Willow Toby Post #5

Willow Pattern Toby Prestopans

Now this takes the term toby to a different level, these are obviously not jugs but were meant to serve as a full condiment set to adorn any beautiful table. I will say, these little guys hold no salt, pepper, mustard or vinegar/oil in my household. They are safely tucked away on a shelf dedicated to just them!

It is said these little men date to the mid 1800’s and got their name from where they were manufactured in Prestonpan Scottland! The detail of the border on these little guys is amazing. I simply love them. They come with various colors of jackets. The red/orange is the most commonly found and are pictured below (I am missing one of the set)

These little guys are so hard to find without damage. But honestly, I think we all have some sort of damage in our lives, so I don’t hold it against them. Damage builds character in my book!

The next rarest color in my opinion is the blue jacketed fellows:

You don’t see this color near as often as the orange/red. I am lucky enough to have a full set of this color. Now on to my favorite color combination: yellow jacket and pink britches. Real men wear pink! I am also partial to the tiffany blue vest color as well. If anyone has the prestopan I am missing, I will pay a pretty penny for that lad!

Look a the sterling silver covered cork for the pepper shaker. It is the only one I have. I rarely purchase these with any form of cork, let alone one with a sterling silver cover. It leads me to believe this was the norm for these sets, or maybe it was the norm for the more rare colors. Regardless I love it.

My friend Mason has one with a green jacket, pictured front and center! It appears to be almost an army green, but is the first one I have seen and the only one he has. Given he is the ultimate toby collector, I would say this is the rarest color jacket to be found!

These complete sets with no damage used to bring around $1,200 a set. With the internet and the ability to find them, each piece probably goes for $125-$175. To me each one is different and they are priceless!

Ok, now for the last form of a toby willow table ware item I have:

These were purchased as a set and more resemble the rare soft after “bobby” salt toby shaker. The border on this guy is a butterfly border. This is an early piece. I would say it dates to around 1890, a similar time frame as the bobby salt. The bobby salt is shaped like a police officer and I have not been successful in snatching one for my collection. I did however snag these beauties as they were sold as a set.

I love the green jacket, although I don’t know why they didn’t paint the back of the jacket. There is the thought these may have been made with child labor, so missing an area of paint, wouldn’t surprise anyone. These are not shaped like the standard Prestopans you see and honestly I am not even sure what to call it. Lets just call them salt shakers!

A reference to my willow toby bible (my terminology) shows a picture of the Bobby salt. The one above is very similar, only the Bobby salt pictured has the butterfly border on the hat and the standard willow on the base. Mine has butterfly border on the top and the bottom. The willow bible states that the prestopans were re-manufatured in the early 1900’s so many of mine may be from that time period. With no marks, it is difficult to tell.

The last Willow Toby Prestonpan find I have is material. I am in love with this material and at some point I will be brave enough to have someone make me a jacket out of this material. You can see it has the willow pattern in the background and every other toby has the willow pattern on it. Front and center is a bobby toby in the green jacket. What a wonderful way to showcase these guys.

Well until next time, stay away from too much salt, it makes you retain water! Christine

Willow Toby Post #4

A Rare Toby made by Sampson Smith

Collection of Sampson Smith Toby Jugs

I recall walking into the Grand Sale at my first IWC convention in Richmond Virginia. I was in awe. Back then, we didn’t have cell phones to take pictures so I looked like a tourist standing back with my good old 35mm cheap camera taking pictures. The conference room the sellers were set up in was huge and while there were less expensive pieces (we couldn’t afford anything) I saw one of these sitting on a table. I am fairly certain Rita had it at her table and my mouth simply watered. Would I ever find one.

I don’t recall what she had on the price tag at the time, maybe $1,200 because they were so rare and it was the late 90’s so the internet hadn’t opened up the doors to finding these beauties. Nonetheless, had I had that in my wallet, it would have been mine. I would have rocked it all the way home on our 8 hour trip!

