Saturday, March 5, 2011
Don't Be So Chintzy!
I collect chintz ware china. When I say “collect,” I use this term loosely because my small but cherished compilation pales in comparison to other collectors of these brilliant bouquets of ceramic. Most of my pieces are from the 30-40's and made by one of the popular manufacturers in England at the time – Royal Winton, James Kent, Shelley, Lord Nelson. Some pieces are new, but the new pieces aren’t nearly as lovely as their antique counterparts. Chintz ware china is very colorful and when displayed together with their different yet complementary companions, one is immediately transported into a lovely British garden reminiscent of those described in any Jane Austen novel....my favorite – Pride and Prejudice and its feisty heroine, Elizabeth Bennet.
An English garden is a confluence of floral color, width, and height and chintz ware borrows from this theme beautifully. Chintz dinnerware, teaware, and ornamental pieces are covered with a dense pattern, mainly flowers, applied by a lithograph transfer printing process rather than painting each piece by hand. However, during WWII practicality prevailed and manufacturing anything garish or gratuitous was forbidden --- even the queen’s wedding dress was a bit more understated than it may have otherwise been! However, in the 1990’s, due to a renewed interest in collecting chintz ware and with advances in the transfer production process, potteries once again began reproducing the patterned pottery, but as I said, although beautiful, there is nothing like the look and feel of an original piece.
You may have seen some of my pieces in previous posts... I love to use them but hold my breath when doing so and am always very careful when washing them and putting the pieces away. My two favorites are teacups – both from Royal Winton…. a beautiful fruited pattern called Evesham and an equally beautiful floral pattern called Sweet Pea.
Anyway, a few photos of my collection that I hope you will enjoy and find as exquisite as I do.