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Till & Sons were a Staffordshire pottery based in Burslem. The makers mark puts the transferware tureen to have been made in c1881.


Originally invented in China, blue-and-white ceramics were widely circulated, copied and re-created by makers worldwide, becoming one of the most well-known and enduring products in the history of Chinese porcelain. Into the 16th century, large quantities of blue-and-white porcelain arrived in Europe, first through Portuguese merchants followed by the Dutch East India Company and other traders. Popular with the Georgians, blue & china was ‘re-discovered’ by the Aesthetic Movement in 1850’s and 60s, who valued 'Art for Art's sake' (art that didn't tell stories or make moral points but was enjoyed purely for visual pleasure). Engaged in the 'search for beauty', influential Aesthetic artists such as James McNeill Whistler and the Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti began eagerly collecting Chinese blue-and-white, sometimes known as 'Nankin' or 'Old blue', which was seen to embody true beauty in colour, material and form.


Blue-and-white fast became fashionable, not only amongst artists but also within a growing middle class who collected it in order to affirm their artistic, cultivated tastes. Part of its charm was the universally appealing colour combination, mirroring the natural blue and white of the sky and brightening up the typically dark Victorian interior. Antique blue-and-white, particularly from the Kangxi period (1662 – 1722), was also prized for the exquisite skill involved in its pre-industrial manufacture. At the height of the blue-and-white craze, Aesthetes like Whistler himself were often ridiculed as suffering from 'Chinamania', valuing their blue-and-white porcelain above all else. By the time he died, Whistler's collection numbered over 300 objects. (V&A ).


Planted with bright red zonal geraniums in an inner pot, which will flower happily all summer.


All our plants are accompanied with detailed care instructions and packed up carefully in compostable recycled boxes packed with straw and shipped with an overnight courier service.


Our potted plants make lovely sustainable gifts as nothing is single use or thrown away - the bowl can be used for multiple purposes and the violas can be re- planted outdoors or into a bigger pot if necessary. Each pot comes with a personalised gift card and the option of our Cambridge Imprint wrapping paper and vintage velvet ribbon.

Antique Till & Sons 'Pagoda' bowl planted with geraniums


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