Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blue Willow Birds And Other Topics......

Wow! What a great Thrifty Thursday yesterday! What a great crowd!! I am still not finished stopping by everyone, so please forgive me...I will be by! I am most impressed with everyone's finds. We had several first timers to Thrifty Thursday yesterday too, so I encourage everyone to go and explore those thrifty treasures at other location, give bloggers some encouraging comments and show the love. I just love thrifty Thursday's and am so thankful to everyone that participates-and those that comment too! Many thanks!
Speaking of Thrifty Thursday, I had many ask about the Blue Willow Birds and exactly how to know the real from the fake. My friend, Sweetness, said that the real Blue Willow birds are skinny. The fakes are plump. I wish I had a fake to publish, but I do not. But it is a good rule of thumb in spotting authentic pieces. In doing some research and trying to find a "fake" I found this information on Blue Willow that I found interesting, maybe you will too, so I thought I would pass it along...
"Blue Willow is the most popular pattern that has ever appeared on a plate. For over 200 years the Blue Willow pattern has graced the world's finest dining tables and stirred the imagination of discerning collectors. And who, afterall, can resist the charming myth depicted on the plate - that of the star crossed lovers who were turned into immortal love birds?

"The Willow Legend"

Long ago in China, in a magnificent palace surrounded by trees, lived a Mandarin, his daughter, Koong-shee, and his secretary, Chang. Chang and Koong-shee fell in love, but Chang was a commoner and she the daughter of a noble. Still their love grew as they met beneath a willow tree in the garden. When the Mandarin discovered their secret, he banished Chang & imprisoned Koong-shee by encircling the palace with a zig-zag fence.
Then he promised her hand to another. He had a feast to celebrate and after, when all fell asleep, Chang crept into the palace and fled with Koong-shee, The Mandarin awoke and pursued them across the little bridge that spans the river.
The lovers escaped, but soon the Mandarin discovered where they were hiding and sent his men to kill the couple. They came upon Chang as he was working his fields and killed him. Koong-shee, who had seen the entire scene from afar, rushed into the pavilion and set it afire. She was determined to be with Chang in death as she had been in life.
The gods, looking down on the tragedy, took pity on the lovers and transformed their souls into a pair of immortal lovebirds to forever live in the pagoda.
We can still see Chang & Koong-shee, flying over the willow tree where they first pledged their love. Their story lives forever on the Willow pattern.

This story was first told in poems of traveling story tellers thousands of years ago. In the early 1800’s the famous English ceramic manufacturers Spode decided to depict the pattern on some chinaware. It was an overnight sensation and over the years hundreds of firms copied the pattern. Today avid collectors will pay thousands of dollars to own the early or famous examples of the Blue Willow pattern. Through the years, manufacturers have produced Red Willow, Green Willow and I have even seen Brown Willow, but the original Cobalt Blue color has always been the most prized version to collectors. "


Thanks for stopping by today, and thank you for being so patient with me these past two weeks as I have been infrequent to drop by and to post. I apologize. I hope to get caught up ASAP!

You cannot know how much I appreciate your blog friendships, your comments and genuine kindness. I am in awe each day at the kindness, compassion and sincerity of the blogging community. Not only to me, but to others as well. The bloggers that I "know" the ones that drop by my blog and the ones I visit as well, they are a rare breed and I consider myself blessed to be a part of the blogging community. Thank you!

Well, before I resign myself to a much needed weekend, I wanted to invite you to drop by my Foodie Friday post on Plates and Places. Also, pay a visit to ,Rachel has really done alot of work and has a great and informative website. Please tell her I sent you. Thanks!
Deanna of Coffee on the Table is hosting a Friday Flashback. This photo is a flashback, indeed. As in BL. Before Leigh. It is of my Dad taken cira 1948 taken at a family vacation in Panama City Beach. You can join in on the flashback over at Deanna's blog!
Have a wonderful and a safe weekend!!!


Blondie's Journal said...

Thanks for the info on the Blue Willow. It looks like I have some real and some fake. Since I never paid much for any of it I am not that concerned. And I have never tried to collect it to make a full set.

To think it is all about the birds...

