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Talk to me about Blue Willow china!


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What's with the ads?

#1 Margaret in CO

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:12 AM

A month or so back, we were in a Salvation Army store looking for a dresser for Army girl (we found a nice one) and my youngest mentioned that she really liked the Blue Willow china that was there. So, tonight, I'm trying to stay interested in the video that I need to watch for ds's LA class (and failing) and I notice the china in the movie--Blue Willow. So, I do a bit of digging and it seems that Churchill is the standard English and Spode makes "Blue Italian" and there are a lot of cheap knock-offs. We bought each of the older girls nice dishes (violin girl has Naturewood Pfaltzgraff, Navy girl has grandma's Tea Rose Pfaltzgraff and Army girl has Fiestaware) so I thought I might show my youngest the BW dishes--this is MUCH preferable to watching this boring movie. So, tell me what you know! I don't want WalMart knock-offs because we'd never be able to match it.



#2 Mom in High Heels

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:06 AM

You want to look for sets made by Spode or Churchill, for some of the best.   There are of course many other manufacturers of good china that make the pattern, but those em to have the clearest colors and attention to detail.  Most pieces I've seen from Burgess and Leigh have a gold rim, and I'm not a fan of that.  It seems to take away from the pattern IMO.  Johnson Brothers makes a set too, but there's something about it that I just don't like.

 

True BW has a willow tree sort of in the center and leaning to the left, a bridge with 3 people on it at the left side of the pattern (below the willow), a fence at the bottom of the pattern, a temple (or tea house, depending on who you ask, and what version of the legend you believe) with 3 columns to the upper right, a man in a boat in the upper left and 2 birds above and to the left of the temple (tea house).  It's also generally a deep, but vibrant, blue.  

 

Each company generally makes a slight variation on the pattern to "mark" it as their own.  The birds might be tilted slightly, the number of branches on a tree might be different, etc.  These are usually cheaper versions.  IME, usually only the dinner plates have the name of the manufacturer on them (Spode, Churchill, etc) , while the other pieces (not including serving pieces), have only the pattern name, the country where it was made and the manufacturer's mark (you can research the different marks to see what they look like).  Even if you don't know who made the pieces, if you look carefully at the pattern on 2 pieces, you'll be able to identify any variations in the pattern that will tell you if they are different manufacturers.  The border is often the best place to look, as they contain the most differences, IME, even in the more high end version.

 

I have a complete set of Spode BW for 12, plus serving pieces, and there are a few variations in the color from piece to piece (though nothing incredibly noticeable), but are all of the same shade.  Pieces from other manufacturers have a slightly different shade of blue.  

 

I love, love love, transferware, and have so many pieces it's ridiculous.  I probably have at least 10 different patterns in all colors (the blue and brown are my favorite).  At last count (not including the BW set), I had over 80 dinner plates, 30ish salad plates, 30ish bowls, 12 soup bowls with handles (I adore those!), about 20 serving pieces from various patterns, 9 coffee pots, 5 tea pots, and sugar/creamers to go with all but two, plus about 15 other random sugar/creamers, and around 100 tea cups and saucers.  It's a sickness.  Every time we were at a flea market in Europe I snatched them up.  It was so hard not to buy every piece I saw when we went to our last flea market before moving back to the US!  I wanted to weep!  Many of my pieces do match.  I know I have a full place setting (dinner plate, salad plate, bowl) for 12 in one pattern (the name escapes me at the moment), and a full place setting of 8 in another pattern, and while there are pieces that match each other randomly, there aren't enough for full place settings.  We use them for every day dishes and I don't worry about matching them.  I think it makes the table pretty and interesting when they're just random.  At Christmas I do use the green and red patterns together, and for V-Day, just the red.  

 

I don't know if I helped or not!  BW is one of the most collected patterns ever.  Depending on who you believe, Spode or Minton first came up with the pattern in the late 1700's, based on some Chinese pieces that were all the rage with the upper classes.  Since then, many companies have made BW (again, with various elements), but once you get to know it, you'll see which ones are real and which are Walmart knock offs.  



