House Beautiful

WONDERFUL WILLOW PATTERN

The timeless beauty of Willow pattern china has made it a favourite with collectors for more than 200 years.

With the increase in blue and white ceramics exported from China to the West in the 18th century, chinoiserie patterns grew in popularity and inspired the creation of the original Willow design in England in the late 1700s. Production involved engraving the pattern onto copper plate, which was then printed onto special paper and transferred onto the porcelain, a process known as transferware.

There have been many interpretations of the original Willow pattern, but they all include at least one element from a list of key features, including a willow tree, birds, a Chinese boat, and a temple. The designs are most often in blue, and always against a white background.

Over the years many famous potteries, from Aynsley to Wedgwood, have produced their own versions. Older pieces are highly collectible, and can be expensive, but it can be tricky to determine their authenticity. Looking at the manufacturer’s mark is a good place to start and there are websites and books that explain what else to look for.

Willow pattern continues to inspire both traditional and contemporary designs, here’s a selection currently in production.

UK based designer Dinah Body created Willow Love Story for Hong Kong manufacturer Loveramics. The charming pattern unfolds across the different pieces in the range.

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