Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Blue Willow cup and saucer

Last week, I purchased a new Blue Willow teacup because I needed one to photograph for an upcoming Coweta Shopper column, and a few years ago, I (sadly) broke the only actual Blue Willow teacup I owned. I have a few Blue Willow-ish pieces, but no actual Blue Willow teacups, so I used part of an Amazon gift card to order this cup and saucer from Johnson Brothers. No wonder the pattern is such a classic; it charms me the more I look at it!

After recently discovering a photo of the tea house said to have possibly inspired this pattern, I decided that any Blue Willow I collect will need to have that tea house on it. I visited two local antique stores before I finally ordered the cup and saucer from Amazon. While I found Blue Willow teacups at both places, either they didn't picture the tea house or the transfer was too blurry.

I knew to look for the doves, said to be the star-crossed lovers in the famous legend of the Blue Willow pattern (go here if you'd like to read it).

And I read somewhere years ago that the three gentlemen on the bridge have been nicknamed "the Communists" because they're always leaning left, but I found that not all Blue Willow pieces show the Communists (or "the Buddhas," as I've also seen them referred to). If you happen to own any Blue Willow, I'd love to know if you spot the tea house, the doves, and the Communists/Buddhas on your pieces!


  1. Interesting that the three Communists have fish tails instead of legs. Thanks for showing the detail in close up. It's a lovely piece!

  2. My blue willow piece is a lovely footed cake plate that was gifted to me by a family friend. Too pretty to use, it is one display in my china cabinet, brought out for special occasions only.

  3. I dearly love Willow...a perennial favorite.

  4. Thanks for the education. I had to go look at my one cup and all three things are there. Hooray! Now I love my cup even more.

  5. My teapot, made in Japan, has the tea house, almost kissing doves and the three communists with fish tail legs also. Now I know to look for the three things.


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