#3 Margaret in CO

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:38 AM

Thank you! As always, the Hive knows! She's a ways away from leaving home, but when she's decided on dishes, it's fun to get things here and there as presents. I liked the Churchill because it seemed to have lots of different pieces available. I'm confused though, about Spode. I'm only seeing Blue Italian by them...



#4 FaithManor

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:26 AM

My daughter collects blue willow. While she likes the English versions Churchill and Spode, her favorite is the Japanese because she feels the blue is more intense and prefers pieces marked Japan or Nippon which means prior to WWII for manufacturing date. Made in Japan marks are post WWII.

 

We just bought her a guidebook used from Amazon for $7.99 which was a real bargain since many of the guidebooks run in the $35.00 range. I think the supplier had more than one copy, so you may want to check out that option. Blue Willow as it's commonly called, funny enough, comes in pink, brown, and green... so the same scene, different color. So I love it when I meet a collector that says, "I collect blue willow!" and then shows off a pink collection. Hmmmm...shouldn't it be called Pink Willow?

 

I don't know a lot about it, but dd said it's a knock-off and not worth spending money on if it does not have the two birds in the scene; this is apparently a key component for market value.

 

Homer Laughlin is post WWII and fairly common.

 

This sums up my knowledge on the subject - not much!

 

Now, if you ever wanted to know about King's Crown "Ruby Thumbprint", I can give you the low down on that! I inherited my grandmother's collection.



#5 amy g.

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:37 AM

I collect transferware too. I have the Spode pink tower set, and I really like mixing it with other colors of transferware.

There are some really great deals on Etsy for individual pieces people picked up at a garage or estate sale.

I have a friend whose mom is interested in selling a big set of Blue Willow. She is coming over today, if you are interested, I can get more details like how much she wants, and if it is authentic or a knock off.

My guess is that it is real, because she inherited the set from an aunt. Even with shipping, I think buying used would be much cheaper than getting it new through Spode.

#6 fairfarmhand

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 07:38 AM

I don't care particularly for Blue Willow because of the numerous knock offs, but I do love my transferware. Mine is blue and white and I inherited it from my Grandmother. This is my pattern.



#7 fairfarmhand

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 07:43 AM

Don't know what happened to my last post....

 

grrr...well, you can google Lochs of Scotland because no matter how many times, I try to post a link it messes up.



#8 Parrothead

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 07:43 AM

I have a bit of it in a box. Some of it is the good stuff some of it is knock-off. And the good stuff seems to be the pieces that are cracked and chipped.

Off to google transferware.

#9 fairfarmhand

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:17 AM

nm.



#10 Mom in High Heels

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:19 AM

My daughter collects blue willow. While she likes the English versions Churchill and Spode, her favorite is the Japanese because she feels the blue is more intense and prefers pieces marked Japan or Nippon which means prior to WWII for manufacturing date. Made in Japan marks are post WWII.

 

-The Japan China looks very different and not as pretty IMO.

 

We just bought her a guidebook used from Amazon for $7.99 which was a real bargain since many of the guidebooks run in the $35.00 range. I think the supplier had more than one copy, so you may want to check out that option. Blue Willow as it's commonly called, funny enough, comes in pink, brown, and green... so the same scene, different color. So I love it when I meet a collector that says, "I collect blue willow!" and then shows off a pink collection. Hmmmm...shouldn't it be called Pink Willow?

 

-Nope.  The pattern is now called Blue Willow, no matter what the color is.  IIRC, it was originally called "Willow," but today the name Blue Willow also refers to the pattern, not just the color.  Weird.

 

I don't know a lot about it, but dd said it's a knock-off and not worth spending money on if it does not have the two birds in the scene; this is apparently a key component for market value.

 

Homer Laughlin is post WWII and fairly common.

 

This sums up my knowledge on the subject - not much!

 

Now, if you ever wanted to know about King's Crown "Ruby Thumbprint", I can give you the low down on that! I inherited my grandmother's collection

 

-Oh, RT is gorgeous!!! My grandmother had a collection, but one of my cousins got it.  

