Explore the beautiful world of transferware dishes in my mother’s Maine home. Discover the history and charm of these antique treasures.

Antique Transferware Collection on Table with Flower Bouquet

Vintage Transferware

Vintage transferware refers to a type of pottery or porcelain that features intricate designs and patterns created through a transfer printing technique. This technique involves transferring a design onto the ceramic surface using specially printed paper or tissue. Transferware became popular in the 18th century and reached its peak in the 19th century, particularly in England and Europe. The designs often depict scenes from nature, historical events, or landscapes and are typically rendered in a single color, such as blue or brown. Vintage transferware pieces are highly sought after by collectors due to their exquisite craftsmanship and historical significance.

How to Identify Transferware

Look for any markings on the bottom of the piece. These may include the manufacturer’s mark, pattern name or number, and sometimes the country of origin. These markings can provide valuable clues to the age and origin of the transferware. By considering these factors, one can effectively identify and appreciate the beauty of transferware pottery.

Transferware Patterns

Transferware patterns encompass a wide range of designs and motifs. Some of the most popular and well-known transferware patterns include:

  • Blue Willow: This pattern depicts a Chinese-inspired landscape with pagodas, bridges, and willow trees. It is characterized by its blue-and-white color scheme.
  • Spode’s Italian: This pattern features scenic views of Italian landscapes, including buildings, trees, and figures. It is known for its blue and white-color palette.
  • Johnson Brothers’ Friendly Village: This pattern showcases rural English village scenes with cottages, churches, and countryside motifs. It is typically rendered in earthy tones. Learn more in the posts All About Autumn’s Delight Johnson Brothers Dishware and Johnson Brothers Vintage Fall Tablecape.
  • Mason’s Vista: This pattern depicts pastoral landscapes with houses, mountains, and water elements. It often features vibrant colors such as red, green, and blue.
  • Wedgwood’s Edme: This pattern showcases a simple and elegant design with raised edges and a scalloped rim. It is often monochromatic and comes in various colors.
  • Royal Staffordshire’s Tonquin: This pattern features Asian-inspired motifs, including pagodas, birds, and landscapes. It is known for its vibrant colors and intricate detailing.
  • Adams’ Calyx Ware: This pattern showcases botanical motifs, such as flowers and leaves, in a stylized and geometric design. It often comes in bold and contrasting colors.
  • Royal Mail: is a specific type of transferware pattern that features depictions of British mail coaches and postal scenes. It is usually brown and white in nature.

These are just a few examples of the numerous transferware patterns available. Each pattern has its own unique charm and appeal, making transferware a beloved collectible for many pottery enthusiasts.

Marvelous May Tablescape Tour

Mother’s Day Tablescape Tour

I also found the timing perfect for joining my besties over on Instagram to share our mother’s dishes and tableware to celebrate Mother’s Day.  So be sure to stop by and check out their Mother’s Day treasures, too, at the bottom of this post.

Transferware in My Mother’s Maine Home

Happy Mother’s Day

I am writing to you from my parents’ Coastal Maine Home, which we inherited a few years ago now and underwent interior renovations. Can I tell you how wonderful it feels to be back here after a long winter away? The first thing I brought out was my mother’s brown and white antique transferware collection to decorate with and enjoy.

In My Mother’s Maine Home

This post is the second in a new blog series that I am going to share with you entitled In My Mother’s Maine Home, where I will share many of my parent’s antique collections, furniture, and home renovations.

Meet My Mom, Shirley

My mother was an antique fanatic. She collected and thrifted antiques with my father for years throughout Maine. Some of her favorite antique collections included pewter, transferware, silverware, crocks, beach birds, and various unique furniture treasures.

My Mother with Gift of Transferware Bowl

Here she is, enjoying a Bennington Pottery piece that I brought with me on one summer visit from Vermont as a gift to add to her collection.

