Thursday, April 17, 2014

Exception to the Rule

When I go to estate sales and yard sales to buy vintage items for my booth, I have at least one rule: I won’t buy sets of china. I might buy a piece or two of a pattern, but not a large quantity. Why? Well, sets are a hard sell for me. They usually sit in the booth, and take up space, for a long time.

As you have probably guessed by the title of this post, I sometimes make an exception to my own rule. One exception is for the Blue Willow pattern.

Grandmothers, mothers and aunts have passed down their Blue Willow over the years and it is still a beloved pattern in this region. At least I hope that is still the case, because I just bought quite a few pieces.

Blue Willow has been manufactured by several china companies (Homer Laughlin, Churchill, Japan) but my recent purchase was made by Johnson Bros. 

Did you know that there is a love story behind the Willow pattern? Click here to read a previous post I published concerning the history of the Willow pattern.

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While I'm confessing my Willow purchase, I'm also going to confess yet another exception to my rule.

I bought 25 pieces of one of the prettiest patterns I have seen in a long time, Ivanhoe by Minton China. The pastel colors of the delicately raised pattern just screamed “spring” so I displayed them in a prominent place in the booth just yesterday.

I think the partial set would display beautifully in a china cabinet or “mixed and matched” with other pastel-colored china patterns.

Do you ever break your own treasure-hunting rules?


  1. Blue Willow is always a good bet. Its so old and people love it. The ones who have it, hang onto it forever. You are so lucky to find a set.
    I don't have any big rules. Some things I will buy no matter what, some I don't want to go there and get into it, because you have to have the right buyer and like you said, could sit for quite awhile. Hope you have a great Easter weekend.

  2. I love Blue Willow although I don't have one plate, but I do own Eng.transferware in blue and red. I don't have rules either, I collect transferware and used them in different patterns, I dont care! I also love to mix and match dishes. All your dishes here are gorgeous, I love them!
    Happy Easter.

  3. Blue Willow pattern does well in my area too. I have a tough time with most china except blue patterns and red transferware style patterns.

  4. I try not to buy things I already have too many of or that take a long time to sell. I break my rule when the price is too good to pass up!

  5. I break my rules all the time! Love the Blue Willow pattern, such a classic. I do think the other pattern you found is also gorgeous. Gosh Spring and pretty dishes just go together!
    hugs, Linda

  6. I'm sure both of these gorgeous sets will fly out of your booth, I don't blame you for breaking the rules over them. Rules, what rules? I have promises I try to stick to when I'm out hunting, but I break them all the time.

  7. Your china finds are beautiful! My grandma had Blue Willow, I think it's one of those classics that will always be popular. So I wish you quick sales of both sets! Rules that I might break? Well, sometimes when I thrift I say that I'm only going to get things that I''ll be selling after I transform them. But then I might spy something amazing that I just have to have for myself, and the rules fly out the window!

  8. It is more fun to hunt and find pieces a little at a time. I have one piece of blue willow of my grandmother' was the mashed potato bowl

  9. Of course I break my rules...That's what they are for lol! I have trouble selling china sets too, but I think that Blue Willow will sell well....Yep worth breaking the rules for lol!


  10. My grandmother had a set of Blue Willow that was her good china. I used to admire it in her hutch but never saw her use it once. I guess when you have a house full of sons and grandsons, using the old Home Laughlin heavy duty railroad dishes was a better idea :-)


  11. I collected Blue Willow for years until I had a full set and extras of everything. Hard times forced me to sell it and as much as it hurt to let it go it brought me more for income than I ever paid for any of it. I continue to find pieces to sell because they are a safe bet. Couldn't really believe the demand for it. I had pieces from Japan, made in the USA and England.

  12. Rules are made to be broken! Beautiful china !!


  13. Aunt Bea on Andy Griffith had Blue Willow as her pattern! That made me love it even more.
    I think you made a good purchase.

  14. I am so on the same page as you. I vow to avoid china, especially since in my booth I really can only sell one or two sets regularly. The rest just sit. To me, being a dish lover, I never understand why they don't sell. They are really cute designs but alas they gather dust but at least look fabulous while sitting there. lol. The Willow pattern is just lovely.


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