My dear old friend Fern, who recently passed, left me her Blue Willow collection. She had painstakingly collected most of it while she was living in England. We shared a love of it and I had some, a full set of Churchill of England, Wessex pink willow and some bits and bobs but she had the very best- Wedgwood Willow. Over the years, she also found all kinds of interesting and unusual willow decorated pieces, match holders, a toast rack, a ladle, salt and pepper shakers, even an ice cream scoop, to name but a few.
I remember one time I told her I had seen a Willow toilet roll holder but it had been $50- her reply was “And you didn’t get it?!” 🙂
What we shared most was the love of the beautiful imagery of the Willow and the fairy tale behind it. I remember as a child spending hours “reading” the Willow and wondering what it all meant. The short version is: A mandarin had betrothed his beautiful daughter Koong-Se to a War Lord but she fell in love with his lowly clerk, Chang. Forbidden to see each other, they ran away and were relentlessly pursued but just before they were about to be captured, they were transformed into birds.
There is a good rendition of the story which shows all the details of the designs symbols and what each one means here.
I have finally carefully packed, driven it home and then carefully unpacked it all now and have spent the last few days carefully washing and re-arranging and putting it all up in my kitchen.
It’s quite a legacy and a responsibility but I love it- thanks Fern- I’m sure for you heaven must be all in shades of blue and white.