An article in one of my artsy-fartsy magazines brought my attention to transferware, the art of transfering design by thin copper plate to dishware. The method made these patterns more affordable to the masses, who couldn't pay the cost of hand painted china.
But the pictures posted with the article were of dishes I already owned!
I grew up with these dishes and generally paid them no mind. I remember my Mom being in her glory when Dad purchased them for her but, quite honestly, never gave them much thought other than to eat from them.
Years and years later, after my Dad's passing, my Mom, in a fit it seemed of discarding everything she ever owned, packed the dishes and sent them to my house. I was slightly shocked but grateful and used the plates as everyday china for ages. Again, not much to say about them. They held food nicely.
I used them up until 2002 when I impulse purchased an inexpensive set of china with a spiral pattern from Pier 1. I was big on spirals at the time. I carefully wrapped up my Mom's china and packed it away.
And there it's stayed.
Until this morning when I read the article.
I've always had a soup bowl (the perfect size for a hat pattern tracing) and a platter (great for a matching hat brim) from the set that didn't make it to storage so I popped the bowl out of the cupboard and here's what I found:
The bottom reads:
Warwickshire 16th Century
West Gate and Leicester Hospital
~In 1571 the Earl of Leicester endowed as old soldiers home.
J & G Meakin
I was in a rush to snap this to post but a quick peek at the platter appears to
indicate that when I unpack the china I'll find completely different scenes from
different times and areas. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the research and discovery.
Unpacking that box has definitely moved to my Top Five Thing To Do This Summer!
Hmm. Now where can I find a cheap china cabinet?