My Obsession with Transferware

My love for collecting things needs no explanation. I collect mostly vintage items, and today I am sharing my transferware collection.

Today, I will delve into the fascinating history of transferware, share my passion for collecting, and offer tips on incorporating these treasures into your home decor.

brown-transferware for Summer days
Favorite Finds

The Art of Collecting Transferware: A Timeless Treasure for Every Home

Spring Table

As an avid collector, I’ve spent years scouring flea markets, online marketplaces, and discount home decor stores in search of these exquisite pieces that add a touch of elegance and charm to any space.

Exploring the History of Transferware

The Best Glassware Sets

To truly appreciate the allure of transferware, it’s essential to understand its origins and evolution over the centuries. The history of transferware can be traced back to 18th-century England, where skilled artisans sought to replicate the intricate patterns of expensive imported Chinese porcelain.

Using a revolutionary technique known as transfer printing, intricate designs were transferred onto ceramic surfaces using specially prepared paper and ink.

Initially produced in shades of blue and white, transferware quickly gained popularity among the masses thanks to its affordability and accessibility. As demand grew, manufacturers began experimenting with various colors, including brown, black, pink, green, blue, and red, resulting in diverse patterns and styles to suit every taste and preference.

You can find vintage transferware in blue, red, pink, green, brown, black, purple (mulberry), and multicolored. Pieces marked with “Limited” or LTD were likely made after 1860. “Made in England” indicates the piece was made throughout the 20th century.

There are many new transferware pieces currently sold. Companies such as Spode, Royal Copenhagen, Royal Stafford, and Johnson Brothers sell some of their most popular patterns.

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

On this blog, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you purchase via the link. The price will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

The Thrill of the Hunt of Transferware

For collectors like myself, the thrill of the hunt is half the fun of acquiring new transferware pieces. Whether browsing through flea markets, antique shops, or online marketplaces, discovering a rare or unique find is always exciting.

Each piece, from vintage plates and platters to teapots and tureens, tells a story of bygone eras and cherished traditions, making it an exceptional addition to any collection.

Embracing Versatility in Home Decor

How to Set a Table

One of the most appealing aspects of transferware is its versatility in home decor. These timeless pieces can be incorporated into various interior styles, from traditional and farmhouse to eclectic and bohemian.

Here are some creative ways to use transferware in your home:

Display as Wall Art

Hang a collection of vintage plates or platters on a blank wall to create a charming gallery display that adds visual interest and character to any room.

Create a Tabletop Vignette

Arrange a mix of transferware pieces, such as plates, bowls, and serving dishes, on a dining table or sideboard to create a captivating tabletop vignette as a focal point for entertaining.

Use as Everyday Dinnerware

Spring Table with Pink Transferware

Don’t save your transferware for special occasions—incorporate it into your everyday dinnerware rotation for a touch of elegance during everyday meals.

Incorporate into Seasonal Decor

Valentine's Day Transferware

Mix and match transferware pieces with seasonal accents, such as pumpkins for fall or florals for spring, to create festive table settings and displays throughout the year.

Where to Find Transferware

A cranberry copper themed table set for Christmas

If you’re eager to start your collection of transferware, there are plenty of places to search for these coveted treasures:

Flea Markets and Antique Shops

Explore local flea markets, antique fairs, and vintage shops in search of hidden gems and one-of-a-kind finds.

Online Marketplaces

Browse online marketplaces such as eBay, Etsy, and Chairish for a vast selection of transferware pieces from sellers worldwide. I buy transferware on Etsy quite frequently.

Discount Home Decor Stores

Keep an eye out for budget-friendly transferware reproductions at discount home decor stores, which offer affordable options for those just starting their collection. Most of my Royal Stafford Asiatic Pheasant dinner plates are from TJMaxx and Home Goods.

Estate Sales and Auctions

Attend estate sales and auctions in your area to discover unique transferware pieces at competitive prices.

The Joy of Collecting

For me, collecting transferware is more than just acquiring decorative objects—it’s a passion that brings joy, inspiration, and a sense of connection to the past.

Each piece in my collection tells a story, evoking memories of days gone by and sparking conversations with family and friends.

Whether you’re drawn to the classic elegance of blue and white patterns or the warmth of brown transferware, there’s something truly magical about the timeless beauty of transferware.


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.


My favorite pattern is the Asiatic Pheasant. I can’t explain why I have seen this exact plate with three manufacturers listed on the bottom: Royal Stafford, Wedgewood, and Johnson Brothers. But it just means this pattern is easier to find, right?

Engagement Party Table Settings

I am slightly embarrassed to say that I own these dinner plates in five different colors: black, blue, red, pink, turquoise, and green. A few years ago, I found them 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.

I worked with Spode for a few years and acquired several new plates for my collection.

My Collection of Transferware

I loved combining brown and blue transferware.

Collecting Transferware

One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was jokingly titled “My Life as a dish-Hoard-der“. I took the photo below for that blog post. It was my collection six years ago. Since then, I have added five more sets of transferware dinner plates. I know I am obsessed with these plates.

I have imposed a self-moratorium on buying any more plates! 

Collecting China

If you want to see the names of these patterns, 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*

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

So why not start your collection today and embark on a journey of discovery, creativity, and endless possibilities in home decor?

The possibilities are endless with transferware, and the joy of collecting knows no bounds.

Amazing Vintage Decor!


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

Vintage transferware plates with intricate patterns displayed on a wooden surface.

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.

  8. HI Leslie, What a wonderful collection. Do you know of Burleigh Transferware. They still manufacturer using the tissue transfer method. It is awesome to see them doing it. I am lucky to have visited the factory a couple of times.

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