Archives For May 2014

Spode Blue Italian

May 21, 2014

In 1816, Spode launched a new set of chinaware called Blue Italian also known as Spode Italian and this collection placed Spode on the map as the leader in the ceramic industry. It is one of Spode’s most collected ranges up until its production in 2009 and is now famous not only in Europe but also in America.

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The popularity of blue and white china was widespread in Europe and the UK in the 1700s.  The demand for imported china was high and the pieces very expensive. In 1784, Josiah Spode mastered the art of reproducing these sought after blue and white designs and he set the standard for all English porcelain.

The inspiration for the Italian pattern has been the source of much research and speculation over the years. Unlike many of the classical scene patterns of pottery in the 1800s, the origin of the Italian pattern was not certain. Tilman Lichtenthaeler, a Spode collector and researcher carried out research in an attempt to trace and unravel the mystery source of the Italian scene which comprises of several made up elements, the ruin on the left, row of houses along the left bank of the river and the castle in the distance.

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He found that there is no one place in Italy that holds all of these elements together and surmised that a travelling artist made the sketches of the scenes he encountered as he travelled his way to Italy. These scenes all together would become the Italian Pattern.

From the time of its production, the Spode Italian pattern was an immediate success. In the early 1800s, most of the pieces produced in the pattern were on asparagus servers, enormous soup tureens with ladles, cruet sets and huge meat dishes, clearly items designed for the wealthy. A catalogue from Spode in the 1920s and 1930s records over 700 different shapes available. The Italian pattern was produced in black and from 1954 to 1962.

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The Blue Italian pattern is considered a design icon, with its scenic Italian countryside elements mixed with the Imari Oriental border. It resulted in a piece of art that is intricate and elegant.

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“Wonderful item … ” ~ Roger

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Navy and Plum

May 20, 2014

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What our customers are saying…

“The pendant is absolutely GORGEOUS. A real treasure, I love it!!!” ~Cathy

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Shetland Ponies

May 19, 2014

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What our customers are saying…

“Beautiful!!!! Thank you!” ~ Steve

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Tulips

May 18, 2014

Tulips are among the most popular of bulbs with around 75 wild species. They belong to the family Liliacea with native range extending from North Africa to Ukraine and China.

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Tulips are perennials that grow from bulbs and bloom in spring. Most tulip plants are between 4 and 28 inches high and can only produce one flower per stem. Tulip flowers come in a variety of colors and their stems have few leaves.

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Tulips thrive in climates with long, cool springs and dry summers. Tulip bulbs are typically planted around late summer and fall, in well-drained soils, and are normally from 4 to 8 inches deep. Tulips grown from seeds often need five to eight years before plants are of flowering size. The Netherlands is the world’s main producer of commercial tulip plants. They produce as many as three billion bulbs annually with the majority for export.

Tulips are divided in fifteen divisions based on flower cup shape and time of bloom.

1. Single Early – cup shaped with one flower per short stem, they have strong stems that will withstand wind or rain. These tulip bulbs are the earliest bloomers of the taller tulips.

2. Double Early – they have more than the usual number of petals with a fluffy appearance.

3. Darwin Hybrid – cross between Darwin and the Fosteriana, they have huge, vibrant flowers on strong stems are known to return for multiple years when planted in a nice sunny spot with good drainage, fertilized regularly and not cut for bouquets.

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4. Single Late – one bloom per stem, wide range of colors and late season bloomers.

5. Fringed – distinct frayed edge on their petals. Fringe may be the same color as the rest of the petal or it may contrast. The fringe makes the flowers appear full of substance. Late season bloomer with 12-18″ stems.

6. Viridiflora – multicolored with vertical color banding some of these exhibit complicated color patterning, like an artist’s mixing pallette. Late season blooms on 12-24″ stems with distinctive green streaks in their petals.

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8. Lily-flowered – Tall (18-24″), late season bloomers with pointed, slightly flared petals.

9. Rembrandt – tulips were most expensive and most wanted during Tulipomania, these tulips are no longer grown commercially because the coloring was caused by a virus that spreads to other tulips.

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10. Parrot – are renowned for their show stopping blooms. The flowers are large, with twisted, curling petals on tall (12-24″) stems. Late season.

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11. Double Late – also called the Peony Tulip, these tall (18-24″) tulips have enough petals to rival a peony bloom.  The blossoms are extremely large; when fully open they can be as much as 4 inches (10 cm) across.

