I have been using Blue Willow for many years since I was able to get it free from the Shop and Save grocery stores up in Maine, back in the early 80s. Since then I have added to the collection at yard sales, auctions and flea markets. It is the standard blue willow pattern but made to last a lot longer than the blue willow you can find from Japan which is often thin and somewhat fragile.
I use that too though. If it is blue and white I probably have a piece of two of it.
It really all started when a Canadian cousin of ours, Helen, gave me an Antique blue and white plate.
The cup and saucer in the picture are from Japan in the Occupied era. So that puts it in the late 40s. I like the way it has the design in the cup too. Newer ones do not.
I decided right then and there I would start looking for blue and white dishes to display in a new (actually very old antique) cupboard we had purchases. (The cabinet was purchased in a group shop in Michigan on a trip to the Midwest.) At first I didn't have much luck but then the grocery store started giving these dishes out and I was set.
Because I own an antique shop and must constantly be on the lookout for inventory I am now able to find a lot more than I did back then (before shop). Because all the plates and cup and saucers look pretty much the same I won't show them but here are a few other things I have.
And I won't bore you with the Blue Willow legend behind the designs... there are plenty of places on the Internet to learn about that.
I think that the clean crisp look of Blue and White is probably what appeals to folks and I have found that food looks pretty appetizing on the plates though some might not agree.
As I mentioned Liberty Blue was given out in grocery stores at the time of our Bicentennial.
Here is an example.
And then Blue Willow in the 80s. Another set of dishes was also given out in the area I live in now,(in Pennsylvania)and it was called Shakespeare Country. I have been able to find a LOT of that to sell in my shop since it was given out in this area. It probably was in other areas as well but I can't say for sure.
In addition I know there is another set of dishes called Shakespeare country manufactured by a favorite maker of mine... Homer Laughlin (who made Fiesta among MANY other patterns.) I don't particularly care for this version of Shakespeare Country and unfortunately I don't have any examples of it at the moment. The other one... by Royal Essex is so much prettier to my eyes.
Blue and White china seems to be the most prolific of this type of china. However the transfer ware is also done in green, brown, red and even a few in black. And of course they very pretty purple I showed you last week. And there are a number of the brown and white versions that have some added color as well such as the Friendly Village pattern. I will save that for another day.
I hope you enjoyed this very brief looks at my blue and white china.
After you visit my post today be sure to check out these other tea posts today.