Our museum feature includes two sets from an exhibit on chintz china now on display in our showroom and museum - a Royal Winton Royalty (Older) mini teapot stacking set and a 6-piece breakfast set. Our curators, inventory specialists, and showroom staff have put together a fantastic exhibit! Scores of chintz patterns are on display from a variety of manufacturers, along with historical information about how chintz china was introduced into the market, crafted, and distributed. The chintz exhibit will remain on display through the end of the holiday season, so be sure to stop by for a visit - museum exhibits are free and open to the public.
The word "chintz" derives from the Sanskrit word, "chitra," for "painting." Chintz calico was imported from India into Europe at the beginning of the 17th century. But not until three centuries later would the English popularize the decoration on dinnerware.
Royal Winton of England introduced its first chintz pattern, Marguerite, in 1928. The tremendous success of Marguerite led to the release of many others. Royalty (Older), our featured pattern, was introduced at the British Industries Fair in 1936 and released in 1937. In her excellent book, "Collecting Royal Winton Chintz," Muriel Miller notes that Her Majesty Queen Mary ordered pieces from the new pattern in February 1937. "An invoice from Grimwades," Miller writes, "shows that she ordered a Stafford twin tray, a covered muffin, a Chrysta powder box and a Burke powder box in the Royalty pattern." (The "Royal Winton" backstamp on Grimwades china originated in 1930 with the patronage of King George V and Queen Mary.)
Three brothers, Leonard, Edward, and Sidney Grimwade founded a company in 1885 at Stoke-on-Trent, England, writer Anne P. Welsh notes in her valuable reference, "Chintz Ceramics." Successful in their trade, they acquired other firms, including Stoke Pottery and Winton Pottery in 1900, when they changed their company name to Grimwades, Ltd. Additional acquisitions followed, and by 1913, the company employed about 1,500 people. Leonard Grimwade, who had worked as a lithographer before joining his brothers, developed a method of decorating porcelain that was similar to printing images on paper. His specialized transfer printing process enabled the Grimwades to apply the bold, elaborate designs and brilliant colors of chintz fabric to china economically.
Author Francis Joseph describes the arduous process of applying chintz designs in his book, "The Chintz Collectors Handbook and Price Guide." "Lithographing was hard work," Joseph writes. He describes how glue was brushed onto the piece to be decorated. Then the paper transfer lithograph of the pattern was cut with scissors or a knife and applied to the piece by hand. The piece was then rubbed with a stiff sponge and scalding hot water to remove the paper, leaving the transfer in place. The transfer was smoothed with a soft rag. Edges and some design elements were painted by hand. During this period, child labor was common, and workers were paid by the piece, not by the hour. If a piece was rejected by inspectors, it had to be redone.
Stackable tea sets and breakfast sets were quite popular items in their time. Our Royalty mini stackable tea set comprises a mini teapot (for individual servings), a creamer, and a cup. The Royalty 6-piece breakfast set includes the individual tray, creamer, sugar bowl (open), cup, teapot, and toast rack. (You can imagine the intricacy of applying transfer lithography to these pieces!)
With the successful release of Marguerite in 1928, Royal Winton introduced another chintz pattern, Delphinium , three years later. Over the next 30 years, the company would release more than 50 chintz patterns. A Royal Winton advertisement appearing in the 1947 "Pottery Gazette & Glass Trade Review" stated that Royal Winton’s chintz patterns were being exported to Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., Canada, and South Africa – most of the English-speaking world!
Royal Winton Royalty (Older) pieces are available for purchase in our inventory. Replacements, Ltd. also has an excellent selection of chintz patterns from other manufacturers. Be sure to browse our web site. And remember that we always invite you to visit our facilities! Here you will see an absolutely stunning variety of silver, china, crystal, and collectibles! Our Showroom and Museum are open from 9:00am to 7:00pm ET, 7 days a week (except holidays); free tours are available from 10:00am to 6:00pm ET, 7 days a week. The Showroom and Museum are conveniently located between Greensboro and Burlington, NC, at exit 132 off Interstate 85/40. We look forward to seeing you!