On The Square

A Tablescape for the Ages

By Cynthia Beech Lawrence

Aug 10,2023 | 14:05 EDT

From the end of the War of 1812 until around 1860, the Staffordshire potters of Britain produced millions of pieces of transferware for the American market.

Using brilliant white pearlware and ironstone printed underglaze with deep cobalt blue, Staffordshire potters imitated the brilliance of Chinese porcelain on widely affordable domestic tableware.

Appealing directly to the American market, wares were decorated with patriotic scenes and historical landmarks which were set in either romantic garden landscapes or unspoiled scenery, and the early achievements of the Industrial Revolution, such as steamships and railroads.

So popular was the style, it is still produced today- although reproductions lack the variety of artwork and the original intense cobalt, which has been replaced with synthetic blues.

The original pieces still typify the standard of beauty for a blue and white table.

See these items and more in Pook & Pook's upcoming auction, Online Only Decorative Arts, on August 17, 2023.

Photo caption – Left to right: Lot 3238 a collection of blue Staffordshire, including bowls, teacup and saucer, teapot, and covered vegetable dish), Lot 3054 sterling silver pitcher, Lot 3012 pair of Gorham weighted sterling silver candelabra, Lot 3214 English pewter mug marked by William Walker, Lot 3239 Historical blue Staffordshire plates, including Table Rock, Niagara, Lot 3240 Historical blue Staffordshire Franklin Tomb cup and saucer and Landing of Lafayette waste bowl.