Blue & White China: Willow and Spode

The old saying that the USA and the UK are two countries separated by a common language should not be forgotten; however, they are not the only English speaking nations. Canada cannot be left out of this aphorism.

For example, let’s take the term country cottage.  That is how I describe my house in a small rural town; and that is how I wanted the lady in the furniture store to see it as she helped us make our purchases.  Well, it didn’t help. To the lady, both terms had meaning, but the combination did not compute.  Now, she maintained her dignity. She didn’t spin on the spot, nor did sparks and smoke emit from her ears in the way that illogicality affected excitable robots before the coming of the unflappable Spock. Nevertheless, she drew our attention to some strange combinations of style and colour. When I said country, she envisaged gingham curtains and apple pie scented candles. When I said cottage, she imagined a lakeside holiday home. We were both speaking English, but we weren’t communicating. Moreover, I doubt that referring to Anne Hathaway would have helped. You see, the picture that I had in mind was chintz covered chairs around the fireplace and old plates on the walls: with apologies to Maddy Prior, all around my house I shall hang the Blue Willow.

This Willow platter was bought at auction as described here. It was made by William A. Adderley & Co. of Daisy Bank Pottery, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, between the years 1886 and 1905.


The next two photographs are of a small plate and bowl marked Copeland Spode’s  Italian which date from June and July 1932 respectively. They were my mother’s baby set. She was born in January 1934.


I picked up this Wedgwood coffee cup with deep saucer at a local antique shop’s closing sale. They are both named ‘Willow’ and have the mark which places their date of manufacture between 1940 and 1974.  The mark on the cup appears to be older and in blue, while the saucer has a newer mark in grey and the words ‘detergent proof’ added.


The Spode dish below has the Temple (or Two Temples I, Variation Temple) design and dates from before 1833.  I haven’t seen another example with the gold on it.  This was in my mother’s collection.


This bread and butter plate was made by Royal Doulton.  The pattern is Booths Real Old Willow.  I was given this as part of a tea set when I left home. I think that my folks were making sure that, for all my numerous domestic failings, at least a visitor might get a proper cup of tea.


The following two pieces are a Spode’s Lucano side plate which we bought in a liquidation store in Des Moines, Iowa, and a little Spode’s Italian dish which my mother had. Both are relatively new.

20150814_143218 20150814_143436

Lastly, I have two Olde Alton Ware soup plates.


Wife person is less resistant to blue and white china than she is to guns and fly rods. Maybe we could have this as a joint hobby.

About Tweed and Briar

I am the pastor of a rather conservative rural congregation. My interests alongside of work are hunting, fly fishing, cooking, and life in an agricultural community. By way of family, I have a wife and two children: a daughter and a son. I am of indeterminate age because my wife is a bit younger than I am and my son is ages with some of my friends’ grandchildren. However, to say that I slip smoothly among the generations would imply an agility which I no longer possess. I aspire to the genteel poverty of the country manse.
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