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Appraisal Values & Pricing Factors for BLUE WILLOW

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English Porcelain Blue Willow Pattern ca 1800 with a gilt edgeThe Blue Willow Pattern, depicting the popular old Chinese story & poem - see more details on the Willow legend - falls in the same category as Blue & White Chinoiserie wares, yet it is a distinctly British design that was adopted by many UK earthenware companies and Staffordshire potteries. It begun around late-18thC and mass production techniques for Transferware china already developed at that time, helped in quickly propelling it to a very trendy and fashionable decorative style.

The somewhat romantic nature of this pattern with exotic Oriental overtones, was produced in many variations, yet all were very characteristically similar, with the only differences being tiny details on the overall landscape or background. Chinese design influences were still prominent in Europe at that time and many companies felt that the Blue Willow pattern offered a great opportunity of promoting locally produced tableware, while riding on the fame and desire for celebrated Porcelain imports from the Far East.

With the rise and expansion of so many companies producing chinaware, coupled with rapid industrialization methods during the 19thC, the manufacturing of earthenware in the Blue Willow pattern in all sorts of forms & shapes, proliferated quickly and created an overwhelming abundance of such wares, many available at cheap prices and easily affordable by most families. For these reasons, Blue Willow tableware has survived in vast numbers in the antiques market, yet continues to be an attractive collectible.

Polychrome Blue Willow versions seem to have appeared around Victorian times. These are fine renditions and usually preferred by many collectors interested in having such pieces displayed. There are fewer of those in number, so they appraise at higher prices. In this case, colored Blue Willow plates are also acceptable, even if only a partial set, because of their aesthetic impact. Both the traditional Blue & White and enhanced versions are now being copied furiously by factories in China and elsewhere in the Far East. Makers' marks are also forged and can easily mislead even an experienced dealer. Caution and research are required in correctly identifying the maker and origin or age of each piece. Using our Ceramics marks guides can steer you in the right direction or use our Inquiry Form to ask our specialists directly.

Appraisal values for Blue Willow depend primarily on three factors: Condition, Rarity of Shape, and Completeness of Set. Condition is quite self-explanatory, especially as one considers the utilitarian nature of most related wares. Rarity of shape refers to its function and size, for example Serving pieces such as Tureens, Large Platters & Bowls, Jugs etc seem to fetch much higher prices than Dishes or Plates and Cups & Saucers. Some of the rarer forms, are often afforded some allowance in maintaining a higher value for very slight defects or professional restoration, because they are fewer of those available and are at times destined to be used primarily as display pieces. When it comes to ordinary or everyday items in the Blue Willow pattern, the completeness of a Set is paramount. In most cases, six of each is sufficient to call it a set, but four is acceptable also, especially if made by a reputable or famous company. More than six in a set is definitely a bonus.

Below are some examples of items of various sizes & types in the Blue Willow pattern from our Pricing Guides database.

Examples of related items from our Price Guides

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  • Group of 3 Large Blue Willow Serving Platters
    Campbellfield Pottery Co. Ltd (Scottish, 1881-1899) and unknown, 19th century. A group of three blue and white transferware platters or serving dishes in the Blue Willow pattern. ... [more like this]
  • Set of Eleven Johnson Brothers Blue and White
    Transfer Printed Soup Plates and a Group of Trays the 'Blue Willow' Pattern: Most with printed marks. The trays comprising: A pair of oval trays, marked 'Japan' Two rectangular ... [more like this]
  • Group of Four Small "Blue Willow" Pottery
    Items, second/third quarters 19th century, consisting of a covered cheese dish, a rare oval pate bowl, a toilette stand insert and a condiment dish of shell form, h. 1" to ... [more like this]
  • Group, 3 Allertons & Ridgways Blue Willow
    Platters Charles Allerton & Sons (English, 1832-1942) and Ridgways (English, 1879-1916), mid to late 19th/early 20th century. A group of three small blue and white transferware ... [more like this]
  • Group of Blue and White Porcelain Tablewares:
    Comprising: A Spode transfer printed 'Real Blue Willow' platter, blue printed mark Set of eleven Royal Doulton transfer printed 'Real Blue Willow' Dessert Plates, blue printed ... [more like this]
    & TRANSFERWARE CHINA: 1) Set of 5 Burleigh Ware demi cups & saucers. 2) Lincoln Pottery covered serving dish 9''. 3) Blue Willow covered vegetable 11''. 4) Hanley Blue Willow ... [more like this]
  • Group of Blue and White Ceramics in the 'Blue
    Willow' Pattern and Other Tablewares: The Blue Willow comprising: Set of four Wedgwood plates, printed mark Two rectangular platters in two sizes, various impressed numerals ... [more like this]
  • Group of 4 Blue Willow Transferware Serving
    Pieces J. Meir & Sons (English, 1817-1897), William Adams & Son (English, 19th century), and unknown, 19th century. A group of 4 pieces of blue and white transferware serving ... [more like this]
  • An assembled group of English porcelain late
    18th/first quarter 19th century Comprising group of various spiral fluted ware similarly decorated with cobalt blue and gilt including teapot, saucer dish, diameter 7 1/2in, ... [more like this]
  • A Group of Blue and White Pap Boats / Invalid
    Feeders  English and German, late 19th - early 20th century, four are Staffordshire with floral or Blue Willow transfer designs; two are decorated in Blue Onion style. One ... [more like this]
  • A group of Staffordshire blue and white ceramics 19th/20th
    century Comprising an American historical tea bowl of Lafayette at Franklin's Tomb, impressed H; two-handled open tureen in the 'French Scenery' pattern, greatest length ... [more like this]
  • An assembled grouping of ceramic and glass
    tableware Including a Mottahedeh Vista Allegre porcelain 'Swan' service for four, comprising a coffee pot, four cups and four saucers and four plates, diameter 10 1/2in; ... [more like this]
    century. Five hand decorated Export posset pots two with lids an English Blue Willow transfer mustard and pearlware covered creamer with Asian style design 5 3/4''h. Together ... [more like this]
    the teapot coffee cup cream jug sugar bowl cup and saucer four other dishes in the Blue Willow pattern; together with eight miniature food groups; and a wood rolling pin (19) ... [more like this]
    the teapot coffee cup cream jug sugar bowl cup and saucer four other dishes in the Blue Willow pattern; together with eight miniature food groups; and a wood rolling pin (19) ... [more like this]
  • Small Group of Chinese Blue & White Porcelain
    Comprising one each round and rectangular jardinieres, a Kraak dish, and a Blue Willow pattern bowl and pair of scalloped tea bowls; together with an English Chinoiserie-painted ... [more like this]
  • Group of English Blue Transfer Printed Serving
    Wares: Comprising: A Ridgeway Chinoiserie decorated tureen, impressed mark A circular vegetable dish in the 'Blue Willow' pattern, printed mark A Davenport chestnut basket ... [more like this]
  • Group of Five English Porcelain Teawares Late
    18th-19th Century Consisting of a Worcester-type Imari teapot, a New Hall 'Blue Willow' cup and saucer and tea bowl, a gilt floral banded covered cup and saucer and a Spode ... [more like this]
  • Group of Six Mustache Cups 4th quarter of
    the 19th century, (5) English cups marked "Staffordshire", "Wellington", "Hammersley", "Royal Crown" and an unmarked Blue Willow pattern; (1) from Austria marked "Imperial ... [more like this]
  • A Group of Three English Ironstone Platters
    comprising a pair of Staffordshire blue willow examples and a polychrome decorated well and tree example. Width of widest 19 3/4 inches. ... [more like this]

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