The Chinese fable of an eloping couple transforming into doves became one the most identifiable design elements of 18th and 19th century crockery, known as the Willow Pattern. The Willow Pattern was designed in 1780 by Minton and intended to add a touch of Oriental magic to eartherware. Unfortunately for true romantics, the story of the lovers is English in origin, and has no links to China. Many manufacturers at the time produced their own version of the Willow Pattern.
Sampson Bridgwood & Son first manufactured earthenware in 1795, in the heart of the world famous Longton Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent. In 1818 the company produced their first ‘Blue Willow’ patterned china, which is still in production today.
Bridgewood and Sons continued to grow and expand, and the group was renamed Churchill in 1984.
The plate from which this ring is crafted is from an undated, but relatively modern, production of the Blue Willow china.
The silver in this ring is sterling silver, and is stamped with the .925 stamp.
The ring is 26mm x 20mm across and 5mm deep.
The ring is fully adjustable to fit all sizes.
Churchill 'Willow Pattern' vintage china and sterling silver ring
The vintage china I use in my jewellery pieces is all recycled from pieces found at garage sales and op. shops, or through vintage dealers, who are happy to pass on some of their less-than-perfect items. I carefully cut out the selected section of china, shape it by hand, then grind the edges nice and smooth. I securely fix the piece into the sterling silver blank, then grout it so it stays firmly in place.
As with all artisan jewellery, some care needs to be taken to keep your piece in as-new condition.
The vintage china in your piece may well be up to a hundred years old, and needs to be treated accordingly. It is not recommended that you swim or shower whilst wearing your jewellery, nor that you wear it gardening or playing sport or any other activity where the item may get badly knocked. China is breakable, after all.
The sterling silver ring is easily adjustable, but care must be taken not to bend the ring band too quickly or too sharply. As with all metals, if they are worked roughly they may break.
The sterling silver bezel will enjoy a regular simple polish with a quality silvercloth. If you do use silver polish, do not get it on the china or the grout. Do not use strong chemicals on your jewellery.