Department of Anthropology

Willow Pattern

  • Type: Pearlware and Chinese export porcelain
  • Date range: c.1792-1840+
  • Median date: c.1818
  • Place of origin: England

The "willow" pattern was first developed by Thomas Minton in 1792. Many variations of willow pattern were produced. The standard willow pattern includes one bridge, a cottage or mini-pagoda, three figures, a boat and two birds. The combination of these elements tells a story. A geometric border design is usually included with the willow pattern.

Chinese versions of the willow pattern on porcelain were hand-painted, while the English versions were usually transfer-printed in blue.

The willow pattern remains popular today.

See Noel Hume 1976: 130-131, 260-261; South 1977: 212


willow

Photo: Willow ware plate