This is just one of many collections at my mother's house.
She loves to collect blue and white dishes.
She loves flow blue dishes, or any cobalt blue pattern.
She also loves Blue Willow, and that's because it was
her mother's collection.
One of my favorite memories of
being with my grandmother, was when she would
share with me the sweet forbidden love story
behind the Blue Willow pattern.
She didn't remember the Chinese names,
but she had every detail of the legend
in her memory to tell to me.
I think I must have asked her
to tell me the story
a hundred times!
In her later years, she had a quiet little shaky voice,
much like Katherine Hepburn,
and she would sit me on her lap with a plate in hand
and tell me her variation of the story below.
The Legend behind the Blue Willow Pattern
Long ago, in the days when China was ruled by emperors, a Chinese Mandarin, Tso Ling, lived in the magnificent pagoda under the branches of the apple tree on the right of the bridge, over which droops the famous willow tree, and in front of which is seen the graceful lines of the fence.
Tso Ling was the father of a beautiful girl, Kwang-se, who was the promised bride of an old but wealthy merchant. The girl, however, fell in love with Chang, her father’s clerk. The lovers eloped across the sea to the cottage on the island. The mandarin pursued and caught the lovers and was about to have them killed when the gods transformed them into a pair of turtle doves. These are seen gazing into each other’s eyes
at the top of the design.
Blue Willow, in its present form, originated in the England in 1790 by Thomas Turner at Caughley Pottery Works in Shropshire.
Do you have any blue and white dishes?
Blue Willow, or Flow Blue or?