 

 

I collect transferware too. I have the Spode pink tower set, and I really like mixing it with other colors of transferware.

There are some really great deals on Etsy for individual pieces people picked up at a garage or estate sale.

I have a friend whose mom is interested in selling a big set of Blue Willow. She is coming over today, if you are interested, I can get more details like how much she wants, and if it is authentic or a knock off.

My guess is that it is real, because she inherited the set from an aunt. Even with shipping, I think buying used would be much cheaper than getting it new through Spode.

 

-I don't think Spode makes BW anymore.  I know they still make Blue Italian, but I don't think BW is in production.  I know other companies make it though, especially the cheaper versions.

 

 

I don't care particularly for Blue Willow because of the numerous knock offs, but I do love my transferware. Mine is blue and white and I inherited it from my Grandmother. This is my pattern.

 

-To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of BW either.  I would never have bought it, but I inherited a set from my great-aunt, that is quite old.  It's actually in storage at my mom's.  She's bringing it to me now that we're back in the US.  I prefer the English pastoral scenes, hunting scenes, coaching inns and castles.

 

 

Don't know what happened to my last post....

 

grrr...well, you can google Lochs of Scotland because no matter how many times, I try to post a link it messes up.

 

-Gorgeous!!!!

 

 

I have a bit of it in a box. Some of it is the good stuff some of it is knock-off. And the good stuff seems to be the pieces that are cracked and chipped.

 

-The cracking is due to the transfer and glaze cooling at different temps during the firing process, IIRC.  Newer pieces do not have a 2 part painting and glazing process, it's all done in one step now.

Off to google transferware.

 

-Be prepared to be sucked in!  

 

OP, there is so much to know about transferware!  There is actually a story behind the BW pattern about star-crossed lovers.



#11 FaithManor

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:03 AM

OP, there is so much to know about transferware!  There is actually a story behind the BW pattern about star-crossed lovers.

 You said, "Prepared to be sucked in" and my "quote" button didn't pick that up. But, YEP, that's the deal.

 

Doesn't matter if you like BW, in your travels locating it for your dd, you may very well come across something you do LOVE and it is ridiculously addicting! Ask.me.how.I.know. LOL

 

DD's other passion, which is also my niece in law's as well, is pyrex...certain patterns the balloons, friendship pattern, Amish Butter pattern, ....oh my word, their poor husbands. Every weekend with the antiquing, thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales...poor boys spend a lot of time following their wives around looking for that special piece! Good thing those guys are fast becoming good buddies. They create a nice support group for each other and when the girls are forced to join a 12 step china/glassware addiction group, the dear boys will have each other! :D

 

My obssession is King's Crown ruby thumb in ruby only though I do have a few pieces of cranberry and a couple of amethyst, and Spode, Maritime in lavender which is INSANE to find which means that since I rarely spend any money on it, I still have money for my other addiction, quilting! :lol:

 

Welcome to the club!



#12 amy g.

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:01 PM

I HAVE Ruby Thumbprint, and until this post, I never knew the name of it!

#13 MomtoCandJ

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:19 PM

I have two of the small Blue Willow Ware by Royal China plates. I have more at my mom's house that I need to get :)

#14 Margaret in CO

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:22 PM

I collect transferware too. I have the Spode pink tower set, and I really like mixing it with other colors of transferware.

There are some really great deals on Etsy for individual pieces people picked up at a garage or estate sale.

I have a friend whose mom is interested in selling a big set of Blue Willow. She is coming over today, if you are interested, I can get more details like how much she wants, and if it is authentic or a knock off.

My guess is that it is real, because she inherited the set from an aunt. Even with shipping, I think buying used would be much cheaper than getting it new through Spode.

 

 

Ooh, yes please let me know who the maker is and what she would want. Dd and I just spent an hour looking a BW!



#15 amy g.

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:36 PM

I will Margaret. She should be here in a few hours.

She was sitting table looking at my Pink Tower Plates, Blue Italian bowls and Blue Willow butter dish, and said that her mother inherited a big set of Blue Willow that she wants to sell.

