I admit I’m a little chintzy.

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.

chintz teapot

Another of my favorite pieces is one that my friend Sue also found for me at a garage sale.

chintz 2

I especially love the birds that are included in this pattern.

chintz 3This pattern was produced by Crown Ducal and apparently they didn’t name their patterns.  I do particularly like the designs that include birds as well as flowers.

This pair of plates are in another pattern with birds that is made by Royal Tudor Ware.

chintz 8

Shelley names their patterns, and this tea cup is in a pattern called Rock Garden.

chintz 4

 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!

chintz 5

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.

chintz 7As you can see, these are not as detailed or colorful as the English patterns.

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’.

chintz 9

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.

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13 thoughts on “I admit I’m a little chintzy.

  1. Do you remember Gayle Claridge a designer from Westlake Village California?
    (Her daughter was Miss Universe I think and she married Hulk Hogan)
    She did a reproduction collection with Spode maybe called House of Claridge
    I believe there was one called Summerchintz its very similar to your most recent find the teapot and cups. Frankly I would love to have some for Welsch Dresser in my breakfast room for summer.
    Love the birds too dont know if I remember that there were birds on some.

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    1. I don’t recognize that designer at all. I tried to google Summerchintz, and got a Johnson Bros. pattern that doesn’t look at all like chintz. Strange that they chose that name for it.

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  2. I have loved chintzware since I’ve seen it and I still do. I think it is a classic and will never go out of style. It might be a different style than what is in the magazines now but we don’t see Channel in every magazine either. It is still gorgeous.

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  3. I loved chintzware before it became “hot” in the 1990s and still do. I even created a quilt series called Tea & Chintz that featured 8 different teacups and a teapot (though I will admit that this did take advantage the height of the chintzware mania). What’s even more funny is that my blog post from this past Monday featured floral teacups made from fabric, inspired by Chintzware! I’d leave a link, but don’t want to be considered spam — just click over to my website and you’ll find the post

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    1. I give you a lot of credit for your ability to sew and work with fabric. Somehow I just have never had that knack. My poor mom tried to teach me to sew as a girl, and it just didn’t take. You fabric teacup is darling.

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  4. I should have researched this better. Designer’s name is Gail Claridge not Gayle. I found her on youtube doing a spot on the old Christopher Lowell show. She lost most of her original chinztware in an earthquake when she lived in Northridge, California.
    So she partnered with Wedgewood not Spode to do two patterns “Summertime” and “Wellbeck”. Victoria magazine did several promotions of these using patterns in the day. Gail was in the magazine a couple of times and on HGTV as well.

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  5. I love your “non collection”. I don’t collect vintage fruit jars, solid color teapots, yellow stoneware or granite. I did stop not collecting pink open lace depression glass. For quite a while sometime in 2005 or so I put alot of my collections away. I decided that they dated me and no one else I knew collected anything like it. Then during soul searching and rediscovering myself I decided I LIKE my vintage fruit jars, I am very knowledgeable on them, I love the hunt for them and they make me HAPPY. I don’t collect them for any other reason than that. So luckily I hadn’t got rid of them but had them all boxed up and out they came. I need to find better ways to display them but they are a part of who I am, so out they will stay.

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  6. I loved this post because I’m a collector, who in the past, couldn’t resist a new Boyd’s Bear, or Santa figurine, and now I’m getting ready to move and had to match the Boyd’s Bears to their box “home”….lol….a job and a half. I’m going to only keep the sentimental ones though…I swear.

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