research and learning

The Italian Pattern: The story of an iconic 19th century transferware design

The Italian Pattern: The story of an iconic 19th century transferware design
Halliday, Richard

Spode's Italian pattern surely has to be one of the most recognizable and indeed most iconic designs in the history of transfer printed pottery. It is possibly true to say that almost every home, antique shop, antique show and museum around much of the world has at least one example of this pattern within it. From its inception in 1816, it has largely remained in production until this day and this must be seen as a phenomenal achievement.

TCC member Richard Halliday, sponsored by the Paul and Gladys Richards Foundation and Transferware Collectors Club, has exhaustively documented the history and presentation of this pattern on transfer printed pottery. Halliday has catalogued the extensive collection of Andrew and Adrienne Richards (no relation to the Richards Foundation), but has gone way beyond mere cataloguing and presentation of images. His work encompasses the introduction of Spode's famous Italian pattern. It explores how the pattern was produced and copied by many other potters in the early nineteenth century and it explains how this was allowed in the period prior to the copyright act. Filled with hundreds of color images, Mr. Halliday's work catalogs the different potters producing the pattern and shows the variation in their approach, including shapes, colors, quality of wares, and more.

Free download from TCC site:

  • High-resolution PDF -- suitable for printing (large file, download may take 6-7 minutes; please be patient)
  • Low-resolution PDF -- suitable for online viewing (relatively quick download)