I spend a good bit of time looking through my willow pattern reference books and I often find the items I find myself gazing at are always the willow pattern animals or figurines. They are kind of like toby jugs, the ultimate willow pattern find.
I have two different sets of willow cows with the milk maids. One that is strictly blue and white while the other has various shades of color. The shape of the cows themselves are almost identical. This makes me wonder if there were multiple pottery companies in England that purchased the same mold to produce the cow itself and then applied their applicable patterns to each item.
I referenced in a previous post where I felt the engraving plates had sections of pattern to fulfil the purpose of making a pattern fix the respective piece. For instance, the set on the left has no border pattern and the pattern on the cows that is willow pattern does not have the birds. I will add the same pattern on the front of the cow is also on the back.
Each of these appear to be hand painted with essentially the same color scheme. I have to admit, the tiny little details are just amazing to me. I am also impressed that they have survived. I had another set of these at some point and sold them on Ebay. The milk maids were painted with different colors.
Now this set has a gorgeous butterfly border and the pattern on the cow is very different. All 4 of these cows are unmarked so I have no idea who produced them. You will see with the one picture, there are birds on the pattern with these two! The pattern on the back of the cow is almost blank with the exception of the birds that flow over from the front.
I wish I could tell you more about these, but I simply can’t trace them without a mark! They are obviously English and I would say late 1800s to early 1900s but that is merely a guess. I will add, I do really love cows. They are much cuter when they are little!
My son worked on a farm in high school and earned himself a calf! It was so cute when it was little. They have the longest eye lashed but soon they get way too big and smelly. I did tell him we could keep it in the garage for a while…..but my husband did not agree! Now you know why my husband won’t let me have goats. We live on 30 acres of land and there are constantly cows around like the one pictured below…if only she had the willow pattern!
More Animal Willow posts to come later this week!!!!!! Stay tuned. Enjoy. Christine