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Blue Willow China

Blue willow porcelain refers to a distinct and ornate blue-and-white pattern seen on ceramic kitchen and housewares. First designed in 18th century England by Thomas Minton, it quickly became popular and has been used frequently since then. The design was inspired by the porcelain imported from China at the time.

When the East India Company halted its transportation of Chinese porcelain into London, the blue willow pattern satisfied the need for Chinese landscape patterns in England. Around 1790, the Spode factory created the first standard blue willow pattern on pearlware. Because these houseware sets were not imported from China, they were much less costly, and as a result, available to the middle classes.

Several stories were fabricated in order to promote the sale of the blue willow pattern when first created. The most well known of these stories involved two Mandarin star-crossed lovers who were transformed into a pair of doves upon their deaths and depicted in the design of the pattern. The blue willow pattern continues to be recognized by even novice porcelain collectors and used by countless porcelain manufacturers.


Quick Facts

  • The blue willow pattern requires a specific treatment, either applied transfer or stamp known as transferware, which uses transfer printing
  • Prior to the halt of trading with The East India Company, "Chinamen" in London would purchase porcelain from China at auction, then sell it to their wealthiest customers
  • The original blue willow pattern did not have apple trees or doves

Recommended Items at Auction

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Een verzameling Willow serviesdelen
Dec 13, 6:00 PM CET
Een verzameling Willow serviesdelen
by Veilinghuis Onder de Boompjes
Est: €0- €0
€200 Bids
Blue Willow Platter
Dec 10, 1:00 PM EST
Blue Willow Platter
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $225- $2,250
$2250 Bids
Blue and White Willow Planter
Dec 10, 1:00 PM EST
Blue and White Willow Planter
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $45- $450
$450 Bids
Lot Of 2 English Blue And White Bowls
Dec 11, 1:00 PM EST
Lot Of 2 English Blue And White Bowls
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $45- $450
$450 Bids
Large group of vintage porcelain and china
Dec 11, 11:30 PM EST
Large group of vintage porcelain and china
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $175- $200
$750 Bids
Oriental themed signed blue willow ware plate
Dec 15, 11:30 PM EST
Oriental themed signed blue willow ware plate
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $25- $30
$100 Bids
Blue Willow And Merrie Old Plates Dishes
Dec 11, 9:00 AM MST
Blue Willow And Merrie Old Plates Dishes
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Blue Willow China


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Weschler's

Weschler's

Veilinghuis Onder de Boompjes

Veilinghuis Onder de Boompjes