I am a very casual collector of early and mid-nineteenth-century pottery, and have gone through different phases of interest and intensity of interest over the years: simple white ironstone, creamware, red (pink) transferware, children’s plates. I still have some of the latter, but have sold or given away everything else. Along the way, the one type of pottery that I have not tired of are painted pearlware pieces in the “King’s Rose” or “Queen’s Rose” pattern, made in England in the first half of the nineteenth century for the American market. Another variation, red and green without the lustre band, is called “Adams Rose” after the manufacturer, and sometimes these patterns are referred to as “Gaudy Dutch” or “Gaudy Welsh” as well. I like these pieces (mostly plates) because they are painted, as opposed to transfer-printed; this makes them somewhat less common, but much more difficult to preserve. I rarely come across one with perfect paint and when I do its price is more than I am willing to pay. In their day, however, I think that they were basic dinnerware: when I was digging out an herb garden behind my kitchen ell a decade ago I uncovered shards of the same patterned plates I had in my china cabinet!
So here are some of my pieces, which are generally tucked away on shelves and in corners; these plates are yet another floral motif that my husband only tolerates.
And here are some pieces that I do not possess but would like to: two coffee pots, one in the King’s Rose pattern (which sold at Christies several years ago) and another in the more delicate Queen’s Rose pattern, along with a very exuberant teabowl and saucer from Patrician Antiques.