Monday, April 27, 2015

The Legend Of Blue Willow China

The Legend of Blue Willow China: The Charm of Home
China with it's patterns can be most beguiling.  No pattern could be more so than Blue Willow.  The legend was created to promote the sales of Minton's original china pattern. There are several versions of the legend that have circulated, but this is my favorite.  

The Legend of Blue Willow China: The Charm of Home
This china pattern has clearly stood the test of time, most likely due to it's fantastic marketing with this romantic story.

The Legend of Blue Willow China: The Charm of Home

The Legend of Blue Willow China: The Charm of Home

The Willow Legend
There was once a Mandarin who had a beautiful daughter, Koong-se. He employed a secretary, Chang who, while he was attending to his master's accounts, fell in love with Koong-se, much to the anger of the Mandarin, who regarded the secretary as unworthy of his daughter.
The secretary was banished and a fence constructed around the gardens of the Mandarin's estate so that Chang could not see his daughter and Koong-se could only walk in the gardens and to the water's edge. One day a shell fitted with sails containing a poem, and a bead which Koong-se had given to Chang, floated to the water's edge. Koong-se knew that her lover was not far away.
She was soon dismayed to learn that she had been betrothed to Ta-jin, a noble warrior Duke. She was full of despair when it was announced that her future husband, the noble Duke, was arriving, bearing a gift of jewels to celebrate his betrothal.
However, after the banquet, borrowing the robes of a servant, Chang passed through the guests unseen and came to Koong-se's room. They embraced and vowed to run away together. The Mandarin, the Duke, the guests, and all the servants had drunk so much wine that the couple almost got away without detection, but Koong-se's father saw her at the last minute and gave chase across the bridge.
The couple escaped and stayed with the maid that Koong-se's father had dismissed for conspiring with the lovers. Koong-se had given the casket of jewels to Chang and the Mandarin, who was also a magistrate, swore that he would use the jewels as a pretext to execute Chang when he caught him.
One night the Mandarin's spies reported that a man was hiding in a house by the river and the Mandarin's guards raided the house. But Chang had jumped into the ragging torrent and Koong-se thought that he had drowned. Some days later the guards returned to search the house again. While Koong-se's maid talked to them, Chang came by boat to the window and took Koong-se away to safety.
They settled on a distant island, and over the years Chang became famous for his writings. This was to prove his undoing. The Mandarin heard about him and sent guards to destroy him. Chang was put to the sword and Koong-se set fire to the house while she was still inside.
Thus they both perished and the gods, touched by their love, immortalized them as two doves, eternally flying together in the sky. 
Source: International Willow Collectors

Not a happy story, but romantic nonetheless.


I will link this to:
Tea Time Tuesday at Rose Chintz Cottage 
A Return to Loveliness  at A Delightsome Life 
Tea Cup Tuesday at Martha's Favorites
Tuesday Cuppa Tea at Antiques and Teacups 
Friends Sharing Tea at Bernideen's Tea Time Blog 
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Your Going to Love it Tuesday At Kathe with an E
The Scoop at Confessions of a Plate Addict
Totally Terrific Tuesday at Live Randomly Simple
Project Inspire at An Extraordinary Day
Do Tell Tuesday at Maybe She Made It
Make It Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House 
Share your Style Thursday at Common Ground
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings-The Heart of the Home
What to Do Weekends at Shoestring Elegance
Idea Box Thursday at Mila's Little Things


Margie said...

The most romantic stories always seem to end tragically.

Blue Willow is also one of my favourite designs. I've been on a hunt for the teapot to complete my tea set!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

We have the same teapot! I do love Blue Willow and it is a classic. The teacups and teapot together make such a pretty set. Thanks for sharing and joining me for tea.


Laurel Stephens said...

Yes, very romantic! Thanks for sharing. I'll always think of this story now when I see blue willow china.

Susan Krzywicki said...

As a Californian, I love the Blue Willow pattern because it was the catalyst for action in the beloved book of the same title by Doris Gates - see this entry at Wikipedia:

Anonymous said...

Love! I'm so drawn to blue and white these days that I clicked right over as soon as I saw your link. Thanks for sharing the story too.
Much love.

Martha's Favorites said...

Love the romance in this story. Your dishes are beautiful. Have a wonderful week. Blessings, Martha

Unknown said...

Love the story and the blue willow dinnerware!

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

I have several pieces of Blue Willow, but to be honest I've never really like them? Now with knowing the story I think I will now appreciate them more! Thanks for sharing a great love story!

Stephanie @ Casa Watkins Living said...

Love the story. I have been on the hunt for Blue Willow pieces ever since I saw a set of saucers at a thrift store. Unfortunately, that was the only pieces there and I fell in love with the design.

Bernideen said...

WE love the Legend of the Blue Willow and give it out with every piece we sell at Bernideen's. A very fun posting here!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this story and educating us.
Sad but lovely story.

It makes this china style so meaningful, now.

Kim said...

Such beautiful pieces! I love that story. Never knew a story (or stories) was behind the design!

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I had no idea! Thank you so much for sharing the legend.

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Hi Sherry

I've enjoyed reading the Willow pattern story again... so sad.
It's beautiful china - dateless.
I've had bits and pieces of it over the years too.
A lovely post.

Unknown said...

Oh I just loved this post Sherry - what a wonderful story to go with your gorgeous China ............

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

Interesting fairytale behind the china, it would be hard to forget. Your china is beautiful.

Ivy and Elephants said...

I have always loved that story and there is nothing like blue & whites. Classic. I would love it if you would share this fabulous post at our WIW Linky Party. Hope you can join us!


Rachel Uchizono said...

I love the Blue Willow and Flow Blue patterns. I collect all time periods and mix and match, saving the antique plates and platters for the walls.
Thanks for sharing!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

So interesting to read the legend! :)

Mila said...

Love the story...
Blue & white combo is very tasteful! That's the perfect tableware for anniversary dinners :)


Susan said...

Oh my GOSH. I'll never look at my plates and cups with that pattern in the same way again! Tragic story! Susan

Kathryn Ferguson Griffin said...

I love Blue Willow! So timeless! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features this week at the Make it Pretty party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link so you can check out your feature. Hope you have a lovely week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

Donna Tagliaferri said...

A few months ago I began to itch for Blue and White dishes. Not sure where the need came from, but there it is. I started with a few things and suddenly I became the rabid collector. I found some darling plates at Home goods that went with some other know how this goes, right? Then I saw some blue and white plates....I had to have them. It was as though I was possessed. When I was able to buy them, and I knew I had to act fairly quickly, the ones I saw at first were completely gone....but Blue Willow was there. I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed the look of them, the color, the design...I had to go to 3 different stores, but I was able to find 12 plates and 12 salad plates...3 are round and the rest are square, but no worries. I love them. And then to read your story about Blue Willow well, my plate life is made today! Thank you! I will take a picture of the table when I get them washed and set.

Pottery kip said...

Yes please do.
Exciting to see them all together. ♡ kip

Southern Yankee Cyndee said...

I have a bunch!