plate



Gung Hay Fat Choy! 
恭賀發財 Gung Hay Fat Choy!
The celebration of the Chinese Lunar year is five thousand years old.  There are twelve animals in the Chinese calendar;  a different one for each year of a twelve year cycle.   The beginning of the Chinese New Year always falls between January 21 and February 21.  This year, it began on January 31.  It is  the Year Of The Horse. - See more at: http://dishynews.blogspot.com/2014/02/year-of-horse.html#sthash.F2GBnjCH.dpuf
The celebration of the Chinese Lunar year is five thousand years old.  There are twelve animals in the Chinese calendar;  a different one for each year of a twelve year cycle.   The beginning of the Chinese New Year always falls between January 21 and February 21.  This year, it began on January 31.  It is  the Year Of The Horse. - See more at: http://dishynews.blogspot.com/2014/02/year-of-horse.html#sthash.F2GBnjCH.dpuf
The celebration of the Chinese Lunar year is five thousand years old.  There are twelve animals in the Chinese calendar;  a different one for each year of a twelve year cycle.   The beginning of the Chinese New Year always falls between January 21 and February 21.  This year, it began on January 31.  It is  the Year Of The Horse. - See more at: http://dishynews.blogspot.com/2014/02/year-of-horse.html#sthash.F2GBnjCH.dpuf
The celebration of the Chinese Lunar year is five thousand years old.  There are twelve animals in the Chinese calendar;  a different one for each year of a twelve year cycle.   The beginning of the Chinese New Year always falls between January 21 and February 21.  This year, it began on January 31.  It is  the Year Of The Horse. - See more at: http://dishynews.blogspot.com/2014/02/year-of-horse.html#sthash.F2GBnjCH.dpuf

Sunday, February 15, 2015

FOR MY DEAR GIRL


"For My Dear Girl" child's plate, ca. 1830


Children's china was often intended as a reward for good behavior, doing well in school or behaving in church.  It was also a gift of love.  My granddaughter is five today.  She has been a gift from the moment she was born. 

Here are some transferware patterns intended for dear (or good) girls.


"For A Good Girl" child's 2.5 inch mug, ca. 1820



"For a good Girl" child's 7 inch plate, ca. 1830



"A Present for a Good Girl" child's 3 inch mug, ca. 1840



"For a good Girl" child's 7 inch plate, ca. 1830



"For A Good Girl" child's alphabet mug, ca. 1820



Libby (Maya's great grandmother) at five and Maya at almost five/Libby is wearing bloomers, Maya is wearing leggings


Saturday, February 14, 2015

MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS AND TRANSFERWARE


Child's plate, ca. 1840 "Mother And Daughter Dear To Each/With A Love Surpassing Speech"  Actually, my mother and I always had a lot to say to each other!


LILLIAN (LIBBY) B. RUDOLPH (OCTOBER 15, 1920 - FEBRUARY 3, 2015)
Libby in 1943 (this is the photo my father had with him during World War II) and Libby at our Seder in 2014

My mother died last week.  As a friend said in an email the night my mother died, "losing a parent, even one who has lived such a long life, is strangely unmooring."  My friend wasn't sure "unmooring" was even a word.   The word, however, exactly described what I was feeling.  I was anchored to my mother for seventy years, and now I felt unmoored.  We were very close.  Although I always thought that I was no longer her little girl, she would remind me, even recently, that she was my mother!

Who else would care about my hair or clothes?  Who would worry that I worked too hard or had too much coffee.  Only my mother.  I was her child.

I learned everything from her.  She taught me to love books, art, music and blue pottery.  She modeled how to be a student, a wife, and a mother.  She also taught me how to live, and in the last week of her life she showed me how to die.  She was truly my role model.

Most of the transferware patterns that have to do with mothers and children or specifically mothers and daughters are sweetly saccharine.  However, they do impart the message of the importance of the mother/child bond.  The poems, written for 19th century children, are either by Mary Belson Elliot (1794?-1870) or Ann Taylor (1782-1866).

