Yellow Shell Patterns


Bute cups decorated with the "Yellow Shell Pattern" were produced  by many makers and examples from the guide are collected here for easy comparison. The different versions of this pattern have been described by Ironside (1999). Click on makers names to see cups in other patterns. Click for breakdown of pattern elements

Quick comparison
Rathbone   Hicks and Meigh Ridgway
New Hall  "Light Ridgway group"   Minton 
"Light Ridgway group"   Machin  Unknown
Breakdown of Yellow Shell pattern elements

To discriminate the different versions of this pattern, its elements are defined (in italics) on a Rathbone saucer. In the centre is the "shell" (in this case pink! See teabowl below), around it are: 

1) "red weed" near top of margin                                        2) green "seaweed" +  red blobs on margin                                    3) red "fingers",                          4) "red seaweed",                        5) blue "trefoils",                          6) "hatched circle" + green weed +  red blobs.                    Elsewhere there are:                    7) "red and green weed",             8) "red sprigs",                            9) "green seaweed" + red blobs  10) "border",                                11) "rim line

  

The shell has a "margin" (to the left, where it could open) and a narrower "hinge" (to the right). The top is defined as the side with the hatched circle so the margin is on the left and the hinge on the right.

The versions of the pattern can be divided into 2 groups: with "red weed" near top of "margin" OR without "red weed" near top of "margin".  

1 or 2 red weeds or bottle brushes near top of margin and red weed on fingers

Patterns arranged in order, starting with biggest  red weeds and ending with smallest.   

Rathbone  
2 large red weeds in form of bottle brushes near top of smooth margin, blue trefoils elongated, red weed on fingers at bottom, red and green weed opposite handle and inside, simple painting. This pattern  with  35 on teapot (see plates 1321 and 1323, Miller and Berthoud, 1985).
2 large red weeds in form of bottle brushes near top of smooth margin, blue trefoils elongated, red weed on fingers at bottom, red and green weed opposite handle and inside, simple painting. This pattern  with  unique pink shell! (see plates 1321 and 1323, Miller and Berthoud, 1985).
Unknown
2 large red weeds in form of bottle brushes near top of smooth margin, blue trefoils elongated, red fingers at bottom look like a net with cross hatching, ochre yellow lines. (see plate 500, Berthoud, 1999). (a138)
New Hall 
2 bushy red weeds on wavy margin, 2 bushy red weeds on bottom edge of shell, green seaweed on margin has fine branches, red blobs on hatched circle with dark lines, red and green weed opposite handle long and wavy (see below right), red sprig inside. With brown lines this is pattern 1045 but here border is blue.
Hicks and Meigh
  2 small red weeds on wavy margin, red and green weed opposite handle, blue trefoils rounded, spiky red weed coming from blue trefoil at hinge, nothing inside, pattern 29
slop bowl with pattern 29 painted on base
Creamer with no mark painted on base. Shading at edge of margin stronger than usual. tentative Hicks and Meigh (m021) Miller.
Ridgway
 2 small red weeds near top of wavy margin, 3 clumps green "seaweed" +  red blobs on margin, blue trefoils rounded, red and green weed opposite handle, red sprig inside. Orange line on side of handle. Shell rather delicately shaded and painted. Pattern 418 (see creamer below and plate 1292, Miller and Berthoud, 1985).
1 small red weeds, on blue trefoil at margin top, cup shape like Hicks and Meigh 2 small red weeds , 
New oval creamer, 2 small red weeds, at margin top, pattern 418 P in gray on base. 2 small red weeds , and P on base( perhaps same painter as creamer. 
"Light Ridgway group"
1 very small red weed at top of wavy margin , thick row of green "seaweed" +  red blobs along margin, blue trefoils rounded, red and green weed opposite handle, red sprig inside. Painting crude.
Only 1 shell opposite handle.1 very small red weed at top of wavy margin , thick row of green "seaweed" +  red blobs along margin, blue trefoils rounded, red and green weed near handle, red sprig inside. Painting crude, blue rim line (aj507).
Minton 
1 tiny red weed near top of wavy  margin on blue trefoil, row of green "seaweed" +  red blobs along margin, blue trefoils rounded, red sprig inside and opposite handle which has orange dot at top and line down side. Red and green weed on teapot long and wavy. Pattern 811. 
1 tiny red weed near top of wavy margin, big breakfast cup marked pattern 811:x
unknown, light Ridgway group 
1 small red weed near top of wavy  margin, row of green "seaweed" +  red blobs along margin, blue trefoils rounded.  Red and green weed on teapot long and wavy.  
1 small red weed near top of wavy margin. Could this be Charles Bourne. (m024 w86, h53 b(45))  Miller 
No red weeds or bottle brushes near top of margin, no red weed on fingers

Patterns arranged from darkest margin to lightest.   

"Light Ridgway group"
smooth, black edge to margin, blue trefoils elongated, all 8 scallops on shell the same and marked with row of black hatches, shell painted crudely and only once opposite handle,  green "seaweed" +  red blobs on sides of cup.
Machin 

smooth dark edge to margin, 3 clumps of green seaweed +  red blobs on margin, red and green weed opposite handle, blue trefoils elongated, red sprig inside on bottom,  red and green weed opposite handle, red rim line. Pattern 208.

  pattern 208 on jug 

Octagonal Machin teapot. but pattern is like the Rathbone pink version (see above) with long bottle brushes. (aj695 base length 108.4mm

Unknown
 no bottle brushes, 3 clumps of green seaweed +  red blobs on wavy margin, no separate shading of shell scallops, blue trefoils rounded, only one red finger at bottom,  rim line blue, red and green weed inside. (aj403)
Unknown

Unusual creamer shape. This pattern has most of the usual elements but the shell is turned 90o antickockwise. (a101) 

Unusual creamer shape. with nearly circular base and very casual painting. (aj653 base length 66.7mm) 

Unknown

black printed shell and surrounding bits, overpainted by hand, shell with curled hinge-end to right. This pattern has most of the elements of the usual one but they are all rather different. (aj487) ex Lynn Price.


References

Ironside, M. (1999) "Yellow Shells" North. Cer. Soc. Newsl. 113, 26-33.

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