As a young collector at the time, you wonder where people find items of this caliber. Were they visiting the markets I picture in my head in London, or quaint little antique shops somewhere outside of London? I just had no idea. Did they have people who bought for them and resold to them? All I knew was, I wanted what they had! I wanted the rare pieces, and my collection wasn’t a collection without them.

After high school I had the opportunity to travel to Spain and Paris. Now, I wish I had paid closer attention to those little shops. At the time, being I was a teenager, I had no appreciation for the finer things. I am hopeful, some time as an adult, I can take a trip to England to simply see what it has to offer. And to buy willow, lots of willow.

Anyhow, back to these toby jugs. As you can see they were made in various sizes. My largest is just over 10 inches tall. Each one would have had a hat, however I only have two with their original hat, these are fairly hard to find in tact, let alone with the hat.

The front page of the IWC news in 2002 showcased a Sampson Smith Toby C 1860. This is my reference to my willow toby bible written by Loren Zeller! If you aren’t a member of the IWC and you like blue willow, you are missing out. The fee is worth it just to get the newsletters!

This my friends is where my love of these guys began! Receiving this newsletter was like getting a toby jug in the mail. But I have to say, all it did was make me want more!

The article references a mark on the pieces that date to the 1851-1890 date range. None of mine are marked, so I have to draw a conclusion that mine were a reissue, probably from the early 1900’s. I love them anyhow.

You can see each one has a variation in the britches, neck scarf or how the jug in the had may be painted. They also have a true character of their own when you look a the painting on their faces! Hey, I have to say, they all have brushed their teeth with those pearly whites showing!

Some of mine have restorations and repairs. The second one in from the left has had a restoration to the hat. I want to show you how the restoration to the handles were often made.

Do you see the metal strapping in the handle on this repaired toby jug? I always fall in love with the pieces that show stapling or repair work and how amazing those repairs were. This handle was replaced in three different areas, top, middle and bottom. Someone cherished this item enough to have it repaired versus just throwing it out with the trash and I am thankful they did. My question is how on earth did they use a metal staple without breaking it more?

You can see from the various pictures, these range in size from 8-11 inches tall. I have mine displayed in the bottom of a china cupboard arranged from smallest to largest. They are on the bottom shelf because they are some of the heaviest toby jugs I have and if for some reason, they got damaged…I might have a heart attack.

I still will buy everyone of these that I see because I know each one is a little different than the next. In my most recent price guide (2004) these guys are referenced in “Collecting Blue Willow by MA Harmon” (pages 182-183). Prices range from $1,250-$1,800 for the marked toby jugs and of course prices rise and fall with internet and the markets availability of items. I will tell you, if my hubby asks, I always send him to the book to show the value of these items!!!! I have to always substantiate my purchase!

To me, it doesn’t matter the value if you truly enjoy your collection and in some crazy way it relieves stress. Showcasing my collection to you all has brought me some stress relief in a very trying time in my life. I hope you continue to enjoy and read. Please follow the page!

Until next willow toby post, have a good day. Christine

Willow Toby Post # 3

The more “traditional” toby jug found these days!

The seated toby jug in various paint finishes

The first toby jug I ever received in the mail was the typical toby you can find almost every week on Ebay. The black rim around the top and bottom and the willow pattern jacket. Luckily my find was coming from inside the US so I was a little less stressed about it making it in one piece, but none the less I tracked it’s location for days and almost hourly until it’s safe arrive.

I am fairly certain after carefully unwrapping it, I sat and just held it as if it were a child in the recliner. Gazed at how beautiful the willow pattern was on his jacket. Maybe someday I will have a willow jacket. It wasn’t long before he was placed carefully in the center of my one china cabinet. Yes it was probably 2001 and I had one main willow china cabinet. How on earth did my collection get this big….addiction (laughed out loud, because I run a recovery program!) Anyhow, enough of stepping out of denial.

I realized I had to have more of this little guy, for there were differences in each one I purchased. The vest and britches come in various colors and some times the base and hat are painted blue or black or a mix of the two. I also noticed that some have painted faces while others are simply an unpainted sheen of white.