#16 Margaret in CO

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:41 PM

Oh boy, a new addiction to fuel in my children--and it doesn't have to be fed, watered, sheared, lambed, walked or whelped!



#17 FaithManor

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:43 PM

I HAVE Ruby Thumbprint, and until this post, I never knew the name of it!

Here is how you know for certain:

 

The "thumbprints" will be smallish and slightly oval. There is a similar knock of pattern that has really large, very round circles, not nearly as refined.

 

Here is a link to a Tiffin ruby thumb compote:

 

http://www.etsy.com/...CFY1FMgodyk8AKw

 

This is also real ruby. Some people confuse it with cranberry, but cranberry is a much softer red, pinkish, and you can see through the band easily.

 

It's absolutely lovely. I adore my collection. My grandmother served Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter every single year of my childhood on that glassware. Her tables were exquisite, the food was divine, the love deep. All of the grandchildren agree that those were amazing years in our childhood, and I think that the younger granddaughters were a bit envious when grandma decided that at her passing, the eldest grand girl would get it. So, I've tried not to be a hording pig, and doled out a serving piece or two to each of my female cousins, and then since I really wanted all of those pieces, purchased them off ebay or at antique stores. But, I'm glad I did it. Every single one of my gal cousins has their pieces of ruby thumb on display with a picture of grandma and her last holiday table. There is some serious warmth and comfort that comes just from looking at it! Normally, I'm not a sentimental person, but about this, I am truly sappy.

 

If your piece is an even deeper red than the above, has the star in the bottom of the plate or bowl (the star is NOT present in Fenton Ruby Thumb because it was a cheaper version - still ruby thumb...the pattern was legally sold more than once), and appears to have an almost glittery shimmer in the light, you may have a piece of King's Crown Adam's glass.....very expensive, very collectible. Adam's glass was the originial designer of the pattern and manufactured it until about 1903 when it had financial problems and sold to US Glass Company who manufatured it for a while and then sold to Tiffin in the 1930's. Adam's and US Glass used gold flecks in the ruby during the manufacturing process which made the glaze darker and more reflective. All three of these manufacturers are known for the deeper, more elongated/oval thumbprints. Fenton and Indiana Glass (Indiana Glass put this pattern out until around 1990 or so with Imperial Blue being the last color they produced) are known for shallower "thumbs" and more round with a ruby that doesn't quite luster as well as Adam's and US glass, even Tiffin is still just a little deeper color than Fenton.

 

Oh, and Adam's glass made the most gorgeous hostess pieces with grapevine and leaves etched into the ruby. Truly, gorgeous!

 

See, I wax poetic on the subject! :D



#18 Margaret in CO

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:06 PM

Okay, since you ladies know so much about this stuff--tell me about my mom's vase!

 

 

umz474K.jpg

 

The only thing I know is that it was HER mom's, and that we named my youngest after that grandma, so it will go to her at my death. It was probably purchased in WY and before 1915 or so.



#19 fairfarmhand

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:06 PM

Faith...I have this piece

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item4d11f39a0a

 

DO you know anything about it?

 

I also have a tall dish that goes with it..perhaps a compote dish?



#20 Margaret in CO

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:11 PM

nm

 



#21 FaithManor

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:49 PM

Faith...I have this piece

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item4d11f39a0a

 

DO you know anything about it?

 

I also have a tall dish that goes with it..perhaps a compote dish?

This goes by the name diamond point, but without seeing it up close to detrmine if there is beveling or a swirl, I can't be more specific. There were a number of patterns with diamonds in them. If I could look at it up close and personal so I could see the minute details, I could tell you who the maker is and if there is a more specific pattern name. If it was purchased prior to 1930, my guess is that it is from U.S. Glass company though certainly Fenton, Ohio Flint, and a few other manufacturers are definitely possible.

 

Is the tall dish a pedestal dish where there is a stem similar to say a large candlestick made of clear glass, with the bowl portion being perfectly round? If so, you likely have a compote and compotes come with and without covers. But, if it's square, they are usually referred to as a stemmed or pedestalled candy dish.

