Monday, October 26, 2009


This service by the Livesley Powell & Co factory, sold at Sothebys a few years ago for £2000. i'll be keeping an eye out in my local charity shops for that one then. It looks to be a brown transfer ware pattern, and i'm wondering if it went to an American buyer as brown transfer ware has a much larger collectors following on the other side of the pond than in the UK. My personal preference is Blue & White, or even Purple & White.

Oh me, oh my!

This little fairing, apparently by Powell & Bishop, recently sold on Ebay for a whopping £104. No wonder she was blown over!

The Balmoral influence

Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, took great pleasure in the Scottish countryside. Their influence on popular culture and fashions of the day saw a major rise in the popularity of all things Scottish. Tartan patterns, Mauchlin ware, heather and thistle motifs, even Scotty Dogs were all in vogue during second half of the 19th century. Edwin Landseer encapsulated the nation's love of Caledonia in his majestic painting of a stag in a picture called, the "Monarch of the Glen", 1851.
Powell Bishop & Stonier were not alone in drawing on the Scottish influence and produced wares which used the images of the kilted Scottish piper, highland cattle, Scottish landscapes of mountains and lochs. They used transfer prints in the main, but their factory artists also handpainted some scenes - perhaps not as finely as Royal Worcester, but beautiful nonetheless.

Round, like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel

talk about Psychadelic! This ivory and cobalt blue spiral design teaset is enough to give you a headache. They look like they should be from the Art Deco period but in fact, are late Victorian.

another teapot - divided opinions

I recently bought this teapot on ebay and it has divided opinions in my household. I like it ( of course I do, it's BISTO) but my husband and also my twin brother think it's ugly. In fact, said brother, even went so far as to say that it looked like something you'd buy from the back of a Sunday paper magazine, like Franklin Mint! The cheeky bugger!!
what do you all think?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Pomona ware

In the 1920s, Bishop & Stonier started a new line of wares under the name of Aztec Ware. These wares were notable for their bright, lustrous colours and resembled the work of Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper. There was even a new mark designed for this range that didn't include the Caduceus wand or the chinaman under a parasol. Similar to the new Aztec ware range, was Bisto's Pomonaware which mixed sponge printed backgrounds in bright colours, handcoloured transfer print fruits and sometimes, lustre glazes. They are very similar to Aztec ware pots, but the main difference as far as i can tell, is that the fruit prints are much smaller.

The Great British Cuppa

The most recent additions to my collection are two similar, but quite different teapots. The first is a miniature example, in a very pretty blue and white transfer print design and manufactured for Harrods circa 1910. I should imagine that it was once part of a complete miniature tea service, perhaps intended for use by children, but more often than not kept as cabinet pieces. The quality of this piece shines through and it is clear why Harrods was keen to stock Bisto wares.
The next teapot, again a globe shape but full size, is about 20 years younger than the blue and white and was made in the 1930s. The stippled brown background and transfer print fruits (hand coloured) are similar to others of the period made by Bishop & Stonier. I don't personally feel its the most attractive of designs, but was keen to add to my collection nevertheless.

the origin of species

Two temple jars, the same shape (no. 3) and the same pattern (fujiyama) but different colour variation (sadly no lid for the one one on the left).
It's only by buying similar items like this that you get an idea of the development of a design and how subtle changes were made to keep it fresh.


The above teapot is NOT by Bisto, but is in fact, by the Wade Heath factory. It is decorated in a paisley design which co-incidentally is exactly the same as a Bisto ginger jar that i have recently added to my collection (below). Rather intriguingly, I also found this design on a condiment set by Avonware so i would imagine that the transfer design was from a pattern book that was circulated to various pottery manufacturers
The 1920s blue ginger jar on the right was added to my collection some time ago and i mused on its asian influence with hints at paisley designs. Well, I have now added a more obvious example of Paisley pattern to my shelves (LEFT) . The transfer print is wrapped around the design in tessalating sections, matching up like wallpaper (some areas are more successful than others). Sadly I don't have the lid for my new ginger jar, so I'll be keeping an eye open for it, along with other examples of Paisley designs.

About Me

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Sometimes, life doesn't turn out the way you expected. And sometimes, it is exactly as it was 'meant' to be. But whilst i'm not a believer in fate or fatalism, I do believe that life is a both a learning experience and an obstacle course to be climbed and clambered over in the most creative way possible! In doing so, you'll get to where you should be even if it's not where you'd imagined.