Monday, June 6, 2011

Chintz Charming - Or, Some Day My Chintz Will Come

Spider webs adorning the front verge

Front Porch - Refuge From Kitchen Alterations!

Floral Slim PickingsThis Month

Decades ago I bought a pretty piece of china which had an all over colourful small floral pattern.  Something about it charmed me; the bright colours and the small scale of the design seemed so optimistic and cheerful.  I was sorry to find that as time went by it became too expensive to collect (or too expensive for me anyway), and it didn't turn up very often in thrift shops.  But whenever I spotted a piece at a bargain price I bought it, even if sometimes it had a small chip or crack. 

Apparently this china, which is called "chintz" is very collectible and its popularty has been ever increasing in the last few years.  (Just my luck, as Adrian Mole would say.)  The word "chintz" comes from the Indian word chintes, which was used to describe colourful patterned fabrics with birds and flowers printed onto cotton and exported to England from the late 1600s onwards. 

The chintz china we love so much was made for the mass market and intended for everyday use, which probably explains why so much of it is still around.  It was produced from the 1920s until the late 1960s and many different companies made their own patterns and versions.  Making each piece of china needed a lot of patience and skill because the designs were transferred by hand from lithographs to each piece of china.  It was important to match the joins where the sheet of lithograph paper came together in different places around the piece and if you look carefully you can see the joins.  Even the names of the designs are evocative of happy times.  There are "Briar Rose", "Rosetime", "Summertime", "Sweet Pea" and "Primula" just for starters.  Some companies did not stamp the bottom of their pieces with names more recently names have been given to them by collectors so they can be identified. 

The possibilities for collecting this china are endless.  Some people may collect say teapots in as many different patterns as they can find, while others concentrate on one favourite pattern.  Other people (like me) just snap up what they see and can afford.  This week at the hospice shop I was thrilled to find the pretty little yellow jug in one of the most frequently seen patterns.  It has no chips and I love the combination of yellow and pink colours.  Until now I have never had a jug, most of my china is cups, saucers or side plates so this is a big step forwards for my collection.  Isn't it lovely?  One day I think I will have to decorate a room around these pieces of china, but first of all we had better master the kitchen refit!

Kitchen On Moving Day - Kitchen, What Kitchen?
New Lining Timber
Kitchen Before Painting
Kitchen After Painting
Speaking of that, we have made great steps forward this long Queen's Birthday weekend.  We are pondering what to do about the floor; we will do the bathroom, laundry and toilet floor at the same time as the kitchen floor but I think Mr Shoestring should have a bit of a break before he takes on this task.  Above is the progress on the kitchen, it was great to put everything away again and not have clouds of wood shavings and tools all through the cottage!  In the picture above the kitchen cupboards look almost black, but they are a rather deep green shade. 


  1. Hi, so nice to discover your blog today and I love your little cottage! The kitchen is coming along so nicely.And I love the chintz dishes, especially the little creamer. A very nice collection! I like collecting, too. Check out my blog, too. Greetings, Egretta

  2. Hello there, Egretta. Welcome to the blog, and I am thrilled that you liked it. I have had a quick peek at your blog and I thought it was so interesting! Your collections are fascinating. I will become a follower ASAP. (I am a bit technologically challenged and don't follow any blogs yet, I will have to work out how to do it! Weekend is coming up and Mr Shoestring help me.)