Sunday, April 26, 2009

Top Ten China Patterns

There are lists of the top ten patterns now selling well at prestigious china shops, and there are lists of the top ten china patterns currently being promoted, but the top ten china patterns that are meeting the overall test of time are Imari, Old Country Roses, Napoleon Ivy, Feuille de Choux, Haddon Hall, Spode Blue Italian, Angoulême Sprig, Onion Pattern, Willow Pattern, and Flora Danica. These designs are classic in the true sense, and are appreciated now for their aesthetic value as they were many years ago. Most of the designs are still being produced today.

Old Country Roses designed by Harold Holdcroft stands out in the top ten list as very new, having only originated in 1962. Made in England by Royal Albert China, Old Country Roses is the epitome of the English floral style and is reminiscent of an English garden.

Reference: Tim Forrest, Paul Atterbury/Little, Brown and Company, The Bulfinch Anatomy of Antique China & Silver (London, Bulfinch Press, Marshall Editions 1998)

We are currently listing several Royal Albert Old Country Roses pieces all made in England, in our online store and in our eBay store.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Meissen Porcelain Plate

A great passion for collecting fine porcelain began in the eighteenth century with the royal houses, and the aristocracy of Europe. Later, as wealth grew in Europe and in the United States of America, newly rich industrialists and businessmen were anxious to begin their great collections. This enthusiasm was soon shared by the middle classes as production increased, and more porcelain factories opened in other parts of Europe making decorative porcelain and porcelain dinnerware more affordable. Great collections were passed down from generation to generation, or were donated to museums for everyone to enjoy. The fervor for collecting ceramics has not waned and continues to the present day.

Some collectors have as many as four complete sets of china, one for each season. Many of us have smaller collections and display our china collectibles as decorative accessories to brighten and add colour to our homes. A small collection of two, three or four decorative plates on plate stands can be displayed as art objects to add exquisite detail to a mantle, table, or bookcase.

We recently acquired this exquisite Meissen plate from an estate sale. It is currently listed in our online stores. The crossed swords Meissen mark in blue, and a tiny impressed number are on the bottom. The plate was made by the Porcelain Manufactory Meissen which has been producing excellent quality porcelain for the past 300 years, and is Europe's oldest producing factory.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Antique Dutch Tiles Manganese ca. 1880

We have just listed more manganese handpainted antique delft tiles in a circled landscape motif. Our online store now has 12 listed, enough to make a beautiful tiled accent above your kitchen stove. They add depth, and interest adding a feeling of old-world warmth to any decor.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dutch Delft Tiles Add Warmth and Permanence

Fireplace surrounds, or the back walls of fireplaces are sometimes tiled with old delft tiles to add traditional warmth and a sense of permanence to a room. This decoration also reminds us of the continental tile stoves that are scarce in North America. My own house is of a Tudor style built in 1930. When we decided to renovate our kitchen, the only thing I insisted on is to have a back splash tiled with hand painted old delft tiles. A factory in the Netherlands still produces tiles in the same dimensions, crackled, and handpainted, making it possible to intersperse less expensive plain tiles with the old pictured ones.