I like to think of myself as being careful about not ‘collecting’ too many things. This is clearly a delusion on my part, but please play along.
But I have learned that if you start to collect something, before you know it you’ll have tons of it, and then it will go out of fashion. Now what? You feel bad because you once loved these things, but you don’t want to display them anymore. So you tuck them away somewhere or you ‘get rid of them’. Sounds sinister. Like a transaction taking place in a dark alley somewhere.
Pssst! Hey you … want to buy some chintzware? Good quality stuff man.
So like I said, I try to be careful.
If people ask, I don’t collect stuff. But in reality, I can’t help myself sometimes. Maybe the true story is that I try to never pay more than a few dollars for the stuff I collect. Like my vintage clocks. Almost all purchased for less than $5 each. Or my aqua and white pottery. Almost all purchased at garage sales for less than $10 each (or dug up out of the neighbor’s yard). Thus when I get tired of these, I don’t feel bad about getting rid of them.
Which brings me to my chintzware. If you don’t know what chintzware is, to simplify things, I’ll tell you that it’s basically china with an allover pattern that is transferred on (not hand painted). It was popular in the 20’s and 30’s, but fell out of vogue in the 40’s and 50’s. There was a resurgence in the 90’s prompted in no small part by Victoria magazine (as my reader Victoria commented earlier) and people started collecting vintage pieces and new chintzware began being produced as well. And in a similar fashion, I think it has gone back out of style today for much the same reasons it did in the 40’s and 50’s. People are looking for more clean lines and Scandinavian design once again, and less of the shabby chic floral look.
But … I have my little collection. And I still think it’s lovely. I keep some of it in a glass fronted cabinet on my front porch, and some of it in my summer house. And although I’m not trying to add to my collection, when I see a gorgeous vintage tea pot in the Lord Nelson pattern called Rose Time for $10 at a garage sale, I buy it. And it was extra fun to realize that I already had the matching creamer and sugar bowl.
Another of my favorite pieces is one that my friend Sue also found for me at a garage sale.
I especially love the birds that are included in this pattern.
This pair of plates are in another pattern with birds that is made by Royal Tudor Ware.
Shelley names their patterns, and this tea cup is in a pattern called Rock Garden.
This tiny little creamer is one of my favorites, and the pattern is naturally called Hydrangea and it was produced by James Kent. My friend Jeanne brought this one home from California for me knowing how much I love both chintz and hydrangeas!
I think the English pieces are the prettiest. I try to stick with mainly English pieces, but chintzware was also made in Japan. This sugar and creamer are Japanese pieces.
I do have a couple of reproduction pieces that are not vintage. The differences between vintage pieces and reproductions are easily discernible, I think. The new pieces are thicker and not as delicate as the vintage. The colors seem to be a bit brighter and to me they just simply look ‘new’.
This is a reproduction of Sophie by James Sadler.
While researching for this post, I saw this exact teapot being sold on eBay for $269.99 and the description says “Very Rare Exquisite English Sadler Sophie Yellow Chintz Teapot Mint in Box”.
The ad includes a picture of the mark on the bottom, which matches the mark on the bottom of my reproduction teapot. In other words, this is a reproduction being sold as ‘very rare’ on eBay for a crazy price. I hope no one was taken in.
So, there you have it. My chintzware non-collection. One of these days I might sell it in a dark alley somewhere, but for now I think I’ll hang on to it.