Ridgway Gaudy Willow – A Favorite

This is one of my most vibrant place setting I have. I love the bright lime green, the deep blue almost navy blue hues, the oranges and burnt reds, almost the shade of brick. I have to tell you, I would love to have 4 place settings in this pattern, but I have a lonely one for now.

The most prized part of my Ridgway willow items is the scalloped cheese dome. It is simply stunning.

I would assume these pieces used a printing plate for the initial pattern, which was probably a base of brown and then the shading itself was highlighted by each artist by hand. I believe they call this clobbering, where they dab paint on overtop of the initial pattern to get a layered look. It is simply beautiful to the eye.

The platter I have is from a slightly different time and doesn’t have all of the same colors but is Ridgway. I was lucky enough to find this piece and paid a whole $10 for it! I was like a kid in a candy shop waiting on that darn box to arrive!

The plate, and cup and saucer have beautiful gilding in gold all the way around. These do have some war simply because they are so old. I am just thankful they aren’t broke.

The colors simply pop against the green willow table cloth. It truly brings out those shades of green and makes the blues appear navy.

Now a little bit of history on Ridgway Pottery after some research this morning. I have to admit, I had no idea the company was open for so long! It is amazing. In the US, rarely do we have companies still in operation from the 1700’s. It is honestly unheard of. I think this makes these pieces even more valuable.

This is from justcollecting.com:

Brief History and Description

Ridgway Pottery was one of the earliest Staffordshire potteries, founded by Ralph Ridgway during 1744. However, it was in 1792, the brothers George and Job Ridgway registered Ridgway Potteries Limited at Bell Works, North Staffordshire, England. It was here that the first type of Ridgwayware was produced.

The Ridgwayware included dessert, tea, and dinner services, and they competed with Mintonware as well as with the products from Spode, Rockingham, and Worcester. However, it was the Ridgway’s high quality earthenware with blue printed designs that were extremely popular.

During 1802, the pottery works that was formed by Job Ridgway was taken over by John and William Ridgway. While John Ridgway inherited the Cauldon pottery, the Bell pottery works was taken over by William Ridgway.

It was also during the 1851 exhibition that John Ridgway received a high recommendation from Her Majesty Queen Victoria. The exhibition catalogue states that Ridgway was ‘one of the largest and among the best conducted of the many factories of Staffordshire’. John was later appointed as the official potter to the royalty. The Ridgway pottery also set up a scholarship with the School of Design and which is functional even today.

John, William Ridgway & Company continued to make attractive dishes, but not in the old blue printed designs. Ridgway Pottery later merged with the Booths & Colclough China Company during the 1940’s, and later became a part of Royal Doulton in the 1960’s.

Below is a mark from the plate I have:

I don’t know how you feel about this pattern, but I want an entire set, with serving pieces.

Until I find more pieces, I will be happy with what I have been able to come up with!

Until next time, have a wonderful weekend. Much love.

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