 

The above bowl is literally just the huge fruit bowl. I have one in ruby thumb and when I do the large, mixed fruit combo for family, holiday dinners, it is a handy dish to have. But, I also have the largest size of compote and let me tell you, it holds A LOT. So, if table space is an issue, I use the compote because other bowls can be placed underneath it and that's handy too!



#22 FaithManor

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 02:10 PM

Okay, since you ladies know so much about this stuff--tell me about my mom's vase!

 

 

umz474K.jpg

 

The only thing I know is that it was HER mom's, and that we named my youngest after that grandma, so it will go to her at my death. It was probably purchased in WY and before 1915 or so.

Okay, here are my guesses. I can't quite see the neck clearly or the pattern around the "button/thumb". So, the possibilities are Diamond with Fan, Imperial, Tarentum;s Virginia (I need to check that because I'm not certain that it came with a thumb thought the rest of the pattern is just about exact to this picture) or Jubilee and my best guess from this photo is diamond with fan. This would be from Imperial glass company and made around 1909 which would be your time frame from family history.

 

Is the glass quite thick? This pattern was meant to be sturdy and practical, it is not delicate. If it's delicate, then I need to go do some checking which could indicate Tarentum's Virginia though I really need to check on the buttons or thumbs.

 

This whole thread makes me long for a new episode of Antique's Road show!!!



#23 fairfarmhand

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 02:19 PM

This goes by the name diamond point, but without seeing it up close to detrmine if there is beveling or a swirl, I can't be more specific. There were a number of patterns with diamonds in them. If I could look at it up close and personal so I could see the minute details, I could tell you who the maker is and if there is a more specific pattern name. If it was purchased prior to 1930, my guess is that it is from U.S. Glass company though certainly Fenton, Ohio Flint, and a few other manufacturers are definitely possible.

 

Is the tall dish a pedestal dish where there is a stem similar to say a large candlestick made of clear glass, with the bowl portion being perfectly round? If so, you likely have a compote and compotes come with and without covers. But, if it's square, they are usually referred to as a stemmed or pedestalled candy dish.

 

Yes!  It is tall and round with no cover.

 

The above bowl is literally just the huge fruit bowl. I have one in ruby thumb and when I do the large, mixed fruit combo for family, holiday dinners, it is a handy dish to have. But, I also have the largest size of compote and let me tell you, it holds A LOT. So, if table space is an issue, I use the compote because other bowls can be placed underneath it and that's handy too!

Yes, that bowl is enormous. I keep it up high on top of my cabinet with the compote bowl standing in it. I sometimes use the two together as a chip and dip piece or fruit and dip piece. I always get compliments, even when it's not in use because its so pretty and eyecatching. You're right, the fruit dish is enormous!



#24 FaithManor

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 02:35 PM

Yes, that bowl is enormous. I keep it up high on top of my cabinet with the compote bowl standing in it. I sometimes use the two together as a chip and dip piece or fruit and dip piece. I always get compliments, even when it's not in use because its so pretty and eyecatching. You're right, the fruit dish is enormous!

Yes ma'am, you have a compote. Love compotes. I have five compotes. I don't need more, and I wouldn't part with even one of them.

 

Now, what I am in the hunt for is a banana bowl...literally a King's Crown Ruby Thumbprint bowl shaped like a banana. These are not common and very expensive.

 

I've also in the market for the covered butter dish. They sell for a premium so I keep hoping to happen on one for sale by someone who doesn't know or care about the market value and has it priced for my budget.

 

The best thing I've ever done with my ruby thumb was put on my parents' 40th wedding anniversary open house. This was just after my grandmother's stroke, and she was still in some degree of health so we wanted to get family pics done anyway and since there was no way she was going to make it to my parent's 50th, we decided to have a party.

