My Obsession with Transferware

My love for collecting things needs no explanation. I collect mostly vintage items such as quilts, English advertising pots, crocks, scales, flower frogs, and transferware. Today I am sharing my transferware collection.

Spring Table

My theme for the month of May is collecting. 

My love for collecting things needs no explanation. I collect mostly vintage items such as quilts, English advertising pots, crocks, scales, flower frogs, and transferware.

Today I am sharing my transferware collection. I have vintage and new pieces and even though some of my collection is rare, I use it all the time.

brown transferware

Look at this brown transferware! Isn’t it just fabulous? This photo shows two of my transferware platters and three bowls I recently acquired. I love the designs, the color, and basically everything about them.

What is transferware?

Transferware is the term given to pottery that has had a pattern applied by transferring the print from a copper plate to paper and then to the pottery. While produced primarily on earthenware, transfer prints are also found on ironstone, porcelain, and bone china. 

You. can find vintage. transferware in blue, red (pink), green, brown, black, purple  (mulberry), and multicolor. Pieces with “limited” or LTD were likely made after 1860. “Made in England” indicates the piece was made throughout the 20th century.
There are a lot of new transferware pieces currently sold. Companies such as Spode, Royal Copenhagen, and Johnson Brothers currently sell some of their most popular transferware patterns. The patterns red, blue, and brown patterns below are both from Spode.

How to Set a Table

Most transferware patterns sought by collectors today are two-tone in color. Blue and white, red and white, and brown and white are the most common colors.

I think what I love most about transferware is that the patterns are truly timeless, making transferware a classic that is loved today just as much as it was in the 18th century.

I love mixing and matching dinner plates, especially when we entertain. The engagement party we hosted for my son Andrew and his bride Charlotte was for 60 people. The large number of guests required me to use every plate I had in this color there.

Entertaining with Transferware


Where can you buy Transferware?

The first thing you need to know is that my transferware collection primarily consists of dinner (and some salad) plates. I also own a few platters and bowls. I don’t collect teacups, saucers, and most serving pieces because they are too hard to store and I don’t think I would use them that often.

Vintage and new transferware can be purchased in stores and online. As much as I love the vintage pieces, it’s often hard to find a full vintage set of the same pattern. The prices can also be high but occasionally I will find a great deal on Etsy or at a vintage flea market. 

I found these vintage transferware items to buy online that I love. If you want one you will need to move fast because they are all one of a kind items for sale.


I also found more transferware plates and platters. My favorites are the plates in black and brown.

I also own a lot of newer transferware. Here are some of my favorites.

This pattern seen below from Spode is called Delamere. I just added this pattern to my collection last year and Delamere is one of my favorites. I also think they are very reasonably priced.


My favorite pattern of all time is called Asiatic Pheasant. I can’t explain why I have seen this exact plate with three different manufacturers listed on the bottom: Royal Stafford, Wedgewood, and Johnson Brothers.

I am slightly embarrassed to say that I own these plates in five different colors: black, blue, red,  pink, turquoise, and green. A few months ago I found the dinner plates at Home Goods (for $5 each).

I think I like the black plates the best.

Transferware Plates

The red plates are perfect for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, and more.

Valentine's Day Transferware

When I saw these plates at TJMaxx I about died! I had no idea they were available in pink!

Spring Table with Pink Transferware
My love for collecting things needs no explanation. I collect mostly vintage items such as quilts, English advertising pots, crocks, scales, flower frogs, and transferware. Today I am sharing my transferware collection.

I worked with Spode last year and acquired quite a few new plates for my collection.

My Collection of Transferware

I absolutely loved combining brown and blue transferware together.

Collecting Transferware

One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was jokingly titled “My Life as a dish-Whore-der“. I took the photo below for that blog post. It was my collection three years ago. Since then I have added five more sets of transferware dinner plates. I know I am obsessed with these plates. So I have imposed a self-moratorium on buying any more plates! 

Collecting China

If you would like to see the names of each of these patterns, just click on any of the numbered links below.

Sharing How to Collect Transferware

1-Spode Celebration* // 2-Noritake Richmond*  // 3-Portmeirion Pomona // 4-Royal Stafford Asiatic Pheasant-Black // 5-Johnson Brothers Rose Chintz // 6-Minton Bridal Veil* // 7-Wedgwood Edme // 8-Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles-Pink Christmas * // 9-Spode Festival* // 10-Royal Staffordshire Avondale* // 11-Wedgwood Osborne* // 12-Enoch Wedgewood Kent* Plus we will have more!

*Many of these are discontinued, but I love the website Replacements Limited which I linked to almost all of the discontinued pieces. You can still purchase them here.

Pin the image below to your Entertaining, Collecting, or tablescape boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

My Favorite Brown Transferware

For more real-time updates, follow me on Instagram @My100YearOldHome

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  1. Leslie. I love tour transfer ware. I have the port merion and many blue and white, that were my grandmother’s. Where did you find the pink glasses? They are so pretty! Your table settings are gorgeous!!

  2. Just yesterday and today I found the blue Spode Italian set of plates and bowls at one TJ Maxx and a set of dinner and salad plates in black at a 2nd store. They go so well together. I feel like I hit pay dirt and am very excited to set my first table with both this weekend. I am definitely becoming a transfer ware addict. 🙂

  3. I have a nice collection of jb alton ironstone brown transferware I’m looking to sell and would like some information on?

  4. I have some transferware I’m scared of using because of lead poisoning. Do you have certain plates you don’t use for this reason or have you found them to be mostly fine? Thank you in advance and lovely collection!!!

  5. Hello
    I have in my possession a brown and white transferware teapot with a floral decoration on, I know it is over 167 years old but cannot find it on any web site , i thought maybe you could help please could you let me know..
    Thank you,

  6. Maybe what I have is transfer ware… and that’s why no one can identify the pattern… it is ironstone… I believe it might be apple blossom… I’d love to send u a pic… I emailed… no luck.. and posted on beautiful table settings on FB…

    1. Do you have a picture of this that you could share? I wonder if it might look like some dishes I inherited. I have not been able to identify the maker from the marks. Seems to be something like JP and sons It also features embossed handles and gold gilding and pink apple blossoms.

  7. Leslie….I feel your pain and I say that with humor as I have been obsessed with Transferware for years. I have a set of the red, also some pieces of the brown, and now I want to add 4 dinner plates of the black Royal Stafford. I may need to order them online. They are classic. Seeing and visiting a factory in England in the 80s made me appreciate these dishes even more. I enjoyed your article.
    By the way I just sold a 110 year old 4 room cottage last fall. I miss it already. Carol J.

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