Discover Vintage America - APRIL 2019
Floral designs on vintage porcelain indicates Chintzware
Q: I have started collecting this all-over floral design dinnerware. I have asked around and no one can tell me what it is. Some pieces have a pattern name on them but what I enjoy is the wide assortment I have been able to locate. Thank you for your help.
A:Oh my goodness, we are kindred spirits. I too collect chintz porcelain pieces, aka chintzware and chintz fabric. I'm sure that you would agree, part of the joy is the hunt for the different styles and colors.
Chintz porcelain was originally made in England by several companies; Grimwades (trade name Royal Winton), A.G. Richardson & Co. (trade name Crown Ducal), James Kent Ltd., Shelley Potteries Ltd., and Elijah Cotton Ltd. (trade name Lord Nelson).
Between them they turned out a great variety of chintz dinnerware, tea-ware, and ornamental pieces mostly from the 1920s to the 1960s. There were more than 50 different patterns in various colors available. While often made in pottery, some manufacturers such as Shelley produced bone china chintzware, particularly after World War II. At the same time, chintzware was being copied by German, Czech and Japanese manufacturers. Chintzware is still being produced today.
The pattern is applied via transferware instead of hand painting. Transfer decorating has been around for centuries. The design and color are applied to a piece of tissue paper and the tissue paper is placed on to the piece to be decorated. It is then put in a low fire kiln which creates the design and color transfer. Often with transferware you can see narrow lines where the edge of the paper was located, or a portion of the design is a little skewed.
My personal favorites are pieces made by Royal Winton and Shelley Potteries. I am drawn to the pieces with a yellow background and multi-colored foreground of flowers. I have a few new pieces they lack the quality of the older English made pieces. The flowers are much larger, and you can see quite a bit of white space from the design transfer process. You can see the difference between old and new in one of the photographs.
Prices vary on chintz. I have found pieces at the Dollar Store and thrift stores for a dollar and older Royal Winton and Shelley can sell for $50 for a cup and saucer up to $500 or more for a place setting and certain serving pieces.
Have fun with chintzware and enjoy it. My grandchild and I still have tea with my chintz tea service. I might have to make a surprise visit in my vintage camper to Columbia College in Chicago when she starts later in the year.
Note: All prices given are for sale in a private sale, antique shop or other resale outlet. Price is also dependent upon the geographic area in which you are selling. Auction value, selling to a dealer or pawnshop prices are about half or less of resale value.
Michelle Staley is a Lenexa, KS-based dealer and researcher with 35 years of experience in the antique trade. Send questions with photos to Michelle to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep queries to one question; questions without photos of the item may not be answered. Michelle is also available for consulting and extensive research work beyond this column. If you would like an appraisal on an antique or collectible please go to www.michelleknowsantiques.com for a one-on-one appraisal.