 

My mom loves lilacs, and since their anniversary is in May, the timing was impecable. Every table had white table skirting, and tablecloth, silver table runner, and a place setting of ruby thumb for the centerpiece. We placed a floating candle in each goblet, and cut fresh lilacs to drape around the plate. We lined the food tables with ruby gossamer, tulle, lavender ribbon, and lilacs in lavender, dark purple, and white. We covered an arbor in lavender and ruby tulle with white accents, and tied massive stems of lilacs to the arbor. My nephew and my sister's then boyfriend made it their mission to cut at my grandma's, my home, and mom's and get all of those pails of fresh flowers to me an hour before the party began.

 

It was so gorgeous!

 

The second best was putting on a Valentine's banquet for the church staff members and their spouses. Someone else cooked, THANK GOODNESS, but I decorated. White table cloths, silver overlays, ruby runners, 6 settings of ruby thumb per table, and a compote on a silver serving tray as the centerpiece with silk rose petals on the tray, and three rose shaped floating candles in each. Candlesticks and twinkle lights everywhere.

 

Good memories! Love.my.ruby.thumbprint.



#25 Margaret in CO

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 04:59 PM

The vase is VERY thick and heavy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

sGLvVaq.jpg

 

2mn2Cex.jpg

 

BwSocsV.jpg

 

 



#26 FaithManor

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:43 PM

The vase is VERY thick and heavy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
sGLvVaq.jpg
 
2mn2Cex.jpg
 
BwSocsV.jpg


Well, I am not an expert, but I've studied the pics for a while and consulted my
Encyclopedia of Pressed Glass and have come to the conclusion that it is Diamond
with Fan by Imperial glass Circa 1909 -1910.

Hope that helps. This would could have been part of a set with water or iced tea
glasses. There was also a berry bowl set, a pickle dish, and table setting. The
market value, which of course is entirely dependent upon the supply and
demand of buyers, is around $65.00.

This concludes this segment of Faith's Antique Glass Road Show. Next episode airs as soon as someone posts another pic of mysterious glass serviceware!

#27 Margaret in CO

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:40 PM

Here ya' go!

 

 

 

4vK7KKM.jpg



#28 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:51 PM

It is time for you all to pick up this book:  http://www.amazon.co...the blue willow

 

and incorporate it into your homeschooling.  That is all.



#29 FaithManor

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 07:44 PM

Here ya' go!
 
 
 
4vK7KKM.jpg


Do you have any idea of the age? It is similar to National Star by Riverside
Glass, but I'm not convinced. Elements suggest newer or post 1930 and since I don't collect anything newer than about 1935 in glassware, I never bought the book.

I need to do some more digging.

#30 Margaret in CO

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 08:09 PM

It is time for you all to pick up this book:  http://www.amazon.co...the blue willow

 

and incorporate it into your homeschooling.  That is all.

 

 

Already own it, in hardback! She's read it!



#31 Margaret in CO

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:13 PM

I will Margaret. She should be here in a few hours.

She was sitting table looking at my Pink Tower Plates, Blue Italian bowls and Blue Willow butter dish, and said that her mother inherited a big set of Blue Willow that she wants to sell.

 

 

Did you ever get a chance to ask her about her set?



#32 amy g.

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:25 PM

I asked her, and her mom wasn't home at the time to check.

I'll text and ask her now.

#33 amy g.

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:32 PM

My friend said that it is all packed in a big tub, and not easy for her mom to access, but she does really want to sell it.

On Saturday, my friend will go over and make sure that it was made by Spode. If it was, she will take photographs of it.

#34 Margaret in CO

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:46 PM

Thank you!



#35 Margaret in CO

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 10:57 PM

So, I'm really confused. Spode no longer makes BW, but they do have lovely things in their Blue Room. However, it's not BW. Some sites say Churchill is awful and made in China and some say the same of Johnson. ACK! It seems like most department stores no longer carry it...



#36 Mom in High Heels

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 12:50 AM

So, I'm really confused. Spode no longer makes BW, but they do have lovely things in their Blue Room. However, it's not BW. Some sites say Churchill is awful and made in China and some say the same of Johnson. ACK! It seems like most department stores no longer carry it...

 

That's why you have to look for vintage sets and pieces.  It makes it fun.



#37 Margaret in CO

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 01:30 AM

I guess we'll take up the challenge!




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