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Blue and white Cornishware was first made by TG Green ceramics in Derbyshire. The distinct banded blue and white look was created by decorating the pieces with blue sliding and then turning them on a lathe to remove the blue stripes and leave the white underside. It was then sealed with a clear glaze to make it suitable for cooking utensils. The name Cornishware was chosen because it reminded one of the Cornish seaside - it's the only connection it has with Cornwall and many people who collect blue and white Cornishware may not even be aware of this.
Blue and white Cornishware was first produced in the 1920s and has been a favorite since then. In England there is hardly a house that does not have any Cornishware dealt by mother or grandmother and everyday objects such as coffee mugs and milk jug are now very collectable and collect high prices at auctions and antique fairs.
Although all Cornishware are highly collectible, the pieces that communicate the highest prices are the named kitchenware as a storage glass, containing the name of a particular ingredient, such as coffee, sugar or salt. If you are looking to collect blue and white Cornishware you will easily get through storage cans for sugar, tea and flour as they would have been used in all households. Less common labels such as clover, Mace or Bath Salts will attract a higher price because they are much harder to find. Much of Cornishware was made for ordering and customers could request specific lables such as Nuts or Brown Flour. If you want to become a serious collector of blue and white Cornishware, it would be worth chasing some of these.
Unfortunately, TG Green Pottery went to administration in 1965 and although subsequent owners have continued to produce Cornishware, the latter pieces are less attractive to the collectors for the simple reason that they are vacant. As time goes by, these pieces can gain value, and in particular early pieces of Judith Onions, made in the late 1960s, can become future collectibles. You can easily identify her work with the completely different back stamp that contains her name.
It is quite difficult to find original grain products because a number of different backstamps are used for overlapping periods. If you are interested in becoming a collector of blue and white Cornishware, there is an excellent website that provides information on the various backstamps, called cornware.biz. If you know your backstamps, you should also be able to avoid fakes and unfortunately due to the popularity of blue and white Cornishware, there are a number of fakes that make the rounds of online auctions and also at auction houses.
As a potential collector, you should appreciate that blue and white Cornishware was made to be used as household china and for daily use. It is therefore not easy to find perfect pieces and less damage, such as chips, wear, cracks or crazing is not unusual. You have to examine a piece thoroughly for damage and even if you buy a can of lid, make sure the lid is original and not a later replacement. Original pieces in perfect condition get the highest prices and, if you want to become a serious collector of blue and white Cornishware, you should look for the rare labels.