The Willow Pattern

Posted 4/22/2019

I am truly enchanted by stories and legends that revolve around objects. My oassion for the ceramic craft and love for sharing stories over meals led me to delve deeper into the charming Willow Pattern.


A Bridge, a pagoda, a willow tree, swallows and two lovers - perfect ingredientsto concoct a beautiful story! This is what Staffordshire engraver, Thomas Miltondid in the 18th century by inventing the tale of the Willow Pattern and two lovers, Chang and Koo-se, who fled from their homes and turned into swallows to live forever in the willow tree. This spurious tale behind the Willow Pattern charmed the English with its melancholic beauty and its delightfully Chinese aura.

Since then this charming table time story on the blue Willow plate has been enjoyed and passed down from one generation to the next!

To quote the old poem:

"Two swallows flying high,
A little boat passing by,
A little bridge, with willows over,
Three men going to Dover,
Now Dover church stands very bare,
Twice a week they worship there,
A little tree with apples on,
And plaited palings in the sun"