My traditional toby jugs

It may be hard for you to see the differences in these 4 toby jugs, but they are all different, whether it is the painting of the hat, vest, or britches and you can note, all of them have an unpainted face. To show the differences, even in how the pattern is lined up on each piece, I will show you side and back views of each of them.

Note, I don’t see birds on any of these jackets!!!!! Interesting. Now, on to the ones with no border around the bottom and the more vibrant of them from a paint and color perspective.

I wanted to show you a close up of these marks. They say “Staffordshire Ware England” with a knot, but off to the side they have a pattern number of 368! In an earlier post I showed you a book someone sent me and guess what the pattern number was?…..368. This tells me these were made by Kent in Staffordshire England. How awesome is that?

Now onto the last of my traditional shaped toby jugs, the one with a solid color jacket and a willow border around the bottom. I find these much harder to find.

I would have to guess he too was made by Kent in Staffordshire but is unmarked, so may have been made later in the mid 1900’s. I simply do not know, but that is my guess. I haven’t seen many of these gems, so I have managed to hold on to this guy.

Now, lets talk about what a toby jug collection looks like. I have several (I haven’t counted, because then I really have to step out of denial). I have sold all of my duplicates to my friend Mason. I could not do a toby just post without referencing his army of toby jugs. I am thankful he is a tad more addicted than I am. If he continues to buy them, the market will slim down and we will finally see the price of these little guys go back up…Full steam ahead buy them while you can, we are counting on you!

See, I told you! When the hubby asks why I keep buying more, I just say, well when a tuition payment comes due, I just call Mason. I have a plan!!!!

Here is to seeking out your next toby jug purchase and to enjoying the little guys as much as I do. Mine have their own cabinet too, I just don’t have this many!!!!!

Happy hunting willowers!

Willow Toby Post #2

The Ordinary Toby Jug adorned with Willow Pattern

The “Ordinary” Willow Toby

This is probably the rarest of all of my toby jugs. I have only ever seen this one, but I am sure there are more out there somewhere! I must keep looking!!!!! This toby is unmarked but has the butterfly border around the top and the traditional willow border around the bottom.

I think it is most likely made by the same manufacturer as my previous Hearty Good Fellow post, but I just cannot be certain with no marks…and of course, there are no marks. This collecting stuff isn’t easy!

Now, one of the most unusual things is that the piece has no pattern on the back. And, if you pay really close attention to each side, it sure looks like whomever placed the pattern on the toby used a willow printing plate for a plate as the pattern.

It sure looks like they cut the sheet for the printing plate in half and applied the pattern to each side of the toby jug. They they took the inside border of the plate and applied it to the base of the toby jug. Well, at least that is my theory anyhow. Again, I have no idea of worth and it is not pictured in my willow toby bible by Loren Zeller either! To me, it is priceless!!

Below are examples of other “ordinary” toby jugs (yes that is the name of the shape of the toby).

I must say, I think my toby jug is a little less scary! These guys look a little rough! I get the red face painted on these, as often those that drink a little too much get flushed, but why all the dots on the face? Bar fights? Acne? I have no idea, I just know they are a little uglier than mine!!!! Or at least I think they are. To each his own.

Again a reference to the pattern type in the Staffordshire Ware by Kent Book pattern 387:

I don’t know about you, but my first toby I opened was one of the biggest highlights of my willow collecting career. I was instantly in love and also instantly addicted! I do however have a friend who has way more than I do. I will see if I can get pics from him for a later post to make your mouth water!

For now, good bye and more toby jugs to come. Christine

Willow Toby Post # 1

Hearty Good Fellow with the Willow Pattern

This toby jug has to be one of my largest toby jugs and is a rare find with the willow pattern on the hat and base. This piece comes in at a little over 11 inches tall. Given the shape and size of this piece, I am guess it was not made for drinking out of, but rather decoration.

I have seen another toby similar to this one with a blue jacket at one of the International Willow Collectors Conventions. These are such neat pieces and are fairly hard to find. Given their rareity, I don’t see one of these gems in any of my willow collector books. I have searched them all!

