Pottery, willow pattern saucer; Wedgwood; ?; RX.2018.39.2

Name/Title

Pottery, willow pattern saucer

About this object

A tea cup saucer featuring a willow pattern. The Willow Pattern is based on a Chinese fable. The following information is recorded on Wikipedia:

The romantic fable
Once there was a wealthy Mandarin, who had a beautiful daughter (Koong-se). She had fallen in love with her father's humble accounting assistant (Chang), angering her father. (It was inappropriate for them to marry due to their difference in social class.) He dismissed the young man and built a high fence around his house to keep the lovers apart. The Mandarin was planning for his daughter to marry a powerful Duke. The Duke arrived by boat to claim his bride, bearing a box of jewels as a gift. The wedding was to take place on the day the blossom fell from the willow tree.

On the eve of the daughter's wedding to the Duke, the young accountant, disguised as a servant, slipped into the palace unnoticed. As the lovers escaped with the jewels, the alarm was raised. They ran over a bridge, chased by the Mandarin, whip in hand. They eventually escaped on the Duke's ship to the safety of a secluded island, where they lived happily for years. But one day, the Duke learned of their refuge. Hungry for revenge, he sent soldiers, who captured the lovers and put them to death. The gods, moved by their plight, transformed the lovers into a pair of doves.

Cultural impact of the story
The story of the willow pattern was turned into a comic opera in 1901 called The Willow Pattern. It was also told in a 1914 silent film called Story of the Willow Pattern. Robert van Gulik also used some of the idea in his Chinese detective novel The Willow Pattern. In 1992, Barry Purves made a short animated film relating the story, transplanted to Japan and entitled Screen Play.

Maker

Wedgwood

Maker Role

Manufacturer

Date Made

?

Period

unknown

Place Made

Europe, United Kingdom, England, Stoke on Trent

Medium and Materials

processed material, ceramic

Inscription and Marks

underside:
WEDGWOOD
WILLOW
BCM

top:
Scene representing the Willow Chinese Fable

Measurements

h 140mm diam 35mm
wt 124g

Object Type

equipment

Object number

RX.2018.39.2

Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from
Tags
China
Pottery
Tea

Include tags such as place names, people, dates, events and colours. Use commas to separate multiple tags. e.g. Pablo Picasso, Madrid, red, 1930s.

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