research and learning

Research Articles

Yellow Transfer Printed Brown Ware
Rogers, Connie in Database Discoveries

Yellow Transfer Printed Brown Ware – referred to here as YPB – is a type of transferware that has only recently been added to the TCC Database. Some collectors of transferware may not be aware of this type of transfer decoration as it is not commonly found. Over the years, I have noted a number…

Transferware Darning Eggs
Siddall, Judie in Database Discoveries

A request from Tony Calvin of Cumbria, England about a possible attribution of a jug to the (John) Wilkinson Pottery of Whitehaven, West Cumberland (1820-1867), led to the serendipitous discovery of the uses of the rare egg-shaped transfer printed objects that I have been fascinated by for years…

Wood’s Italian Scenery
Kling, Len in Database Discoveries

Very little is known today about the life of early 19th century artist Elizabeth Frances Batty. She was the sister of Captain Robert Batty, a member of the Grenadier Guards whose military career was ended by wounds received at the Battle of Waterloo, and who was also an artist. Although like her…

Aesthetic Movement Transferware Some Things of Beauty (and Utility)
Robbins, Rita in Database Discoveries

The Aesthetic Movement patterns are distributed into six sub-categories at this time: Birds, Border Only, Cartouches, Floral, Japanesque and Other. The intent here is to show a few of the unusual patterns in some of those categories. Perhaps it will entice you to look further at this section,…

What’s in a Word: Vocabulary Discoveries from Transfer-Printed Advertising Ware
Hoexter, David in Database Discoveries

It's amazing what one can learn from transferware and the examples included in our Database. English 19th century advertising product containers and other ware contain a wealth of vocabulary or word usage which I have never heard before. Often related to medicinal products, these words offer the…

British Shipping Company China
Rogers, Connie in Database Discoveries

The database is made much richer with the patterns and information sent to us by TCC members. Aside from a willow pattern platter that I found many years ago with its mark of the Allan Line, I was not aware of the many types and styles of transferware produced in the U. K. for individual ships…

Inappropriate Patterns for Children
Siddall, Judie in Database Discoveries

Children haven’t changed in the past two hundred years, but the concept of childhood and what is appropriate for children has changed. Nineteenth century British children’s mugs and plates were created as inexpensive gifts or rewards to teach religion and the alphabet as well as to delight with…

Enoch Wood’s No. 106 Series
Kling, Len in Database Discoveries

Enoch Wood's No.106 Series of European views was probably produced in the early to mid 1830s. Unlike many series of patterns dating from that time, it was not made in a variety of hues, but always in a very attractive two-color combination, a yellow printed border with contrasting floral sprays…

Surprising Spout Prints
Dodd, DeeDee in Database Discoveries

Every once in a while, when working as an editor in the TCC Pattern and Source Print Database, one is completely surprised. It might be when a marked piece in a pattern surfaces, and it suddenly becomes possible to identify the maker of that pattern. It might be when one finds evidence of copper…

Don’t Believe Everything You Read on that Plate
Kling, Len in Database Discoveries

It's a painful thing to have to admit, because we all love our dishes and want to be able to trust them. However, the plain truth is that for almost two centuries, some of them have been deceiving their owners. We read the pattern marks and naturally take it for granted that what is printed…

Death and Bereavement on Transfer-Printing
Parkes, Colin Murray in Database Discoveries

Death is an unpopular topic in our society and we may ask why anyone would want to include death-related imagery on items intended to decorate homes or to be used in the daily consumption of food and drink. A systematic trawl of the current TCC database reveals 104 patterns that are directly…

#13 - Yes – Transfer-Printed Tiles are in the Database
Rogers, Connie in Database Discoveries

Tiles are among the earliest examples of the use of ceramic material for decorative purposes. We may think of the blue and white Dutch Delft tiles found on fireplace surrounds in the 18th century. As the popularity of tin-glazed tiles declined, the production of tiles dwindled away until the…

Source Prints (Not Just Pretty Pictures)
Palmer, Weston H. in Database Discoveries

The Transferware Collectors Club (TCC) database, now with over 11,000 records, also has well over 750 source prints, the supposed inspiration to the potter of the scene or depiction on his ceramic creation. The source print is sometimes a real life scene and sometimes imaginary. Many of the…

Mozart, The Magic Flute, The Masons, And America
Siddall, Judie in Database Discoveries

I decided to look for Masonic patterns in the TCC Pattern and Source Print Database in the hopes of learning more about the Masons. I remembered that I had entered a Masonic pattern in the Children's Subjects Category of the Database (left). It features a maxim by Benjamin Franklin (remember…

A Scottish Mystery
Sack, Michael in Database Discoveries

A simple question from a friend, a retired historian, has set off a chain of research and highlighted a mystery. My friend saw on eBay a 2-7/8” plate titled “Indian Chiefs” (Figure 1) and asked me if I knew of a source print for it. It was made by John Thomson at the Annfield Pottery in Scotland…