I did locate one in an article written back in 2002 for the IWC News by my friend Loren Zeller. He too has one with a blue jacket! I have kept that article for the past 18 years and has become my willow toby bible. I should actually laminate it!

This toby shape was used by many manufactures and was painted with various colors and variations of the base. Some actually have a plaque on the front saying “Hearty Good Fellow”. I do have to say though, I am partial to anything with the willow pattern and it must have made these much more marketable.

You will see the brim of his hat has the butterfly border while the base has the traditional border. These were probably the borders used on other items like the rim of a platter with the Two Temples pattern, or the lower border on a traditional willow pattern platter. He typically is standing on a mound of grass and a tree trunk makes up the handle. His hand is holding a pipe and in my case, has suffered some damage and the other hand holding a jug.

I have never seen one with a willow jacket but sure wish I would come across one! This guy dates to between 1880-1910.

While posting on my Blue Willow Treasures Facebook group, someone messaged me and sent me an amazing picture of a book they have on Staffordshire Ware by Kent. They also opened it up and you can see the actual Hearty Good Fellow pattern on the pages! You will also see the standard willow toby jug, which we will get to this week!

The pattern book above shows pattern 373 was that of the Hearty Good Fellow. Later on in the week will touch on a couple of other patterns referenced. How cool is it to see these folks sitting at the table hand painting these items before the glaze was applied? To think one of these ladies in this picture may have touched and put such effort into making my toby jug and to also think it survived all of these years and the travel from the UK astounds me.

Two years ago, my mom and I packed up my SUV and we drove to Nashville, TN for her first every IWC convention. I have always been so blessed the times I have went, and she was also blessed to have been able to go. While I was there, I was asked to speak on toby jugs since I have a pretty good collection of various toby jugs with the willow pattern. I also gave one away in a drawing! Yep it was free!!! Pictures of my display and my pretty momma are below:

One of parts of my presentation was around: how are toby jugs made? I am going to show the link to the video I used in my presentation that I think is a fun way to imagine your toby being made!

Toby Jugs in the making!

I hope you enjoyed the first of a group of posts on willow pattern toby jugs! We will see you soon!!

Willow and Frogs?

Willow Loving cup with a surprise!

I am sure each of you collectors have a “bucket list” of willow items you intend to hunt down and find. My bucket list included a frog loving cup or a willow mug with a frog. I have truly loved each piece I had ever seen in books. I had not laid eyes on one of these gems in person. I basically dreamed of finding one.

I finally found one listed on Ebay with a buy it now option. I didn’t even bicker on the price, I simply purchased, paid the shipping and messaged the seller to ensure the best packing. I tracked it every day until it arrived 10+ days later. Don’t tell me you haven’t checked on the delivery of a precious willow item almost daily. Ok, maybe it is just me!

Looking at this delicate cup, I have to wonder what purpose that frog served!

I can tell you, I started collecting in 1994 and it took me until 2020 mid COVID crisis to find one of these and to have the opportunity to actually purchase. The purchase made me decide to do a little research on these cups. At World Collectors.net there is a neat article on how these got their start.

Based on the article it states the first frog mug was produced in about 1750! Yes seventeen fifty! But they were more widely produced in the mid to late 19th century. The story goes that a potter left his mugs to cool overnight and when he came in the next morning to check on his wares, there was a surprise in one mug….a frog. So he decided he would try to produce one by placing a frog in the bottom of the mug.

I will tell you, after seeing collections of others in the International Willow Collectors, there are not only frogs, but lizards in some of the mugs that were produced. You can find the frogs placed in the bottom of the mugs, near the rim, or on inside wall of the mug. Some mugs have more than one in them! Look at the price of the one referenced below in the article on World Collectors.net! Holy frog legs….that is a lot of money!

A SWANSEA CAMBRIAN POTTERY BLUE TRANSFER PRINTED FROG MUG
A rare Swansea Cambrian Pottery blue transfer printed Frog Mug, the interior with molded yellow frog. Circa 1790. Sold for £700 at Peter Francis Auctioneers, December 2003.

