Sunday, March 1, 2020

Star-Crossed Lovers ~ Blue Willow

~The Legend of Blue Willow~
A classic Chinese story on Blue Willow English China.

There are many versions of this legend.
I'm sharing a simple short version.


Long ago, in the days when China was
 ruled by emperors, a Chinese mandarin, Tso Ling,
lived in a magnificent pagoda
 under the branches of huge ancient trees.

Tso Ling had a beautiful daughter,
 Koong-se, who was a promised bride
 to an old, but wealthy merchant.

The daughter, however,  fell in love with 
Chang, her father's clerk.

The father finds out about the romance.
The clerk was banished, and the father built a fence 
around the gardens of the Mandarin's 
estate so that Chang could no longer see his daughter

The two lovers managed to get together (As lovers usually do)
and escape by boat and flee over the bridge.

They elope, and fled across the sea 
 and live in a cottage on a distant Island
(in the top left of the photo)

The duke sends soldiers, 
who discovers the lovers.
The soldiers set the house on fire and 
the couple flee by boat and are
 lost at sea during a storm.

They both perished and the Gods, 
touched by their love, 
immortalized them as two white doves,
 eternally flying together in the sky

If you see 2 doves flying, looking into each
others eyes, that's them.


Classic Blue Willow china was first created in Britain in 1780.
It's believed to be the first transferware dishes (Dishes with scenes/pictures) in existence. 
and many manufacturers have followed around the world.

Four different manufacturers in this blog post.
Also each manufacturer has a different design around the edge of the dishes.

The secTT

I found this tablecloth at a
thrift shop. It is all hand embroidered 
in the Blue Willow China story.
It inspired me to write this blog post.

2 pieces above, made in China.

e Mandarin's estate so that
Chang could not see his daughter and Koong-se could
only walk in the gardens and to the water's edge.

The huge willow tree hangs over the bridge,
hence, the name "Blue Willow".

I hope you've enjoyed this love story 
and some history of this classic beautiful china.

The Blue Willow dishes in my story
 belong to my sister, Annie.

Thanks for your visit xo


  1. I read this story somewhere else only recently; such a sweet but tragic story. Your Blue Willow pieces are lovely and what a treasure of a find the pretty tablecloth is. You were certainly made to happen upon this pretty. Such beautiful embroidery to be seen. Love too the delicate crochet edge skipping around the edge. Gorgeous photos! I particularly love the photo of all your pretty pieces of china lining up on that pretty table.

  2. Thanks Kim. I was so surprised to find this lovely tablecloth. It's in perfect condition. It was as if God put it there for me.
    I wonder whoever did all the lovely work on it if they knew about blue willow dishes. Yes the crochet border is lovely.

  3. Thelma, thank you for the story. My mom was a great collector of blue willow and I have some of the pieces that she collected and I have a set that I use for everyday, but I have never given any thought as to why it looks like it does. I really enjoyed reading this. It reminds us to pay attention to our everyday world around us. There is always something new to learn..Happy Monday..xxoJudy

  4. Meant to tell you what a pretty tablecloth that is. Lucky that you found it..xxoJudy

  5. Judy, you are so fortunate to have your Mom's and a set to use everyday. I found a set of 4 place setting at a thrift shop in excellent condition and bought a few pieces at Homesense Store. I am on the lookout for the cream and sugar. Have a good week. Thelma xo

  6. How interesting, Thelma. I'd never heard this story before although I am familiar with the Blue Willow china. Thanks for posting about it.

  7. Anonymous3/02/2020

    Hello,I love Blue Willow china. I have collected it for more than 40 years and have several complete sets plus misc. pieces. Also from my mother and my husbands grandmother. We all collected it. What a terrific tablecloth find. You see the Blue Willow dishes on classic tv shows such as Andy Griffith and Gunsmoke episodes.I also have a paperback novel titled Blue Willow by Doris Gates.Copyright 1940. I enjoyed your post and reading the "story" again.

  8. Hi Carol. I'm so happy to have you visit me. You have a great collection and lucky to have inherited these beautiful dishes. I only have a set of 4 and I hope to add more to my set and find the cream and sugar and teapot from England. I didn't know it had been on Gunsmoke and there is a paperback on Blue Willow. I must look for it. Thanks for your visit and I hope to have you visit me again. Thelma.

  9. I really enjoyed the story. Thelma. The Blue Willow china is exquisite!

  10. I've always loved this pattern. And that tablecloth -- what a treasure that is. Beautiful, Thelma.

  11. I do love your blue willow china and the embroidery tablecloth is really precious!Such treasures!Hugs and blessings!

  12. Interesting background story. Looove the tablecloth!

  13. I have always loved the story of Blue Willow dishes!! and that tablecloth is amazing!! What a treasure that is!! Thanks so much for sharing and thanks so much for stopping by!!

  14. Except for the colour and the wonderful story the image portrays, it reminds me of my mother's Pink Tower Spode dishes. - Margy

  15. I did enjoy the story and didn't know there was one. Sad I know. But I do now and I love the dishes more than ever. I have one blue willow plate and want more. Thank you for sharing. Beautiful embroidered linens. Mom had some and I wished I had gotten them now. So pretty.

  16. Be still my love anything blue and white. Great informative post---just love the really old willow patterns, I think for their shapes!

  17. Enjoyed your post very much. Loved the tablecloth! I have several Blue Willow type plates and will re-look at them with the components of the lovely story in mind. Thank you!

    1. You're welcome Kathy. Thanks for your visit.

  18. How beautiful all your Blue Willow collection is. I love the tablecloth too. I only have a plate on the dining room wall.
    Thank you for sharing the lovely story of Blue Willow, I enjoyed it so much.
    Keep safe.

  19. Beautiful tableware:-))) Love this shade of blue:-))

  20. This is a really informative knowledge, Thanks for posting this informative Information. Coffee Table in Hamilton


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