A Little Blue Note
The colour blue is one you will see frequently featured in the vintage section of our shop.
From Spode to Burleigh, Churchill & Johnson, Woods Ware and Doulton, we love to source beautiful blue and white plates, tea sets and platters.
But our fascination with blue goes even deeper than that ~ I think I have a natural radar for the colour and seek it out, in all its permutations, wherever I go.
From plant nurseries, to antique fairs, junk shops, reclamation yards and textile sales, if there is a blue item amongst a hundred others, my eyes hone straight to it.
Azure blue, royal blue, navy blue, indigo, cerulean, cyan, turquoise ~ it is a colour that denotes coolness, freshness and harmony for me. I know it is also associated with sadness, but for me it hits all the right notes. I am always happy with blue, I wear it and plant it in the garden too ~ cornflowers, blue irises, forget-me-nots, blue bells, geraniums….
The ancient Egyptians associated the colour with the skies and divinity. The Romans decorated their villas with it, the Byzantines their churches and the Muslims their mosques.
Influenced by the Chinese custom of painting cobalt patterns on white china, chinoiserie patterns were created in many British potteries during the 18th and 19th centuries, and are now much coveted by vintage hunters.
In Victorian and colonial kitchens the ceilings and walls were often painted blue in order to keep flies off the food. It was thought that flies would not land on blue. In Jodhpur in India and in Chefchaouen in Morocco entire houses are painted in a blue limewash, probably for the same reason. The fading blue wall in the potting shed of Calke Abbey and the light blue kitchen furniture in the servants’ hall at Raby Castle are two great examples of the colour blue used to beautiful effect in a domestic setting.
Farrow and Ball created Cook’s Blue ~ a chalky, matt blue that is intense and vibrant. My favourite blue paint colours are from Papers and Paints ~ a Royal Warrant holder company founded by Patrick Baty that creates bespoke paints for the great and the good both in the UK and abroad. In the traditional, historical and 1950s section of his website, you can see a chromatic celebration of blue in all its glory.