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  • Debra Palmen

The Pretend-Legend of Blue Willow

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

One of the pleasures of being a hunter and collector of antiques is that you never stop learning.

I’ve been delving into stock boxes that haven’t been opened since we closed our last pop-up shop in March 2020. Some hadn’t been opened since our last buying trip in 2019. And yay, I’m finding all sorts of good stuff, including a range of verra nice blue and white cups and saucers. I have vintage Cornishware (blue and white stripes), but also a nice selection of vintage Blue Willow.

And that got me thinking about the legend surrounding Blue Willow. Did you know that it’s not a Chinese design? Or even a Chinese legend? In fact, the Chinese were so scoffing of this design and the pretend legend it’s based on, that they refused to even make it until the 1980s.

But it’s a beautiful design, and the market demanded it, so eventually, the Chinese relented. That’s helpful when dating your pieces because you know that anything older than 1980 cannot be Chinese.

I’ll be offering a range of beautiful antique and vintage Chinese pieces, from Blue Willow to classic ginger jars to cloisonné, at the Collectorama Antiques Fair on Saturday, 28 May. It’s at the Nambour Showgrounds, Sunshine Coast, from 7am-2pm. These are pieces that you would ordinarily see in a nice retail shop, but what the heck, I’m offering them at my nice Fair stand.

If you can make it to Collectorama, come by for a rummage. My prices are outstanding if I say so myself. See those cups & saucers? They're $12 each. Those plates? $5 each. Yes, that qualifies as 'outstanding'. And you’re getting to hear about these pieces first because you subscribe to my Newsletters.

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about Blue Willow, including the history of its creation, the ‘legend’ itself, and how to identify older (and therefore more valuable) pieces, visit the Free Downloads page of the website at Because you’re a subscriber, it’s offered to you for free.

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