One of my fellow Willow Collectors Loren Zeller has written various articles and books on willow and transferware. He provided the picture of his frog mugs….

Courtesy of Loren Zeller

As you can see from the picture above provided by Loren, there are various types of frogs, and various types of placement. Honestly I had no idea so many different ones were made! I don’t know how lucky one collector can be to have an extensive collection like this. Loren, you have out done us all with this one! I am drooling over here in WV.

The Gladstone Pottery Museum has a collection on display of over 300 different Frog Mugs in the Davies collection pictured below:

Davies Collection of Frog Mugs

Now, take note how different each frog is and look specifically at the one second from the left bottom row. It has it’s mouth open. Now how would you feel drinking your beer out of that mug and all of a sudden a frog spits beer in your face?!!!! Maybe it would keep you from drinking so much, or maybe it would simply make you laugh. I would really love to see this collection in person some day…..another willow bucket list.

Now, talk about a rare item! I am in love with this loving cup! No pun intended. Two frogs and a lizard. Whatever pottery company produced this item had quite the sense of humor. I am sure seeing something that small in your mug would for sure frighten you! It is one thing to see a large frog you know isn’t real, but one of these little things, might just make one wet their pants, spill their beer or at least spew it across the table!

Courtesy of Brenda Nottingham

This picture above is from Brenda’s collection. You can see the detail on each frog is very different. One mug is a loving cup (two handles) and one is a standard mug with just one handle. Both have similar frog placement in the mug. Each example I see is just a little bit different, making me want to seek out my next buy!

The gallery above is from my friend Jeff’s collection. I believe the top row last one on the right is a picture of a mug that may have got away, but still he has 5 of these beauties. Now I know why I can’t find any more!!!!! They have them all. I have to say though, of all of them, I love the green spotted frog cup the best. Although, you couldn’t fit much coffee in that mug with such a big frog! I also notice the cup itself has no border on the outside. I am fairly drawn to pieces like this. Jeff, maybe some day we can trade for one of those!!!!

Ok, after reading up on Gladstone Pottery Museum, it appears to be haunted…so yeah, I will pass on that tour. If frogs weren’t enough to scare you, ghosts will do it for me! Pass!

For now, keep your eye out for these little gems. I think I could consider collecting any mug with a frog in it from this time period. The details that went into this are simply amazing. Each one is hand crafted and hand painted make one very different than the other. I am striving to have a collection like my other willow friends. Some day, some day!

Talk Soon, Christine

Jobson & Nell

Jobson & Nell

I know, you are already thinking, what did she switch gears for? I thought this week’s posts were about animals……well, maybe this one is too! These are gorgeous unmarked Staffordshire figurines.

You can find the children’s book about Jobson & Nell below:

THE
ENTERTAINING HISTORY
OF

JOBSON & NELL.


ILLUSTRATED WITH

HUMOROUS ENGRAVINGS.


Near the sign of the Bell
Liv’d Jobson and Nell,
And cobbling of shoes was his trade;
They agreed very well,
The neighbours did tell,
For he was a funny old blade.

PHILADELPHIA:

PUBLISHED BY MORGAN & YEAGER,
AT THEIR JUVENILE BOOKSTORE.

Price 31 cents coloured. 18 cents plain.

The Entertaining History of

Jobson & Nell.

Near the Sign of the Bell
Liv’d Jobson and Nell
And cobbling of Shoes was his trade
They agreed very well
The neighbors did tell
For he was a funny old blade.

But Jobson loved whiskey
Which made him so friskey
His noddle when once it got in
That frolick he must
And kick up a dust
For his customers cared not a pin.

The Parson did send
His Shoes for to mend
To take him on Sunday to Church
But Jobson he swore
He would cobble no more
Tho’ the people where left in the lurch.

Poor Nell then began
To persuade her good man
The soles for to cobble once more
Quoth Jobson you elf
He may do them himself
For many he’s cobbled before.

Now Sunday is come
And the Shoes are not done
Nell called Jobson a very great Sinner
By his fine frisking Airs
The folks got no Prayers
And poor Nell and he got no Dinner.

