blue & white transferware details

by | Mar 28, 2018 | All Things Home, Antiques, Favorite Finds | 30 comments

I’ve been asked a lot lately about my pale blue & white antique dishes, specifically about the handleless cups and the pattern, so I thought I would share the details with everyone.

I found my first handless cup several years ago.  I’m not generally a lover or collector of teacups, but I loved the more functional shape of these.  They are taller than traditional tea cups, making them suitable to be used for small potted plants, candleholders, pencil cups, all sorts of things.  And, since they don’t have a handle, they stack easily.

By the way, they are cups, not egg cups or pudding molds.  They are from the 1800’s and that was the fashion, I suppose.  I don’t often think about the fact that these are well over 100 years old.  Oh, the stories they would tell…

Anyway, the color of this transferware also caught my eye.  It is not a bright, royal blue, like much of the Blue Willow and Flow Blue out there, but a pale, soft blue that leans gray.  I think it’s so lovely.

Once I latch on to something, I love to hunt for it.  I’ve been collecting pieces here and there as I find them, usually for under $20/piece.

Because I’ve collected these from many places over many years, they are different patterns from different makers.  I just look for a specific color and style and they all work together.  I don’t know if I even have any two pieces that match beyond some cup and saucer pairs!

Here are a few marks, though, in case you’re interested…

In case you’re interested, I did a little online shopping on eBay and Etsy (affiliate links) to find some more pieces like the ones I have.  Some are reasonably priced, but others are really expensive!  I didn’t pay anywhere near those prices for the pieces I have.  I thought I would share them, though, so you could find out more about the patterns, if nothing else.

As I’ve shared before, I have a problem when it comes to collecting pretty, antique, breakable things! Anyone else?

PS – In case you’re interested, another round of my original oil paintings are up for sale.  (The ones pictured are for sale.)  You can find the landscapes HERE and the still life paintings HERE.

30 Comments

  1. Kizzy

    Stunning pieces. My husband makes teacups without handles in the Japanese style of Yunomi’s which are tall and narrow and Chowans which are wide and bowl like. I love drinking out of these too

    Reply
  2. Liz

    When will these be available on Society 6? There were several I am interested in getting prints of to frame. We are building a new house and I have he perfect place for the series of fruit you did in the large blue bowls. Your paintings are beautiful and would love to have an original but I need a lower priced option. I am thrilled for you that the auction has done so well.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I will be listing some on Society 6.

      Reply
      • Liz

        When will they be available on Society 6?

        Reply
  3. Marsha Kern

    I love the softer blue color, I also though the paper eggs you painted were beautiful!!

    Reply
  4. Lee Ann

    Marian, thank you for the info on the china. It is gorgeous. I certainly understand your collecting “habit.” When I moved a couple of years ago, I found boxes of mismatched china I had picked up for years at yard and estate sales. I kept my favorite few pieces, but your collection inspires me to start looking again … but maybe this time with a more focused approach. Thank you!

    Reply
  5. Kristi

    Is it safe to eat off these/ antique transferware in general? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      The answer is mixed based on the articles I’ve read. Some antique dishes contain lead in the glaze. I decided to use newer ironstone (from the 1970’s) for my everyday dishes and my really old pieces from the 1800’s are for decorative use.

      Reply
  6. Janice

    I have fallen in love with the 1800’s transfeware in blue and white and on the look at every antique mall and flea market for the pitchers. I have collected blue and white for years and love your collection

    Reply
  7. Betsy

    I love the Blue Willow I have. My mom started purchasing it for me back in the 70’s. The brands made in England are my favorite : ). I have some Burleighware too. I love your paintings and have wanted one but now that they are auctioned they are sadly out of my budget. Beautiful art Marian.

    Reply
  8. Joan

    The shape of the cups and the painting on the one with the blue egg are just a delight!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I love the shape, too. Those faceted sides get my every time. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Carolyn

    The late 1800’s there was the asian influence in design and the cups without handles are helpful if the cup is too hot to hold the drink inside too hot to drink.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yep, that makes total sense!

      Reply
  10. Nancy

    I have a small collection of “cups without handles” in black and white transferware. They were sold to me as tea waste bowls. Does anyone know if they are for drinking tea or for disposing of the used leaves?

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Hm… Did they come with saucers, too? Mine come with saucers, so I assume they were for drinking.

