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"Arabian Sketches" series (William Hackwood)

Henrywood's Highlights
Transferware from a British Perspective

Number Four of an Ongoing Series by Dick Henrywood


My previous outing for this regular feature concentrated on Elijah Jones “Mammalia” series and has produced little response so far, although the printed version in the Bulletin had not been circulated at the time of writing. Having said that, examples are known to be quite rare but we may yet see some new patterns emerge.

For this fourth instalment I have chosen another series from the 1830s which did not appear in any detail in The Dictionary of Blue & White Printed Pottery.

“Arabian Sketches” series

A series of romantic-style scenes produced by William Hackwood in the 1830s. It is also possible that wares remained in production by William & Thomas Hackwood after 1843. The central scenes appear within a border which features scenic vignettes separated by linked foliate-scroll floral cartouches, with an inner band of radiating leafy fronds. The printed mark has the individual pattern title on a leafy panel with the series title above (surmounted by a small flower spray) and the maker’s initials WH beneath.

No source for the patterns has yet been identified although they may have been copied from prints. Surviving examples turn up infrequently and are all plates or platters, printed in blue, blue-green, red or pink, and various shades of lavender or purple.

Arab Family platter

Arab Family mark

 “Arab Family” blue platter and mark
(courtesy Dawson & Nye)

Arabs Halting plate

 “Arabs Halting” plum soup plate
(courtesy Dawson & Nye)

The March plate

The March mark

 “The March” blue-green plate and mark
(courtesy Dawson & Nye)

Only five scenes have been recorded to date:

"Arab Family”
Platter 21in
Illustrations: Henrywood 138 (mark)

“Arabs Halting”
Dinner plate 10.4in
Soup plate 10.2in

“The Alarm”
Platter 15in

“The March”
Dessert plate 9in
Illustrations: Snyder 104 (plate, mark); Williams 2/71 (plate, mark)

“The Sentinel”
Tea plate 7.9in

I am not aware of any other illustrations in the usual published literature, nor do any patterns appear in the club’s database, so it can be seen that our knowledge is fragmentary. I have been able to confirm all five of these titles but it must have been a complete dinner service, so where are all the other pieces? I can offer illustrations and/or marks from three of the patterns, but can anyone out there provide any other images or information?

Any photos or additional information would be gratefully received and will be reported in future Bulletins. Contributions should be sent to Dick Henrywood by e-mail:


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