What Is Blue Willow China, aka the South’s Favorite Dinnerware?

Blue Willow China is a kind of patterned pottery that has become a beloved staple in many American households, especially those of the Southern variety. You may have seen these classic-looking earthenware dishes your whole life. From family gatherings to local eateries, it’s hard to ignore the warm and inviting presence of Blue Willow China. But what exactly is it? Read on to learn all about Blue Willow China and why it’s so popular and cherished by so many.

History of Blue Willow China

The classic Blue Willow pattern can be traced back to the city of Liverpool, England, in the late 1700s. According to local legend, the first Blue Willow pattern was inspired by a tragic love story. Artist Thomas Turner used his beloved daughter Peggy’s heartache as the source of his creative drive. The story included a family of two sisters and their father, a somewhat wealthier man. The old man married a young woman and brought her along with her two brothers to his home. The older daughter, desperate to win back her father’s attention, agreed to marry the younger brother. When the two married, the younger brother revealed a secret – he was actually of humble origins and could not support the elder sister in the lifestyle she was used to. As a result of this harsh truth, the couple fled into a garden maze and were separated by a river. But even though they were not able to be together in person, they were reunited in spirit each time the Blue Willow pattern was viewed, reminding us not just of Peggy’s story but of enduring love.

Today, this iconic pattern is recognized widely by many different cultures and is still being used to create incredible pieces of dinnerware. It’s a classic look that is often found in antique stores and frequently used at special occasions.

Characteristics of Blue Willow China

The design of Blue Willow China is often described as an oriental scene featuring a bridge across a stream, a house with two residents, a willow tree, and a few birds. Other details of the design include a fence, a boat, other buildings, pagodas, and even a soaring mountain.

Blue Willow China is usually colored in edgings of blue and white, but it can also be found in a variety of other colors such as yellow and pink, or multi-colored designs. The pattern is usually found on plates, teacups, and saucers, but it can also be seen on other pieces like casserole dishes and even jewelry.

This popular pattern can be seen in a variety of different shapes of pottery. Some are round and some are more of an oblong oval shape. Many pieces of Blue Willow China feature intricate engravings of the traditional pattern.

In some versions of the design, only the outside of the plates are covered in the design, while other plates may have the design on the inside as well. Blue Willow China pieces can easily be distinguished on the shelf due to their unique pattern.

Types of Blue Willow China

There are a variety of types of Blue Willow China available in the market. Here is a brief overview of the different types:

● Vintage Blue Willow China – The classic stonewares of the 18th century have become increasingly popular over the last few years. Although they might not be as affordable as other types of new Blue Willow China, they are sought-after because of their traditional style and the story behind it.

● English Blue Willow China – This type of Blue Willow China is considered the original version of the design, as it was first created in England. English Blue Willow China is known for its intricate engraving and detailed pattern and it is typically less expensive than vintage sorts.

● Japanese Blue Willow China – Japanese Blue Willow China is often inspired by the original English patterns but with a Japanese twist. Japanese Blue Willow china is frequently crafted with bright colors and unique designs.

● Replica Blue Willow China – This type of Blue Willow China is crafted to imitate the original design and pattern. It is cheaper than the vintage and original versions, but it can still be a stunning addition to any table setting.

Uses for Blue Willow China

Blue Willow China has become a staple in many homes today because of its classic and timeless look. Here are just some of the many ways Blue Willow China can be used and enjoyed in a household:

● Classic Dinnerware: Blue Willow China is most commonly used as a dinnerware set, with plates, bowls, and cups often being part of the set. It’s a great way to make your table look lovely and inviting for family dinners and special occasions.

● Displays and Decorations: Blue Willow China pieces make great decorative objects when used as standalone items. Plates and teacups can be hung on the wall or set on shelves for a stylish display that is sure to look beautiful.

● Mementos: Collecting Blue Willow China and displaying it in your home is a great way to honor the classic pattern. You can find and collect pieces from different countries and time periods to create a unique collection of fantastic pieces.

Caring for Blue Willow China

With proper care and attention, your Blue Willow China can last a lifetime. Here are some tips for caring for your Blue Willow China to ensure it stays in great condition:

● Avoid using abrasive materials to clean your Blue Willow China as this might cause scratches or damage the design.

● Don’t subject your Blue Willow China to extreme temperatures to avoid cracking or warping.

● If you need to, try soaking your Blue Willow China in warm soapy water before washing.

● Be sure to dry and store your Blue Willow China in a clean, dry place to avoid possible staining and rusting.

No home is complete without a set of Blue Willow China. Not only is the pattern beautiful, but it’s also deeply rooted in history and can be passed down for generations. Whether you’re looking for a classic set of dinnerware, unique decorations for your home, or just something to show off to your family, Blue Willow China is always a great choice. As you can see, there’s much more to Blue Willow China than meets the eye and it’s easy to see why it has become such an iconic part of our culture.