What a charming design. This is “Whispering Grass”, by Jessie Tait for Midwinter in 1960.
It is a transfer printed design of the flowering whispering grass, hand coloured in lilac and yellow. As with all of Jessie Tait’s designs – beautifully drafted, detailed, and balanced – as well as sitting so well on the forms.
The hollow ware of all the series is in this very soft but vibrant lilac on the outside – a colour you rarely see on dinnerware. Whispering Grass seems to be quite a rare design, and hard to find now.
For the export market the lilac on the hollow ware was replaced with black instead – but I haven’t been able to locate any images of this variation.
Midwinter Berkeley is a design by Jessie Tait for Midwinter, produced 1969-1974. It is quite a rare design these days. The pattern was produced on the “Fine Shape” Series which Midwinter started in 1962.
The design consists of a band of squares in alternating olive and turquoise, with an alternating centre colour.
The design to me reflects the influence of colour theorist Joseph Albers....who’s work significantly influenced 20th Century Art & Design – including “Op Art” popular in art, design and culture at the time – and especially big in Britain and Germany.
Midwinter “Queensberry” was the first a series of very popular striped patterns introduced by Midwinter (and many other manufacturers) in the early 1960s. It was in production 1962-1978 on the “Fine” Shape.
As suggested by the name, the pattern was designed by the Marquis (David) Queensberry – who also designed the forms of this series along with Roy Midwinter.
The design of Queensberry had smaller rims than other designs in this series, but was otherwise the same. Features of the Fine Shape series included stackable items and dual function pieces on straight sided forms.
The design consists of stripes of varying widths in olive, yellow ochre, grey and black.
The design reminds me of lines drawn with oil pastels or crayon – and works so well on these “Fine Series” forms. Although a transfer printed design, it has the appearance of being hand painted.