9“ Royal China Blue Willow Ware Plates. Even though the Blue Willow pattern has a Chinese appearance, it was actually created in England in 1780 by engraver Thomas Minton. Minton sold the design to potter Thomas Turner who mass-produced the pattern on earthenware.
It’s very hard to date or determine the maker of much older Blue Willow china, as there are 400 documented makers in Great Britain and 500 worldwide. Spode was an early English maker. Buffalo Pottery was the first cited producer in America starting in the early 1900s. The “Blue Plate Special” which started at diners in the 1920s typically featured a big meal for a great price, served up on a blue plate. Many believe that the preferred dish was the Blue Willow “grill plate” which had separated areas for an entree and sides. Blue Willow had a resurgence around the same time the Blue Plate Special also became popular. These plates are great examples of this classic pattern and would be great in any kitchen. Circa 1949 – 1960, made by Woods & Sons, England