The Nuneham Courtenay pattern
Richard Halliday’s latest published work is in hardback form (9” x 6”), presented over 161 pages. It is in full colour and has over 300 images. It tells the story of one of the most famous transfer-printed designs, and also explores the history behind the pattern. There are many historical images, source prints and modern-day photographs and supportive text. The book has four chapters dedicated to the pottery adorned with the Nuneham Courtenay pattern where each item has its own page with many images and full descriptions.
The Nuneham Courtenay or Wild Rose pattern has to be one of the most famous and truly iconic images in the history of pottery design and production. Its longevity of manufacture and quantity bear testament to its success and very few other designs can have this said about them. There is no doubting its success and some of the pieces manufactured in the early period (1815-1830) are as good as you will see in any form of transferware. The potting is fine as is the engraving and the pieces as a whole are superbly executed. As such, they would grace and indeed add to any collection anywhere in the world.
Apart from the fact it was a beautiful pattern having a lovely balance, rustic appeal and such soft and gentle bucolic charms, it had real history behind it too. This particular spot in our green and pleasant land owes its origins to William the Conqueror. Subsequent famous names in history such as Cardinal Wolsey, the Chaucer family and artist J. M. W. Turner have all had dealings with this area. The location as a whole was a very fashionable place for the well-to-do to visit in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The story behind the pattern is absolutely fascinating and one that is full of twists and turns and great names from the past. Finding out about these historical points of interest certainly puts it into context and really brings the pattern to life. This is so much more than just a made-up, boring and inanimate pattern. If you continue reading you will find out its rich history.
In short, enjoy the pattern, learn more about it as it has so much to offer and much more than people often think and give it credit for.
Copies are exclusively available from R & R Halliday at £25 sterling plus shipping.