      Reply
  11. Mary Lou

    I have sweet blue handless cups as well that I use at my stove for salt and pepper. Not thinking of lead, it may not be a good use for them. I also found a perfect blue transferware sugar bowl that was so brown. I used the method you described in another blog in which one can soak them in peroxide to remove the brown. It worked perfectly

    Reply
    • Addie

      Mary Lou,
      Maybe you could cut down a coffee filter (or two) and insert it deep inside the cup and then add the salt and pepper????
      That could be enough to protect….”IF” it truly has lead in it.

      Reply
  12. Renee

    I love your blue transfer ware! I started my own collection of red quite by accident (yard sale find) a “few” years ago.

    Also, if you offer prints or future paintings with white barns, I am interested. Lovely!

    Reply
  13. Rita

    Hello Miss M, I have a collection of blue transfer we K purchased long ago, I am giving it all to my oldest Daughter. I have so much stuff that I must get rid of something! Although, I must admit, I had no idea there were so many patterns. Thank You for all the info.

    Reply
  14. Donna Coletta

    Is that also a new line of plates with your pattern on them? This is the second time you have ‘introduced’ them.

    Reply
  15. Nan, Odessa, DE

    Please give us some still life with reds! Strawberries, watermelon, radishes, tomato.
    I know everyone paints what they like. Please make an exception!
    I am your red lady who loves ALL the blues you always share. HA! HA!

    Reply
  16. Sue

    Do you know anything about the dish stamped “Baumgardner.” I assume it came from Germany. That’s my maiden name plus it’s spelled the same way. There are many variations of the spelling. Thanks.

    Reply
  17. Sara

    Oh my gosh! My mother’s maiden name is Baumgardner! Now I am going to have to start searching. What a lovely gift to give her. Thank you, as always, for sharing with all of us.

    Reply
  18. sharon

    I think you need to paint the front of a piece of furniture with a meadow scene. now that you have gained experience, I think it would be amazing

    Reply
  19. Maryanne gillooly

    Marion… I was so surprised when I saw the “Blantyre” stamp on the back of one of your plates.
    It is a wonderful Inn – one of the gilded age mansions in the Berkshire in Lenox, Ma.
    As a Floral designer….I worked there for several years before I started my own business as a free lance florists for weddings and events.
    Just thought you might like to know a little about Blantyre.
    I always love to read your blogs and you always amaze me with your many talents and the wonderful paths you have taken….. or been led by our maker.

    Reply
  20. Maryanne gillooly

    Marion… I was so surprised when I saw the “Blantyre” stamp on the back of one of your plates.
    It is a wonderful Inn – one of the gilded age mansions in the Berkshires in Lenox, Ma.
    As a Floral designer….I worked there for several years before I started my own business as a free lance florists for weddings and events.
    Just thought you might like to know a little about Blantyre.
    I always love to read your blogs and you always amaze me with your many talents and the wonderful paths you have taken….. or been led by our maker.

    Reply
  21. Kim C.

    Regarding the cups without handles: I’m currently reading The Making of Home: The 500 Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Homes by Judith Flanders. In a a chapter on home furnishings, Flanders traces how mass marketing and the drop in the prices of sugar and tea in the late 1700s due to regular trade routes and the establishment of British tea plantations made tea drinking something even poor people could afford. She states, “Chinese teaware soon became entirely unsuitable for British tea-drinking, so radically did the drink alter. Chinese handleless cups were fine for their twice decanted, and therefore cooled, drink, but not for tea served, British-style, as hot as possible. A handle was therefore added. This, together with the inclusion of milk in the drink, made larger cups more practical. The addition of sugar necessitated a small spoon, the teaspoon, to stir it with, and once there was a wet spoon, a saucer was needed to rest it on.” (page 147)
    Your handleless cup might be an old style cup or it could have been used as a “slop bowl,” which held the remains of emptied teacups, the small bits of tea leaves settled at the bottom which were called the “dregs.” It’s fascinating to learn the evolution of everyday items that we now take for granted.

    Reply
  22. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    Marian, your blue and white dishes are beautiful! I just love anything blue and white!

    Reply
  23. Kristin Becks

    What is the silverware is pictured?? I found a set not nearly a beauuuutiful as what you have posted in an antique store with a hefty price tag. I just love your finds and I’m guessing many of them came from PA? Can you tell me as someone who wants to collect, what are you’re Go-To places. Where would you direct a beginner collector on a tight budget?!

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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