COTE DE TEXAS: Blue and White and Transferware

Blue and White and Transferware

I collect transferware in many different colors: blue and white, brown, lilac, black, and red. For reasons that I can't explain, it just attracts me like the proverbial moth to a flame. I'm also partial to toiles, so I suspect it's something in the patterns that appeals to me. I started out with blue and white, then moved on to black and white, red and white, and on and on. I love to see all different colors of transferware mixed together on a breakfront, but for some reasons I don't personally display my collection like that. I keep my colors separate.

I never buy new transferware, such as the blue and white reissues from Spode. I only buy antiques. When I started collecting about 15 years ago, you could buy a plate for around $50. Today, that same plate is over $100. Once in Austin at Whit Hanks, an antique mall, a dealer was selling a set of brown and white plates for an insanely cheap price. I purchased it and now it hangs on the wall around a vaisellier that holds blue and white transferware.

I like to collect different pieces besides plates: vegetable dishes, pitchers, meat platters and others. Once in a hurry I put a valuable and gorgeous fruit compote dish in the dishwasher - it disintegrated. I was so furious at myself! To date, my most valuable plate is a yellow and brown color. There's only one though, their price is too high.

Besides transferware I also collect blue and white oriental exportware. I'm no snob about this collection, though. If a new piece is somewhat muted in tone, I'll buy it even if it was produced yesterday. The top picture shows my collection of mulberry transferware on a antique French wine tasting table in my entryhall. I've mixed in some blue and white and a gorgeous lilac hydrangea. You can also see an amethyst crystal next to the transferware. A large selection of design books are stacked all around the table: on chairs, the floor, and in an antique French basket. Dividing the table is a large, old, wooden birdcage. Recently, with the help of Ebay, I've amassed a new collection of Masonware which I'll save for another post. The more the merrier I like to tell myself.


  1. Joni,
    I do have the new Spode Blue Italian, because I'm afraid to use my antique blue (mixed) dishes every day. However, I have a 1917 plate and it's very close to the reproduction.

    Do you use yours for dining or are they just for looks. I have to have them every day, so much is my "thing" for blue & white. I handwash the antiques, but we don't use them often.

  2. I don't know if I've already mentioned it - but I'm in love with your entry table.

  3. I have primarily a deep teal transfer collection and the red also but because I have a home-based antique business - I have come across some fabulous patterns. I can't collect everything but friends have collections too - so I make the calls when I find Majolica for Ann, brown for Carole Jo, blue and white for Mary and broken anything for Pete - if it's a bargain. It's all gorgeous isn't it?