Transfer-Printed Rice Plates for the South-East Asia Market
Rogers, Connie in Database Discoveries

One of the greatest achievements in transfer printing in the last half of the 19th century was led by J. & M. P. Bell of Glasgow, Scotland. The firm was established in 1842 by the two brothers: John and Matthew Perston Bell. They began by producing useful kitchen wares. By the 1860s they…

The News That Pratt Thought Fit to Print
Kling, Len in Database Discoveries

Potters like Enoch Wood, Davenport and William Smith had been experimenting since the 1830s with the application of multi-colored transfers to dinner wares and tea wares, but it was not until about 1846 that patents were taken out on a polychrome printing process that successfully emulated the…

Dark Blue Davenport
Davenport, Frank in Database Discoveries

The Davenport pottery was first documented in a 1974 book by Terry Lockett then later by Terry Lockett and Geoffrey Godden (1989). The authors tell much about the ninety-three years of operation and the wide range of ceramics and glass produced. The pottery became a limited company on 23rd April…

Ways to Fit the Transfer Pattern Onto the Ware
Rogers, Connie in Database Discoveries

Imagine the dilemma the transferer faces when the engraving at hand is not large enough to cover the entire center of the platter being decorated. Perhaps the managers of the pottery did not think it was worth the expense of cutting a larger engraving because the platter was larger than…

The “Uva” Mystery
Bouterie, Leslie in Database Discoveries

The talents of master detectives like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple are often needed to decipher the mysteries of transferware patterns. As the Floral and Botanical editor for the TCC database, I channel their skills whenever possible and try to emulate their thorough…

A Picturesque Voyage to India by Way of China
Sack, Michael in Database Discoveries

Artists Thomas and William Daniell, uncle and nephew, are best known for their monumental work, Oriental Scenery (1795-1808), a collection of 144 elephant-folio size aquatints illustrating scenes of India from their eight-year sojourn there.

Many of those aquatints were used by potters…

A Transferware Murder Mystery Episode 2 in a Transferware Detective’s Saga
Bouterie, Leslie in Database Discoveries

Just as Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot were never without baffling cases to solve, the work of a TCC Database detective is never done. Pattern identification mysteries abound, but rarely do they involve the investigation of foul play.

Spring! Time to Get Organized
Ferguson, Susan in Database Discoveries

Here’s my new database for my Brown and White transferware collection. I’m finally getting organized. I created it because my word processing program just provided me with loose sheets of paper that I would need to (four letter word) file. An Excel spreadsheet, while sortable, isn’t flexible…

Orphan Transferware Patterns and the TCC Assigned Name
Kling, Len in Database Discoveries

We all like to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves. Few of us have the independence (or the anti-social tendencies) to be comfortable with being awash in the world, without home or anchor, known to few. Consider the case, then, of the Orphan Transferware Pattern. We have all seen…

The “Uva” Mystery – Continued
Bouterie, Leslie in Database Discoveries

Ace detectives, such as Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, are always attuned to the surfacing of clues and new information, even when a mystery, supposedly, has been solved. This TCC database editor and detective shares that mindset, and was delighted when new evidence came to light regarding…

Group in India
Sack, Michael in Database Discoveries

Author Michael Sack describes the 2020 tour by 13 transferware enthusiasts to India. The group visited a number of sites that were painted by British artists in the 18th and early 19th century and subsequently incorporated as views on transferware. Images of the pottery, source prints, and…

1820s Pearlware filled-in transfers; patterns and attributions
Christmas, Pete in Richards Foundation Grant Projects

A distinct type of English filled-in transfer on pearlware appeared for a brief period in the 1820s, during the reign of George IV, made by some 17 small factories. Predominately jugs and mugs, they stand out with their brightly enamelled colouring on deep blue backgrounds, with transfer…

American Historical Transferware Treasures at the Smithsonian
Sutor, Peggy in Additional Articles and Publications

On Friday, October 21, 2011, TCC members had the fantastic opportunity to view selected items from the Ellouise Baker Larsen Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. The collection, much more extensive than the 30 pieces we were able to view, was…

Antislavery Ceramics
Digital Antiques Journal in Additional Articles and Publications

Although only one and a quarter inches in diameter, the medallion’s image of a kneeling slave in chains imploring “Am I Not a Man and a Brother” was the first, most common, and most effective anti-slavery image created by the abolition movement. The Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade…

The Architecture of Charles Bulfinch part 1
Goldberg, Hayden in Additional Articles and Publications

This is one of four articles authored by transferware collector and researcher Hayden Goldberg and originally published in The Magazine ANTIQUES. This article appeared on pp. 1198-1205, December, 1985. Courtesy BMP Media Holdings, L.L.C.