But the Parson good man
It was always his plan
To have on a sunday good cheer
Both roast Beef and pudding
With every thing good in
Besides some October strong Beer.

Then out Jobson set
In a deuce of a pet
For he liked not to fast in the least
And the Parson and he
On this point did agree
They were far better pleas’d at a feast.

To the Parson’s he goes
For Jobson’s good Nose
Was led by the savory smell
He caught up the roast
Tho ’tis nothing to boast
And carried it safe home to Nell.

When the Parson’s old Cook
For the Meat came to look
She vow’d ’twas a shocking disaster
And thought this bad news
Would vex more than the Shoes
So in tears ran to tell her old Master.

The Parson he griev’d
As it may be believ’d
When he heard of the loss of his Beef
His haste was so great
He forgot his bald Pate
And ran out in pursuit of the Thief.

The Parson he call’d
And the Parson he bawl’d
That running so fast shook his Belly
When he reached Jobson’s House
He was mute as a Mouse
He was very near turned to a Jelly.

When he found his roast Beef
It gave him relief
To think he his meal should not lose
Down together they sat
And eat both lean and fat
And forgave Jobson keeping the Shoes.

Such a funny story related to these figurines that date to the probably mid to late 1800’s. I do have to say, these have grown on me. When I first took a good look at them their faces seemed distorted and and it took me a while to really fall in love with them!

Nonetheless, onto why they are part of this week! There are animals on these figurines.

Can you spot the cat under each of their seats? It is a small white animal under each seat with a pink nose, and eyes!

I would love to see any other sets of Nell and Jobson that anyone has so please send me an email!

Enjoy those little cats Jobson & Nell. We will enjoy ours!

I love Cows!

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

Here Kitty, Kitty

I have decided this upcoming week will be dedicated to nothing but animals. I can tell you, I simply love cats and love them even more with the willow pattern! I have 3 cats of my own. Thankfully only one of them can meow. Tigger is a big orange cat that we have had since my son was about 3, making him 16 or so. He came from a litter of cats my mom’s cat had and then our grey cat was a purchase from the humane society and this cat is truly my husband’s cat. Brutus, well he just showed up one day, starving and unable to meow. I don’t have a good picture of Brutus, but he is well loved these days and brings me presents on the porch quite often!

Ok, now back to the willow cats. I simply love anything animal related with the willow pattern. I am still on the hunt for dogs, so if anyone has any they want to part with, I am the collector you have been searching for!

I love these gorgeous cats and they are some of my most favorite willow pieces. They are made by William or James Kent in England. The mark resembles more of William Kent, however, it would have a W in one side of the knot, so I just am not sure. I will show the mark below.

None the less, I found these gems on Ebay and I have to say, I was sweating bullets down to the last 13 seconds when those bidding software to bid items up! I was so thankful to get these for $96. Someone liked cats, I liked willow! Am I the only one that feels a rush when an auction you have been searching for for years is about to come to a close and you are the high bidder and you feel the need to bid again just to be sure? Notice no birds on the pattern!

Kent Mark on Staffordshire Cats

Now on to the more common blue willow japan Cat planter and bank! I love these cats too, but they can be found fairly often on ebay. I purchased the bank here at a local antique mall several years ago. I placed it on layaway because at the time, I just wasn’t where I am today financially and I didn’t want it to get away! To me, it was worth the wait to ensure I had both pieces.

These cuties are really closer to the shape of my cats! They rarely miss a meal and meal time is about 6 times a day! I love these little guys. I have to say if I had only learned how to save quarters in that cat bank, I would have more money to buy willow with!!! I seriously don’t know how anyone could ever put dirt and a plant in that cat planter. I fear getting them broke.

Notice these cats have the birds in the pattern. These are marked with a black Japan mark on the bottom. Both are in fairly good condition other than the cover for the bottom of the bank has become brittle. I have kept it anyhow.

I guess this week, I really want to showcase willow on animals. I am truly an animal lover. I guess along with an animal comes an unconditional love if you show them love. We have 3 dogs and 3 cats in our home. It isn’t easy caring for all of them. My husband is a pilot and is gone every other week and I work 2 + hours away from home, and the commute makes it difficult, but we make it work.