Brown Transferware

Most transferware patterns sought by collectors today are two-tone in color. Blue and white, red and white, and brown and white are the most common colors.

English Transferware

My mother’s transferware collection is brown and white and is considered to be Royal Mail made in England. I don’t know if she purchased them all as a set or collected them along the way. She used this transferware as her everyday dishes until she passed at the age of 93.

Brown Transferware on dining room table with bouquet of flowers.

Royal Mail Transferware

Royal Mail Transferware is a specific type of transferware pattern that features depictions of British mail coaches and postal scenes. It became popular in the early 19th century when the Royal Mail system was established in Britain. The pattern typically showcases scenes of horse-drawn mail coaches, mailboxes, and postmen in action.

This type of transferware was highly sought after during its time and continues to be popular among collectors today. It represents a nostalgic glimpse into the history of the Royal Mail system and the transportation methods of the past. The Royal Mail Transferware pattern can be found on various ceramic items, including plates, bowls, teapots, and more.

Mr. Bates Vs. the Post Office

Have you seen the PBS mini-series Mr. Bates vs. the Post Office? It is a shockingly true David vs. Goliath story following one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in British legal history. It is a fascinating true story of the British mail system and its participants. It’s not to be missed! It’s also available here on Amazon Prime.

Royal Mail Brown Transferware in Hutch.
A Traditional Maine Home with a Stylish Antique Hutch

You may also be inspired by the Create a Vintage Valentines Centerpiece with Antique Transferware post.

Antique Pewter with Brown Transferware

My mother also adored pewter and left behind an extensive pewter collection for us to enjoy. To see more of this pewter collection, visit the posts Pewter: Ancient Use and Modern Adoration and Bring Warmth to Your Tablescapes with Pewter

Brown Transferware with American Pewter Book in Hutch

A transferware and pewter table setting can create a beautiful and elegant dining experience. Transferware refers to ceramic dishes that have a design or pattern transferred onto them using a special technique. Pewter, on the other hand, is a metal alloy consisting primarily of tin and small amounts of other metals.

When combining transferware and pewter in a table setting, you can create a classic and timeless look. The contrast between the delicate patterns on the transferware and the luster of the pewter can add depth and visual interest to the table.

Here are a few adorable pewter table pieces that I love pairing with the Royal Mail Transferware. My mother enjoyed using everything she had. Nothing was just set on a shelf to admire. I remember these pewter pieces filled with salt, sugar, and milk on many of her holiday tables.

You may also enjoy the Vintage Style Flower Centerpiece post.

Antique Dining Room Table

This antique dining room table and chairs are a set that my parents antiqued together. They had used it as their main dining table since they built this home. It’s small but perfect for two to four people, unlike the large farm tables we all see today. It’s definitely from another generation and time.

Antique Dining Room table with vintage transferware

Did you notice that there are no tablecloths or placemats? Since this home was newly renovated at the time, this transferware depicts the simplicity of the time and the remembrance of days gone by. It is not meant to be a formal tablescape but a scattering of Mother’s Day memories.

Country Sampler Magazine

Since the time I originally wrote this post, my parent’s home has been featured in Country Sampler Magazine and many other publications. It is very dear to us, and I thank you so much for stopping by and joining us on this journey. It means so much to me.

Country Sampler Magazine Maine Home Feature

See more in the Magazine Photo Shoot: Country Sampler post and join us on our home tour, which covers the early renovations to the present day.

A Vintage Affair

If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with your friends who are also vintage enthusiasts.

Do you have a flair for all things vintage, too? I would love to see and feature you in our Reader’s Showcase Series. A place for you to share and be recognized for your talents and passion for all things thrifting, vintage, and antique decor-related inspired by your time here with Dabbling & Decorating. Email me at annck@dabblinganddecorating.com

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Transferware In My Mother's Maine Home
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Remember to stop by and check out the rest of the amazing home bloggers on the “Marvelous May Tablescape Tour”!

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