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The willow pattern is an oriental pattern, most often seen in blue and white, that features common elements from manufacturer to manufacturer.
These elements are a willow tree, an orange or apple tree, two birds, people on a bridge, a fence, a boat and a teahouse, which some collectors call a pagoda.
Two of the patterns were named Willow-Nankin and Broseley.
Josiah Spode developed an improved paper for transfer printing on pearlware and began a replacement service for Chinese porcelain patterns in addition to supplying complete dinner and tea services in many different Chinese landscape patterns.
It was produced on dinnerware and was marked with impressed and printed marks.
The Broseley pattern teawares were produced on pearlware as well as bone china.
The Chinamen in London needed stock to supply the ever-growing demand for blue and white Chinese landscape patterns.
The Caughley factory provided transfer-printed porcelains as engravers Thomas Turner and Thomas Minton copied Chinese patterns onto copper plates.
Remember, just like any investment....there is never a promise of future gains. Whether or not to buy has to be a personal decision based on the rarity of the piece, the exact damage and the price. Can I ever afford that or will I ever want to pay that price?
Most of the 19th century potteries in England produced a version of the willow pattern.
The smaller factories purchased their copper plates from independent engravers. You see floral to landscapes to other Chinese elements.
Many dealers are misinformed, by no fault of their own. Remember, the willow pattern has been made by hundreds of potters. To date there have been more than 400 documented makers of the willow pattern in Great Britain alone, with more than 500 makers worldwide. It comes down to having a feel for the older wares.
You have to take into account the pottery, the glaze, the pattern and just the general feel of an unmarked piece to begin determining its age. They are well made, with nice pattern transfers and colors. They range from paper towel holders to egg cups to teapots, and just a variety of other small unique pieces.
Some collectors even specialize in one particular manufacturer. Buy here and there until you begin to feel more comfortable with what you’re collecting and spending. But because there was so much willow made, there are still older pieces you can buy and use every day. It is always hard to determine future value and any dealer who tells you a certain piece will be worth twice as much in X number of years from now should be avoided.