Have a great weekend, Leigh! :-)


Kelly said...

Friday Flashbacks sound like a great idea. I'll check it out. I love old pictures. Have a good weekend!

Pat @ My Tattered Elegance said...

Thanks for the info on Blue Willow and for the ledgend. I put you on my blog list, love it.

Bama Belle said...

I have so much blue willow it oozes, both Joe and I had grandparents in love with the stuff! I think I might have to dig someout now! See you soon!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Leigh, looks like a fun trip to the Alabaster thriftstore, haven't been over there in ages. enjoyed seeing what everyone found. Love that rabbit print!

My friend, Judy, from Montgomery is coming up today & we are gonna shop a bit.

KBeau said...

You know, I've known about Blue Willow since almost forever, but I never knew the story behind it. Thanks for sharing.

LZ Blogger said...

I saw your blog name (and link) over at BFG's Blog and thought I'd stop by and see if you were a fellow "Parrothead"?
I had never heard the story of the Blue Willow before. Thanks for the info! ~ jb///

jennifer said...

Blue Willow makes me think of my Aunt Jackie. I remember my mother buying her some of it for her collection when I was a little girl. That would have been in the 70's. She sold the collection (I assume - it wasn't in her estate when I was helping my cousin). She always had such wonderful antiques!

Mari said...

Thanks for sharing that interesting info on blue willow. Love that photo of your Dad!

Susan S. said...

Hey chica.....what an interesting post. I didn't know a THING about Blue Willow..only that it was pretty and blue. I love background history like that so thanks for sharing.

Cute picture of your Dad...I love old photos too!

Happy weekend!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Thanks so much, Leigh! Another wonderful informative post!!

Kirby3131 said...

You are always a font of information :) Thanks for the info on the birds, I was afraid you may just keep us hanging on that one! LOL

Your Dad...what a great photo!

Joan@anythinggoeshere said...

Thank you so much for hosting thrify thursday. Participating has sure been fun. Thank for for taking the time and effort to do this. Happy weekend!

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Chandy said...

Glad you illuminated the fact about the birds of the Willow pattern. I seen the plump one at those being shown as Johnson Bros. at Marshall's. I thought they looked a bit too big for the whole picture, so I passed them by.

Not worried about you stopping by. You know my blog address just fine. ;-)

That photo of your dad is precious and thanks for posting the legend about Willow, I did too, back in April I think. It helps to inform more people about it so they can truly appreciate it... It is a Chinese legend after all... (as in part of my heritage kind of appreciation. LOL)

Hugs, Chandy

Brenda said...

What an interesting story behind them! I just started my collection with a buy from an estate sale a few weeks ago. Have a great weekend.

bionic bunny! said...

you popped up while i was searching for a pic to forward to a friend!
don't know anything about your blog, but i also wonder about the parrot head question (i am founder of one of the oldest clubs) and i may have a little blue willow information for you, as i've been an avid collector for over 40 years!

your usage of "real" and "fake" isn't exactly right on the mark. but "real" willow came from england (skinny birds) and was later more cheaply mass produced in china (fat birds). apparently, today, some of the english companies are manufacturing in china, but they are original english patterns.
other ways to tell are the clarity of the pattern, and seemlessness of the pattern-- for instance i've searched most of my life for a pitcher and bowl set.
i recently purchased a cheap chinese set, and with the help of a B.W. friend, what appears to be an english version (no identifying marks what so ever).
the english is beautiful, clear, with a single willow tree under the spout, and 2 complete scenes on either side.
the chinese pitcher, has approximately 3 partial scenes haphazardly pasted around the bowl of the pitcher (not the bowl itself) and only one bird on the entire thing. the upper half of the pitcher is equally disturbing.
basically, if you have a piece with a continuous pattern, it's been fired into the ceramic. haphazard like a third grader pasted it, that's because it HAS been pasted on after firing (don't know the exact process, but that's the best i can explain it) and then glazed afterward.
there are some excellent antique chinese pieces, and always some interesting ones. and some people don't care. i have quite a few myself.
a good source is "" which is replacements, ltd. site.
any questions, you can message me on facebook!