Greek/Roman Women and a Vase/Urn

During 1851 and 1852 many potteries produced an almost identical pattern: Two women, with a large vase or urn in the foreground.
The women are close to an embrace, or showing other signs of fondness.
Are they mother and daughter? In the Shaw (Pomona), Holland (Carrara) and one of the Clementson (Sydenham) designs, one of the women appears to be a younger girl.
Despite this, you'll notice pattern names of Minerva and Athena - the Roman and the Greek goddess of war, not love.
The scene by Shaw, called Pomona, may have a different bearing: Vertumnus & Pomona, and also Jupiter & Callisto, both mythological cases of a man pretending to be somebody else in order to blindside the woman into loving him.
Other titles are Italian place names.
For the most part, these titles have little or no bearing on what's being shown. They're tools to convey a classical and exotic impression.

The other striking feature is that so many of these makers had only just begun their existence in 1850/51.
Could these fledgling firms have purchased their patterns from the same freelance transferware engraving studio, who cosmetically changed the pattern for each new purchaser?

Here are some of those patterns - note the similarity, not only of the central pattern, but also of the rims.

M T & Co
(Marple, Turner & Co)

Pattern: ATHENA

The diamond registry mark is for the year 1851/52.

This firm began life in 1850 and went out of existence in 1858.





John Holland

Pattern: CARARRA

The diamond registry lozenge is for 1852.

This design appears to show a mother and young daughter, rather than two adult females.
This small Tunstall, Staffordshire firm was only in existence between 1852 and 1854.

Thomas Goodfellow

Pattern: COLONNA

c 1851/2

Note the rim pattern is aligned differently, in the two examples shown (below and at right).

Three companies seem to have made a pattern in this style and with the border design similar to all of the others, both named CORELLA.
These designs show one seated women in classical garb, holding an infant - which scores a goal for the Mother/Daughter theory.
These were Barker & Son, circa (wait for it) 1851 and Cork & Edge circa (yes) - 1851, and their CORELLA was then continued through to Edge & Malkin in the 1860's.
The decades-old sepia images, far right, are from a book and are not their real hue.
You can see a black & white image of the Barker Corella in the Winter 2000 bulletin of The Transferware Collector's Club, P.14, if you're a member.

The blue images are courtesy of Scott Cross.

Above and below, a Corella pattern with a CE&M mark. (Cork, Edge & Malkin).

Above and below, a Barker & Sons example. Note the very similar cartouche to the Edge back stamp.

Barker & Sons' Corella, above and at left.

Below is Edge's' Corella


The third one is so far a mystery - maker unknown.

If anybody can identify the markings for this Corella pattern (pattern above, markings below), please let me know:

Wedgwood & Co

Pattern: MINERVA (Not identified as such on the Primavesi plate.)

Primavesi was a chain of retailing department stores based in Wales during Victorian times.
There's an impressed WEDGWOOD&CO on the back.

c1860's with the Wedgwood & Co impressed mark (and their British coat-of-arms topping the Primavesi stamp), but this pattern had been in production since the 1850's.

Wedgwood & Co were born out of Podmore Walker, who also produced this pattern in the 1850's.
Podmore Walker began life in 1850.
This blue plate is impressed PW & Co on the back - no other markings.

Anthony Shaw

This firm began life in 1851

This design appears to show a mother and young daughter, rather than two adult females.


The interesting decagonal teapot is not marked underneath, and could only be identified with existing knowledge of the pattern, or the shape.

William Brownfield

Pattern: RAVENNA

This firm began life in 1850.


Joseph Clementson


This is a series of scenes, rather than a single image.
The close-up of a rim cartouche apparently shows two females in an embrace, this being the same on every plate, of whatever central image.

The back mark shows Clementson's usual phoenix, - they operated out of the Phoenix Works in Staffordshire.
However, in his book, Clews says that in 1832, Clementson became the proprietor of the Sydenham Works, which may explain the choice of name for this Greek/Roman theme.
Also, Lord Sydenham presided over the reunification of Canada in 1840, and was widely lauded for years after.
To add to the mix, the 1851 Crystal Palace exhibition was laid out on a site carved out of the London suburb of Sydenham in the late 1840's.
(It's possible that the Crystal Palace Great Exhibition of 1851 may have provided a source for these classical scenes.)

The back mark below, for the blue plate at middle left, does not mention Clementson, and has a different phoenix at the top, - it was made for a US retailer, and says, Manufactured for Davenport Bros, 203 Greenwich St. NY

This wonderful trio in green, shows many of the scenes that made up the Sydenham set.
The set is owned by Carl Spoonamore of North Carolina.

The images at right were supplied by Paul Kirk.

Clementson Sydenham (Contd)

The pieces in this section are from the collection of Scott Cross.

The octagonal lid above, fits the tureen at the right.

Scott also has the pattern on the above server, on a 10 1/2" plate (below) - a fairly unusual size for a plate in this pattern: Most plates are smaller.


David Methven

David Methven were known copiers of the works of others, either deliberately, or because they used the designs of freelancers.
It appears that because Methven was in Scotland, the Staffordshire freelancers 'took liberties', and sent them work they'd already been paid for by other closer, potteries.


Sadly, I don't have the back marking.

I gratefully acknowledge the help of Transferware Collector's Club member Margie Williams, who supplied me with several of the above images.


For another page of 'coincidences' involving different Staffordshire potteries, click here.


To email me with comments or feedback about this page, I'm at

I've compliled a huge database of browns and reds transfer patterns.
Read more about this database here.