Several years ago, we started a collection of pearlware (earthenware) by Enoch Wood, an English pottery from the early 1800s. The series features transfers of English castles and manor houses surrounded by a dense blue grapevine border. Hence the name, Enoch Wood Grapevine Border Series. The architectural building transfers were reproduced from a set of 1800’s books, “Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland”.
Because we both share an interest in English architecture, the collection has grown. Philip hunts for different scenes and shapes and we’re lucky that friends, in England and here in America, help us look for pieces. We get excited when we discover a new pristine piece, especially amazing since it was produced 200 years ago.
You know how kryptonite stops Superman, dead in his tracks; well, that’s what happens on those special days when we get a call from England with news of a new piece. We stop what we’re doing and look up the scene, pouring over our collection of documents on the series, excited that another 200 year old piece has been uncovered. It’s not just about a new soup tureen or platter; it’s about the scene. Part of the fun of collecting is discovering the print used as a transfer on the pottery.
Several of the scenes on various shapes are unidentified; meaning no one in the past years has recorded the correct print associated with the scene. Much to our delight, we recently purchased a large ewer (pitcher with a flared spout). There were three scenes on the ewer. One was “Hare Hall, Essex”, but the other two are unidentified. Well, not anymore! Philip pulled out his 200 year old books and after searching, found one of the unidentified scenes. The source print is from the print of the “Grandtully Castle”. Meanwhile, Theresa hits the web and discovers that the “Grandtully Castle” location is in Scotland, not far from where the Robertson clan held its ground amid the warring clan of the Stewarts.
We have a weakness for the blue dishes. It can be as tiny as a butter pat or as large as a toilet. But that’s another story.