12. Kaufmanniana – also known as Water Lily Tulips, they early-spring bloomers that get their common name from their resemblance to the blooms of waterlilies when their flowers are fully open. The leaves have brownish-purple mottling and the plants are only 6-12″ tall.

13. Fosteriana – also known as Emperor Tulips, they bloom early in the spring with large cup-shape flowers. Blooms mid-season on 8-15″ plants.

14. Greigii – are fairly short as tulips go, but the blooms are very large in proportion to the plant as a whole. They come in very bright colours, like red and yellow, and the flowers open wide in full sun, creating cup-shaped blooms that can be more than 5″ (12 cm) in diameter when fully open.

15. Species or Wild Tulips – short (4-12″) plants with lots of variety and varying bloom times.

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“Outstanding. A wonderful present. Exceptional quality.” ~ Judy

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Paul Transon Rose

May 17, 2014

The Paul Transon rose is a beautiful salmon pink rose that fades to a medium pink that was first introduced in France in 1901. The medium sized flowers are very full and have quill like petals. The fragrance is strong with hints of apple!

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This rose is a perennial rambler that will climb on a pergola, fence, over arches or on a trellis. It can grow to a height of up to 3.5 meters. As a shrub, it is typically 2 meters high. The leaves are glossy green that shows hints of copper when young.

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Paul Transon roses need a moderate amount of maintenance, so some level of previous experience comes in handy when growing this plant. Beware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant and keep an eye out for pests. It does best in fertile, moist, well-drained soil in an open sunny position.

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Content for this post found here, here, and here.

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What our customers are saying…

“love this ring, another great item by vintage belle” ~ Carol

Ferns

May 16, 2014

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What our customers are saying…

“Wonderful item … ” ~ Roger


Vintage Mickey Mouse

May 15, 2014

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What our customers are saying…

“… a fantastic gift. Thank you!” ~ Christopher

Magnolias

May 14, 2014

Magnolias are trees or shrubs with astonishing goblet or star-shaped flowers that are icons of spring and summer in the South. Magnolias produce showy fragrant flowers that are white, pink, red, purple or yellow. Magnolia trees are diverse in leaf shape and plant form, and they include both evergreen and deciduous sorts.

Magnolia is an ancient genus appearing even before the bees did- fossilised specimens of Magnolia have been found dating 20 million years ago. The plant is named after French botanist Pierre Magnol. They aren’t usually munched by deer.

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Magnolia is a large genus of about 210 flowering plants in the family Magnoliaceae. Magnolia species are found in the east and southeast Asia, in eastern North America, Central America, the West Indies and some species grow in South America.

Evergreen magnolias have become synonymous with the Magnolia grandiflora, the classic magnolia with large glossy leaves and huge fragrant white blooms. Reaching 90 ft in height, it is a large striking evergreen tree with large dark green leaves. It is widely cultivated around the world and has been bred and marketed commercially by over a hundred of cultivars. It is native to the Southern United States from Virginia south to central Florida. Leaves of evergreen magnolias drop 365 days a year and since the tree can grow as wide as 40 ft. it takes up a lot of garden space.

Deciduous magnolias include the popular saucer magnolia. These magnolia trees are hybrids derived from crossing M. denudata with M. liliiflora. They are often called tulip trees because of the shape and the bright color of their flowers.

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Deciduous magnolias with star flowers include the Kobus magnolia, star magnolia and loebner magnolia. They are all adaptable plants and heat-tolerant. The star magnolia is native to Japan and bears large snowy white or pink flowers in the spring. It blooms in early spring bearing pleasantly fragrant white flowers.  The Loener Magnolia is a hybrid plant which is a cross between the Kobus and Star magnolia.

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Other magnolias include a group of large-leafed magnolias grown as shade trees including the cucumber tree, yellow cucumber tree, raser magnolia, Ashe magnolia,  bigleaf magnolia and umbrella magnolia.

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Then there’s the Oyama magnolia (M. sieboldii) which is a category on its own. It is native to western China, Japan and Korea. It is named after Philipp Franz von Siebold. The Oyama magnolia is grown as an ornamental tree in gardens and is the national flower of North Korea.

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What our customers are saying…

“very nice item… thank you” ~ Mary Ann

 

Tea Cup Vases

May 13, 2014

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What our customers are saying…

“Beautiful pendant! I will purchase again. Thank you.” ~ Stacy

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Iced Tea, Please!

May 12, 2014

Iced tea is the official drink of the south! Check out this article for tips on making the perfect glass.

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See more lovely broken china jewelry in our shop HERE.

What our customers are saying…

“beautiful jewelry, fine craftsmanship”  ~ Antonia