Saturday, July 26, 2014

How to Store Your Washcloths (why in transferware of course!)



Several years ago I wrote a post about a purple transferware soup tureen that I had come across and now use as a storage container for washcloths in our master bathroom.  I roll the towels up lengthwise so they resemble roses and place them in the tureen.  It mimics a huge bouquet of roses in a beautiful vessel.



This is one of my favorite pieces of transferware and I throughly enjoyed researching and learning about, though it took a little time to gather the information I found.

The stamp / makers mark on the bottom of the tureen reads Chantilian (pattern name) and R & C.  R & C which stands for Read and Clementson, Staffordshire potters at High Street at Shelton, Hanley.

   This firm, as with many of the early transferware manufacturers, had a short production period from 1833-35, when many potters sprang up out nowhere because of the huge business transfer printing had become in England.  I was elated to know I had found such an early piece, nearly 200 years of age, and that it must be quite rare being that it was produced by a firm that had a short life. I researched further and found nothing about the pattern and little, only two or three mentions of R & C, in my Staffordshire books.  One mention was in Jeffrey Snyders Romantic Staffordshire Ceramics where he shows a photo of a plate in another pattern by R & C but no additional  information is given.  I continued looking and looking until one day I found something that had me totally soupified…er, eh, er, I  mean stupefied!  I discovered that a shipwreck had taken place about 7 nautical miles off the coast of England.   The site has been named the Bottle Wreck for the many beer, wine bottles and bottle shards  found in the scattered cargo around the bow area.  It has been determined that the ship was a wooden merchant sailing vessel that sank between 1833 and 1835.  This is based on the fact that…guess what….broken pottery shards just north of a large cargo mound were found, some of them being attributable to Read and Clementson (R & C).   Quoting the article linked to about the Bottle Wreck: 

"The identification of the maker of one of the blue and white transfer printed willow pattern plates allows more accurate dating, as the pottery Read & Clementson only existed between 1833 and 1835. The terminus post quem for the sinking of the vessel is thus 1833. The terminus ante quem could tentatively be defined as 1835, but there is a possibility that Read & Clementson transfer printed ware continued to be traded after the pottery closed down."

Today, some remaining pieces from the works of Read and Clementson are housed at a nautical and archaeological museum in Littlehampton.   That makes me feel like I've found a really special piece.

Below is a photo taken in our bathroom.  The bathroom is a large, open room but oddly there isn't lots of storage and not much room at all around the sinks but for a soap dispenser.  My sink is just to the right of the large floral picture seen below so they are easily within reach.  You can see the tureen in the niche built into the wall along with some other transferware, towels, figurines and a favorite non-transferware plate that belonged to my Grandma.  


And, next to the niche, on the wall are three other pieces that I'm really fond of.  They are all antique two color transferware plates that bring together the colors in the room.    




Roll up some washcloths and enjoy the remainder of your weekend. 








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25 comments:

  1. that's a fantastic way to store washcloths! I love it.

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  2. OMG! I thought they were flowers! Gorgeous sweet Nancy, I love the open shelves decoration...beautiful!
    FABBY

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  3. It so cute! Beautiful transferware pieces too!

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  4. Beautiful idea..gorgeous pieces!
    Miss Bloomers

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  5. I have always rolled mine up but stacked them on the open shelves....what a great idea!

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  6. I love this way to display washcloths. How pretty!

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  7. Love that piece of transferware. It looks so pretty with the colors in the bathroom. very creative and your information on the company and the shipwreck was wonderful to read.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it. I love the historical information that I'm able to find on some of the pieces.

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  8. What a great idea, Nancy! We have put out lots of small folded washcloths for hand drying in our guest bathrooms for years. It's a MUCH more sanitary situation than providing a single towel for everyone to use, and it's better than paper towels that just go into landfills. I like the idea of the rolled towel because it's a super fancy look, and putting them in transferware makes it ultra chic! Doing so would also allow me to occasionally switch up from the baskets I currently use which are great for the summer months but a little out of place in the cold weather months. Neat idea!

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  9. It's a beautiful piece and I love what you've done with the towels! Just gorgeous!

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  10. When I first glanced at this photo, I really thought it was of purple flowers! A very informative post - I'm glad I found it on Motivational Monday! I also love Alycia's suggestion (above) of using wash cloths for guest to dry their hands :)

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  11. Nancy, I so enjoy it when you link to a party and I get to see your post. I have subscribed to receive your posts several times, but obviously feedburner does not like me! Sigh..... I'll keep trying. Vicki in Louisville Ky

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    1. Hi Vicki, I'm sorry you're having problems signing up via Feedburner. Are you trying to sign up for RSS feed or for email? I know that when you sign up for email it sends you a confirmation to make sure you are the one who signed up. Could it possibly be that the email went to your spam folder? I've known that this has happened before. If I can help at all, let me know! I appreciate your stopping by and reading!

      Nancy

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  12. What a great idea for wash cloths. Gotta do this!

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  13. I love this! I honestly thought it was flowers at first! Such a great idea!

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  14. You got me...with that photo, you totally did. Brilliant.

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  15. Dear Nancy,

    What a gorgeous piece of art you've created - I'd love to have you decorate my bathroom! :-)
    Thanks for sharing your talents with us at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy.
    Congratulations - you are one of our Featured Guests this week!

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  16. Every photo is beautiful! The washcloths in the soup tureen in gorgeous.

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  17. That is so pretty! And oh my gosh, I love the history. I could read up on antiques and history all day long lol. I have a few items I've tried looking up myself, and one scale that I plan to take to an appraiser. Doesn't have any markings at all! Thanks so much for sharing, and your post is featured in tonight's What'd You Do This Weekend. Pinned :-)

    Ashley @ PioneerMomma.com

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  18. What a beautiful and pretty way to store you washcloths. I love that wall paper in there too! I saw it at create with joy party. Congrats on the feature today.
    Julie
    Julie's Lifestyle

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  19. What a great way to store washcloths and enjoy your transferware!

    - The Tablescaper

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  20. This is just gorgeous ! Pinning !
    Thanks so much for sharing
    hugs,
    Suzan

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  21. I love the washcloth idea. The mix of colors on the plates looks great in your bathroom. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home.
    Sherry

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