Sunday, August 15, 2010

Porcelain china with great history

BLUE ONION. This popular blue and white pattern was based on a Chinese design introduced at the Meissen factory in the 18th century. I have read from several sources that it is called Blue Onion because the painters at Meissen mistook the Chinese design of peaches with leaves and flowers for one featuring onions. Image courtesy of

FLORA DANICA. This pattern by Royal Copenhagen of Denmark was taken from folios in the royal library in Copenhagen. In 1790, the then future King Frederick VI of Denmark ordered a service with this pattern, originally as a gift for Catherine the Great of Russia. However, Catherine died before the service was completed in 1802, and it is said that the Frederick first used the service on his birthday in 1803. Image courtesy of

DID YOU KNOW that as a result of the McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 all china, along with other products, produced for export to the United States were required to carry the country name? Later, in 1921, the Act was amended to require the phrase “Made in”. See, for example, the marks of Royal Crown Derby, an important English china manufacturer.

From 1877 to 1890, the modern Derby marks were modified as follows: The first one dates from 1877-1890. The second one, with the country name “England” was introduced in 1891, and the third, showing the words “Made in” was introduced in 1921. Images courtesy of