Willow Plate Story
Two pigeons flying high,
Chinese vessels sailing by.
Weeping willow hanging o'er,
Bridge with three men - if not four.
Chinese temple, there it stands,
Seems to cover all the land.
Apple tree with apples on,
A pretty fence to end my song.
Oldest Pattern in History
The Blue Willow pattern was made in China between the 15th and 18th centuries. The original blue willow pattern was hand painted under the glaze. The pattern proved to be very popular and soon other potteries were looking into making it.
Transferware was invented in the 1700's allowing for mass production of this pattern along with others. Spode was one of the first potteries to produce Blue Willow cheap enough to allow for the middle class to use it. Most of the potteries in England produced Blue Willow, other countries followed suit.
The Blue Willow pattern is known for being in continual production the longest, over 200 years.
The Blue Willow Story posted above is just one version. There are several if not many versions of the story or legend of the Willow Plate. I have not had the pleasure of being told this story over the dinner table. If you know of another version of it please share!