Child's 7.44 inch plate, ca. 1830 "Who sat & watch'd my infant head/When sleeping on my little bed/And tears of sweet affection shed?/My Mother"

Child's 6.7 inch plate, ca. 1830 "Who ran to help me when I fell/And would some pretty story tell/Or kiss the place to make it well/My Mother" and "Ah no the thought I cannot bear/And if God please my life to spare/I hope I shall reward my care/My Mother"

Child's plate, ca. 1820 "Who dressed my doll in clothes so gay/And taught me pretty how to play/And minded all I had to say/My Mother" and "When thou art feeble old and grey/My healthy arm shall be thy stay/And I will sooth thy pain away/My Mother"
Notice that the text on the above plates shifts from what the mother does for the child to what the child can do for the mother.


Child's 5.5 inch plate, ca. 1830 "When Age thy Faculties suspend/Who will her kind Assistance lend/And prove a never failing Friend/My Daughter"

I am so lucky to have had such a long relationship with a loving mother.  She was lucky that she never lost her faculties or became too frail.  However, she did love to take my arm.

Libby holding her child (me) in 1944 and her great grandson (Joey) in 2014


Sunday, February 1, 2015

IN THE WOOD OR LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD AGAIN



T.G. Green & Co. (1864-1987) "In The Wood" 4.12 inch saucer, ca. 1889/Notice the wolf running off to granny's house while Little Red picks flowers for her.


"Little Red Riding Hood" is one of my favorite fairy tales.  (I have written about it before in my post Little Red Riding Hood In French).  When I was a little girl, I learned so much from the story.  Listen to my mother!  Be careful in the woods because I might meet a wolf.  Wolves with good manners can be dangerous because manners can mask bad intentions.  Trust your first impressions because wolves can disguise themselves as grannies!

T. G. Green & Co. "The Wolf In Bed" plate.  This is not granny!

There are so many Red Riding Hood transferware patterns that I can only assume the story was powerful for others. Many appear on items intended for children like the saucer and small plate above, which are from a child's tea service by T.G. Green & Co.  Or, the plates below by Brownhills Pottery that depict four scenes from the story; Red Riding Hood Starting, Red Riding Hood Meets the Wolf, Red Riding Hood At Her Grandmothers (sic) Cottage, and Red Riding Hood And Her Supposed Grandmother.  I like the use of the word "supposed."


Brownhills Pottery (1872-1896)  Red Riding Hood plates

There is even the occasional pattern on a plate on mug.


"Red Riding Hood Meets The Wolf" 7.12 inch plate.  Red Riding Hood illustrates the letter "R."  Quite an unusual choice.  The letter "R" is usually represented by a rabbit or a rose.


Brownhills Pottery (1872-1896) "Little Red Riding Hood" 2.75 inch child's mug

Tiles and plates with scenes from the story were made by Wedgwood at the end of the 19th century.  Below are tiles from the series of six; Red Riding Hood waves to her mother, she meets the wolf, picks flowers for granny, the wolf meets granny, the wolf is in granny's bed, the wolf is dead (I don't remember the woodcutter killing the wolf in granny's bed, but the telling of a fairy tale is as varied as the teller).


Wedgwood Red Riding Hood tiles/There is no text but the story is easy to follow. 

Perhaps the tiles were intended to be used around the fireplace in the nursery. What fun it would be to have children tell the story while looking at the tiles.  The patterns proved popular, so the tiles were adapted to plates with the addition of borders.  Many different borders were used.  Notice that both plates are the same scene as the tile in the top middle. 


Josiah Wedgwood (1759-2005) 10 inch plate, ca. 1885/There would have been a set of six.

Josiah Wedgwood (1759-2005) 10 inch plate, ca, 1885/There would have been a set of six.

I have only shown you transferware, but there are other Red Riding Hood items like the Staffordshire figure below.


Staffordshire figure of Red Riding Hood, ca. 1860.  Notice that her cape is orange!


And a  picture from a circa 1930s book of fairy tales.


A 1930s picture of Little Red Riding Hood puzzling over her changed granny!

My favorite is a Red Riding Hood doll who changes into the granny by pulling the skirt over her head to expose granny's face and cap.  When you turn granny's cap around, you see the face of the wolf wearing granny's cap!  My theory is that we have all three beings in us; the innocent child, the dear old granny and the wicked wolf!



A topsy turvy "Little Red Riding Hood" doll, ca. 1950

The fairy tale is alive and well in the 21st century.  My granddaughter loves Nosy Crow's "Little Red Riding Hood" app.   So do I.   It is a great interactive way to teach lots of lessons and enjoy the story.




"Little Red Riding Hood" has been told in many ways for hundreds of years.  We have so many Red Riding Hood artifacts, including transferware, because the story is so loved.