Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blue Willow

A few weeks ago I bought about fifty pieces of Churchill of England china in the Blue Willow pattern. Churchill’s Blue Willow is newer than most of the china I buy (it’s dishwasher/microwave safe) but it’s popular because it can be used every day. The willow pattern itself is quite old, however, and is one of the most recognizable china patterns. It was designed by Thomas Minton in the eighteenth century and since then many china companies have produced wares in this popular pattern.

Though I’m sure most of you know that there is a love story behind the willow pattern, I thought some of you might not be aware of it or may like to revisit the legend…

A rich Mandarin gentleman had a beautiful daughter who angered him greatly by falling in love with one of his accounting clerks, a poor man of lower social class. The father fired the clerk, built a wall around his castle to keep the clerk out and planned for his daughter to marry a rich Duke. The wedding was to take place the day the blossom fell from the willow tree.

On the eve of the wedding, the young clerk disguised himself as a servant and slipped into the palace. The young lovers escaped over a bridge while being chased by the Mandarin. They escaped on the Duke’s ship to a secluded island where they lived happily for many years.

The Duke eventually learned of their refuge and sent soldiers to put them to death. It is said that the gods, moved by their plight, transformed the lovers into a pair of doves.

Some believe the legend is a fabricated story used to promote sales of willow china. The willow pattern is most often found in blue, always on white, but has also been produced in pink, green and brown.

Do you have a piece of Blue Willow?

I'll be linking to the following parties:

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm


  1. What a lovely set Sherry! I like that it is a newer set and can be used everyday. I didn't know the legend, thank you for sharing it. I do have a couple of pieces of Blue Willow! Hugs, Linda

  2. I bought these dishes about 14 years ago when my grocery store was selling them. When you'd buy a certain amount of groceries, you could purchase a set of dishes very inexpensively. I still really like them!

  3. You were sure lucky to find such a large set of these pretty dishes. I knew there was a story behind the pattern, but forgot what it was, thanks for sharing it. Are these going in your booth, or are they keepers?

  4. I passed my Mom's collection on to my aunt -- so it is still in the family with someone I love!

  5. I did not know that about Blue Willow? Love to learn things! I have one piece, it was my Grandmothers and she always served mashed potato's in it.

  6. I love Blue Willow and have several pieces Ihave collected over the years.

  7. I like the story! We had the dishes growing up. It brings back fun memories to see it again.

    Have a great day.

  8. I do! I do! I bought them to use on the anniversary of our children's arrival, we call it 'Family Day'. Each baby who joined our family from Korea has a special Korean meal on their Family Day and we have a set of Blue Willow used for that dinner. I've never seen pink or brown!

  9. Thanks for the story and sharing your china at my party.


  10. I like that story and have heard it for years since I started collecting blue & white china

    We like to think love will win

  11. 50 pieces wow, no I don't have any blue willow, It is not something I know enough about,great story!

    Drop me an email and let me know how things are going



Your comments make me smile....!!!