|Description: A round plate with a slightly sloping rim. There is a transfer printed 'willow' pattern in dark blue. There is a cross-hatch diamond pattern with a ball and dart around the rim of the plate. A honeycomb or hexagonal band encircles a stylized 'Chinoiserie' scene of pagoda-like buildings enclosed in fanciful vegetation, and a shoreline in the foreground. The left centre ground includes a boat with a figure approaching the shore. The left background is another stylized shore scene with vegetation.
History: The term 'willow' is applied in a general way to many of the copies of the blue-and-white porcelain imported into England from China during the last half of the eighteenth century. Thomas Minton was famous for Minton ware - a cream-coloured and blue-printed earthenware majolica, bone china, and Parian porcelain; his factory was outstanding in the Victorian period for its 'art' porcelains. He also popularized the famous so-called Willow pattern. Engraved by Thomas Minton for Thomas Turner of Caughley, Shropshire, in the year 1780, it was closely followed by Royal Worcester, Spode, Adams, Wedgwood, Davenport, Clews, Leeds and Swansea. The original Chinese Willow that Minton copied had no bridge with people crossing over. It is not sure whether the stories connected with it originated in China or more likely, in England. The originals also did not have the 'apple tree' or the two doves; these elements of the Willow Legend being added later. For a century and a half the 'Willow Pattern' has been the stock-pattern of nearly every British Pottery manufacturer, and although at times its popularity has waned, it has eventually returned to favour and now is again at the apex of its popularity. Ref: www.thepotteries.org/patterns/willow.html.