“Is there anything prettier than blue and white dinnerware on a dining table?” I asked my friend as we shopped the local thrift store.“I totally agree.”. . .
“Hummm. . .Wouldn’t this pattern go well with your colonial home in Missouri, since you already have a lot of blue and white there,” she asked as she picked up a piece I recognized as Blue Onion. I also noticed the price tag. . . $10 for the set.
I looked closer. I had never thought about the possibility that the Blue Onion design dated back to the 18th century. I have collected random pieces of that pattern for forty years. . .and thought it was more of a 20th century design. . .But she was right. . .the floral artwork definitely looked inspired by similar 18th century flowers I had seen in fabrics and paintings.I was intrigued. . .Of course I put the set in my cart. . .I would have bought it anyway, whether it was a 18th, 19th or 20th century pattern. . .My idea was to take it home to the farm and enjoy it as a change for the summer. . .But if it’s pattern dated back to the 18th century. . .I might want to rethink this. . .
|Not Blue Onion--Just Pretty Blue and White|
The first thing I did when I arrived home was search for the Blue Onion pattern history on the net. . .To my surprise, the pattern dated back to 1740 when the Meissen factory in England modeled the work of Chinese porcelain painters. . .but making it their own with some changes. . . .For the next 200 plus years, other porcelain factories also copied the Meissen dinnerware. . .which is why I was familiar with it. . .
I searched more to find that the $10 set I bought wasn’t that old and that the pattern isn’t even called Blue Onion. . . .Most factories changed the name from the original, but no matter the name, most know it as Blue Onion. . .The factory mark on the back reads:
Blue Nordic, Hand Engraving, Dishwasher Proof, Johnson Brothers, Made in England, Ironstone.
Now I have a decision to make. . .Keep the beautiful blue and white at the summer farm. . .or take it to our second home for colonial dinners there?. . .Looks like whether we are living in the 21st century or the 18th century. . .this age-old popular pattern will be at home in either place. . .
Decisions. . .Decisions. . .What do you think?
For more on the history of the Blue Onion Pattern, go to: