A Message from Ruth at Antiques And Teacups

Welcome to the blog of Antiques And Teacups! Let's share a cup of tea and talk about the things we love...like teacups, antiques, collectibles, visiting England, antiquing and learning about victoriana and quirky gadgets. Fun!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Shelley China, Happy Birthday Kate, Transferware

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa tea on a cold January day...and if you are in the midwest or east colder still! We are at least hovering a bit above freezing here and going in and out of a marine layer...better known as fog.

First of all...yesterday, January 9th, was Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's birthday....

Kate was born on January 9, 1982. Love this photo from Christmas a couple of years ago....and of course, drinking tea...both from the BBC.

Happy Birthday! And now on to my Tuesday Cuppa Tea post...which is more about the process than the teacup!!!

If you have followed my blog for long, you know that I love Shelley, and Shelley Chintz...and this is example from my archives of the Shelley Maytime Chintz pattern on a Ripon shape...one of my favorite shapes. The pattern is apple blossoms and twigs, and was made in several different colors.  I was reminded about the process after receiving several comments and questions about the process...how they were made. So...a bit of a tutorial on transferware and chintz..

In my large library, I have a wonderful book by Kelly Moran from 1999, now out of print called Shelley Chintz. The book was compiled with some access being granted to the Shelley pattern books, then owned by WWRD, or Waerford Wedgwood Royal Doulton...now squirreled away somewhere and owned by Fiscars....

This page of the book shows the Shelley Maytime pattern as it looks on china, with the thin tissue like overlay sheet the pattern is applied with...I am lifting it in the photo below, so ycolor is different between the sheet before the firing process.

Shelley made the Maytime Chintz from when it was entered into the Shelley books in February 1, 1938 until the pottery closed in 1966. The next page of the book shows a copy of the actual Shelley pattern book entry showing the design, dimensions with various artist notations...so intriguing! The bigger potteries had in house designers.

Another book page with a Shelley pattern book reproduction drawing.  The pattern was made at least 29 different times according to Ms Moran's research on almost all of Shelley's shapes except the art deco Vogue and Eve shapes, and in other pieces besides tea related, and was very popular.

Another piece, so that you can see the finished pattern...a bon bon or sweet meat dish....Both the teacup and dish sold for Christmas at my website Antiques And Teacups, but I had already planned this post, so...

And the process is basically the same as any transferware that has been made since the 17th century. Skilled engravers, using the tools shown here,

engrave a copper plate with the design...either from the pattern books, or sometimes their own drawings.....These 2 photos above are from the BBC archives, and the ones below were from a visit to Spode when they were in Stoke-on-Trent and had visitor tours...

When the plate has been engraved, it is applied to a roller and ink is applied....

The thin tissue-like transfer paper is then pressed on the engraved plate and so the design is "transferred" to the paper, which is then applied wet by hand to the bisque, or single fired clay body of the piece using the fingers, a wet sponge and sponge and wood toole...being careful to match and merge pattern edges and not tare the delicate, thin paper. The pattern has now been "transferred" to the piece, and it is ready to be fired, glazed and fired again.

The pattern books are fascinating. These last 2 photos are from the Spode archives and are books for borders and a shape list....

As you can see from the Shelley Chintz book, everything was planned and drawn in advance and the potters, engravers, decorators and gilders worked from that. Fascinating!

If you are interested on the Shelley teacup shape blog posts I did in 2013...has it really been that long???? The links are here:

Shelley Shapes Primer Part 1

Shelley Shape Primer Part 2

Shelley Shapes Primer Part 3

Shelley Shapes Primer Part 4

So thanks so much for joining me for a cup of tea and a look at my favorite Shelley!!!! I hope you will keep warm this week! A reminder...it's still Hot Tea Month!

Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!


  1. An interesting process to get the patterns on china Ruth. My, doesn't the duchess look elegant sipping her tea!

  2. Hi Ruth, that is so interesting. I really enjoyed reading about transferring, it all makes sense now.
    Thanks so much for hosting and have a great week!

  3. Thanks for the VERY informative post. I knew about the fact that it was called transferware but had no idea the intricate process it entailed. Shelley is the best.... but very pricey when I have seen it. I only have a couple of pieces of the Chintz.

  4. You're so good about sharing information with us, Ruth. I never realized all that went into the process of transferring the design. I don't know if I'll ever have any Shelley pieces, but I love seeing yours. Thanks for hosting, Ruth!

  5. What an interesting post, Ruth. The transfer of patterns on to teacups is simply fascinating. No wonder we think of teacups as little works of art because that is exactly what they are! LOVE your Shelley chintz and the apple blossoms are really sweet. Thanks for sharing and for hosting your party. Keep cozy and enjoy your day.


  6. Dear Ruth:
    What wonderful information on Shelley and since I have that one it was of particular interest to me. That is a wonderful book and if I ever see it I would buy it of course. Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge and always your delightful English fun!

  7. Great post, Ruth! Thanks for sharing your knowledge on making elegant teaware. I can't imagine the hardwork of making it.

  8. What a beautiful chintz pattern that is! Thanks for hosting!

  9. Hi Ruth,
    Oh how I love Shelley Chintz teacups. I have the same one as you but it is a different shape. One of the teapots in your book looks like a similar shape to the one I am sharing on my post today but mine is not a Shelley. You are so knowledgeable about teacups. Thank you for all of the information. Happy Tea Day and thank you for hosting! Karen

  10. How fascinating! Thank you for hosting and the transferware application info, Ruth! I love the Duchess' dress in her tea-sipping photo!

  11. What a fascinating post, Ruth! I wish I had a smidgen of all your wonderful knowledge about teawares!

  12. Hello Ruth,
    What a gorgeous post! Happy Birthday to Kate too!
    Wow, I love your post. So beautiful and informative too. That pink tea cup is divine!

  13. Such a wonderful, informative post, Ruth. The Shelley Maytime Chintz teacup is gorgeous. Whoever got it for Christmas was a happy recipient! Regarding Kate... I'm anxious to learn if the rumors regarding a third pregnancy are correct. What a happy little family they are!

  14. Lots of great information in the post. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Excellent work, it answers alot of question how these elegant teacup being made.

  16. Ruth, thank you so much for educating me about this process! I've always wondered about the details but never looked into it.

  17. I love a chintz teacup and it's nice to know how it's made. My favorite cups have some kind of pattern on the inside even if it's just a small flower!

  18. I love Chintz too! Such an amazing education about Chintz & transferware that I've learned from you today about our favorite pattern. And then seeing how the transfer work was applied, I've never seen it until now. Thank you Ruth!!!

  19. I love Chintz too! Such an amazing education about Chintz & transferware that I've learned from you today about our favorite pattern. And then seeing how the transfer work was applied, I've never seen it until now. Thank you Ruth!!!


Thanks for visiting and we love to hear from you! We read every comment. If my husband's health permits, I love to visit andreply. Have a wonderful day and a cuppa tea always at hand! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...