If you have willow animal items, I would love to see them, feel free to email me on the contacts section of this page and share your finds. I would be very interested in seeing what else is out there. Oh and one last thing….I think the cats pictured from Kent really show you have they took sections of the pattern and made them fit the object they were decorating.

If you look at the back side of this copper printing plate, you see there are just random decorations or sections of pattern. I truly believe this was the sole purpose. It was to decorate those harder shaped items and to form the pattern around each item. Plates, bowls and platters were probably fairly easy, but shaped pottery would have been much more difficult.

Well, that is all for today. Love your pets, feed your cats and we will chat again soon!

Delicate Willow

Willow pattern jewelry

As I rise this morning, there is a coolness in the air! It is rather refreshing as I sit on my porch and begin to type. Today is a big day for our family. My daughter Alexis and her husband Brandon are moving to Florida. We are so very sad to see them go, but wish them the very best. Besides, I love Florida! I think I will be dipping my toes in the sand very soon.

As I sat and drank my coffee, I began to think about how delicate Lex was when she was little and how much I cherished her every smile. She was such a wonderful little baby! She is now a delicate beautiful young woman and I am so very proud of her. I think you can see where I am going with this. As I sit and process my day ahead, I began to think of the willow that relates to being beautifully crafted and yet so delicate.

Well, here are a few of my favorites! I simply love willow pattern jewelry. I don’t typically purchase the more modern pieces, but have an eye always drawn to those very old delicate pieces like the ones pictured above. My first every delicate willow jewelry I purchased is pictured below:

I simply love this piece. I recall when I first got this piece, I sat down with every Willow Newsletter I had and began to look for anything like it. I had not clue how to look up hallmarks, or even where to start. I met a wonderful lady after seeing a brooch in a newsletter. Her name was Colleen and at the time lived in Maryland. I wrote her in 2013 and she provided me lots of info about my little brooch.

Not only had she had a formal appraisal performed, but I had taken it to Antiques Roadshow. and I did took mine several years later. The formal appraisal was based on the 6.86 grams of 14k yellow gold the platter is encased in came in at $1,450. The appraisal from Antiques Roadshow came in around $2,500, but I have to tell you, those people at the Roadshow are crazy.

My mom and I packed up and headed to Richmond Virginia for our first Roadshow. We had a blast. Lines were huge, so I hopped in the jewelry line. We stood for hours, then after getting to the lovely draped Jewelry table the appraiser looked at me and said, you may be better suited at the china and porcelain table??? Like say what? I went and stood in that line for another two hours only to hear, maybe you should go to the jewelry counter!

I finally said, the two of you need to talk! Eventually I had a number for an appraisal, but holy cow!! My friend Colleen had sent me her evaluation and I was so thankful to have had it with me. The brooch is 1 3/8 inches by 1 inch, so it is small! The front of the piece is enameled with the blue willow pattern. The back of the plate is yellow gold. It has a straight pin on the back with a c clasp and O ring for a pendant. Mine has a chain and additional safety pin to keep you from losing it! (I am not brave enough to wear this piece)

The back of the piece is engraved with a diamond pattern with a 1 and 4 at the top, V at the right and K at the bottom and a 5 on the left. Documents from the Public Record Office in England reference BT 43/41/Rp0062 indicate the piece was manufactured November 4, 1876 by William Hair Haseler of 1 Gladstone Building, Richard Street, Birmingham England.

Now, having said all of that, I know almost nothing about the additional items I am about to post!

Beautiful willow plate pendant with gold fish and ruby eyes

Well, I hear everyone starting to move upstairs, so I should probably get myself together for this goodbye thing today. I will however have to pick this back up to sooth my soul again soon! If you have beautiful willow pattern jewelry, please send me an email, I would truly love to see what all is out there!

And I do intent to track miss Colleen down to see how she is and how much willow she has purchased since we last spoke in 2013. I will let you know if I find her! I believe she would be 96!

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