Blue and White
By Karen Parr-Moody
The combination of the colors blue and white is perfect for summer. The crisp scheme reminds one of ocean waves and white sailboats. And at GasLamp Antiques and Decorating Mall, those tones are setting sail right now.
Interior designer and Gaslamp dealer Jason Parker Counce has redone his fabulous booth, yet again, and this time blue and white is his chosen color scheme.
In the vignette seen in the photo, right, one can see a few of the blue and white items Counce has on display right now. There is a charming, old-fashioned Bingo card and a darling linen tea towel that was made in Ireland (Bingo card, $3; towel, $12; Booth B-309). Then there are two matching square plates from HB Henriot Quimper ($30; Booth B-309). Quimper is a type of hand-painted faïence earthenware that has been produced in Quimper, France since 1708; in fact, it is one of the oldest French companies in existence.
With his typical creativity that seems to come in abundance, Counce reworked this silkscreened pig pillow in the photo, left, to include a blue and white prizewinning ribbon ($47; Booth B-309). Can’t you just see it tossed on a bed with some pillows in blue striped cotton ticking? Perfection!
“I fell in love with this little pig,” Counce said of the pillow he found at an antiques and garden show. “It reminded me of my little pug, Phoebe.”
Counce took the pillow home and adorned it with some old buttons, ribbons and jute trims. The result certainly makes for a pig worthy of a blue ribbon at any county fair.
Had I not wanted to include this cockatoo pitcher in this story, I would have bought it for my own collection (photo, right; $39; Booth B-319). It is a cornflower blue shade that I think would blend in well enough, if not perfectly, with the Blue Willow china that I own. It seems very Dorothy Draper, which would modernize a traditional setting as opposed to using one of the Majolica cockatoo pitchers.
But what I really love about this pitcher is that, while it would be perfect for a garden party, it would be equally suited as a flower vase. Can’t you just see a bunch of pink daisies tucked inside?
This couple of Flow Blue plates (photo below), paired with a serving platter, make for a nice blue-and-white setting. Flow Blue is a type of earthenware that was created through the transferware process and originated in 1825. It was caused by a chemical reaction that caused the ink to spread and blur, thus “flow.” Flow Blue – like early transferware – was initially inspired by Asian imagery. In the photo the two round plates are Flow Blue; the one to the left depicts some lovely irises and the one at right shows some berries growing on vines. The larger serving plate at the back is a Feather Edge Ware ironstone plate that dates to the early 1800s (iris plate, $45; berries plate, $49; Feather Edge Ware platter, $149; all at Booth B-200).
Among the types of classic blue-and-white transferware are the commemorative plates one finds to celebrate iconic persons and locations, as seen in the photo, right. The one on the far right was made by Old Staffordshire England Potteries in Staffordshire, England ($109; Booth B-200). It is a Victorian-era souvenir plate that includes cameo medallions of Martha and George Washington along with Washington landmarks. The landmarks include The White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the United States Supreme Court and the mansion at Mount Vernon.
The other commemorative piece is a blue-and-white ironstone plate showing the historic Old Town House in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Erected in 1727, the building is sometimes called Marblehead’s Cradle of Liberty because it hosted pre-Revolutionary War meetings about independence ($59; Booth B-200).
Blue and white is one of those classic combinations that coordinate beautifully with a range of colors. When added to a pale pink, blue and white creates a strong counterpoint. It can also be paired with red for a traditional look. A classic European look is to pair blue and white with a deep yellow. But whatever accent colors you choose, you will always be right with blue and white.