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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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4 BLUE WILLOW CUPS MADE IN ENGLAND
Feb 24, 11:00 AM CST
4 BLUE WILLOW CUPS MADE IN ENGLAND
by Dees Auction Company,LLC
Est: $15- $25
$31 Bid
Antique English blue and white willow pattern platter, approx 45cm x 35cm
Feb 25, 10:00 AM AEDT
Antique English blue and white willow pattern platter, approx 45cm x 35cm
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD600 Bids
Blue Willow dinner service
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
Blue Willow dinner service
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $140- $240
$700 Bids
Antique English blue and white willow pattern platter early 19th century, approx 42cm x 31cm
Feb 25, 10:00 AM AEDT
Antique English blue and white willow pattern platter early 19th century, approx 42cm x 31cm
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD600 Bids
A 19TH CENTURY ENGLISH BLUE AND WHITE WILLOW PATTERN BOWL
Feb 28, 9:30 AM GMT
A 19TH CENTURY ENGLISH BLUE AND WHITE WILLOW PATTERN BOWL
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £30- £50
£150 Bids
Allertons Ltd. Willow Transferware Tea Pot
Feb 29, 10:00 AM EST
Allertons Ltd. Willow Transferware Tea Pot
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$10 Bids
SELECTION OF UNMARKED "BLUE WILLOW" PATTERN CHINA.
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
SELECTION OF UNMARKED "BLUE WILLOW" PATTERN CHINA.
by Amelia Jeffers
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Blue Willow China


Vickers & Hoad

Vickers & Hoad

Berner's Auction Gallery

Berner's Auction Gallery

Hutchinson Scott Limited

Hutchinson Scott Limited

Pook & Pook Inc.

Pook & Pook Inc.