glasbury pottery - bottle ovens

The Transferware Collectors Club's First Annual Meeting

By Jan Szulgit

Set among a dense pine forest, the new England Conference Center in Durham, NH provided a perfect setting for a relaxing week-end.

The first annual meeting of the Transferware Collectors club was held on August 4th through the 6th at the New England Conference Center, Durham, NH. There were approximately 65 members in attendance, who were kept entertained, educated and well-fed for the duration of those three days.

Friday's activities began with dinner, followed by a welcome from David Arman and Judie Siddal, which included an update on recent Transferware Collectors Club news. A "Show and Tell" was the next topic on the agenda. Many interesting items where brought by members and a few surprises, such as a previously unrecorded form from the Beauties of America series by Ridgway. The items were passed around the members, who added their comments to the initial impressions of “experts” Dora Landey, Judie Siddall and David Arman.

The first of three educational programs was presented by Carl Crossman and Louise Richardson, who discussed the transferware shards discovered during "digs" in Portsmouth and representative of transferware at Strawbery Banke, the historic restoration of early Portsmouth homes.

Following breakfast on Saturday, the first annual meeting was conducted and the election of officers took place. (The new officers and their offices are listed in the "Contact Us" page of this web site.)

Michael Sack, who traveled from California, gave a most interesting lecture on source prints/engravings for Staffordshire transferware and the artists who rendered them. Pat Halfpenny, who is a Stoke-on-Trent, England native and now Director of Museum Collections at Winterthur, was our last speaker. Her obvious knowledge aside, Pat's presentation was doubly interesting, as several generations of her family worked in the pottery factories. She was able to share with us not only the transfer process, interesting details of that area, and a bit about Winterthur, but also what life was like for the workers.

The rest of the afternoon was "free time" and we had a choice to antique, attend an auction, view a private collection, or visit Strawbery Banke. There were numerous items presented for auction in the evening. Bidding was lively and everyone seemed pleased with the results.

Sunday morning was a sight to behold, with 10 dealers and 20 tables full of the best they had to offer and exclusively for us. There was every imaginable type of early transferware available and an abundance of it. It appeared to be a successful morning for both dealers and buyers.

As a participant in this experience, and on behalf of everyone I spoke to during the course of the weekend, a special "Thank You" and "Well Done" to those who made our club and the first meeting possible. The event was flawless due to the efforts of Judie Siddal, David and Linda Arman and Norm Wolfe. Those of us who had never met the Arman's (our gurus) found them delightful and so willing to share their knowledge.

For many of us who buy or sell on E-Bay, it was fun to have a face linked to our opponents.  I can't say enough about the enjoyment of that weekend. We listened, we discussed, we examined and exchanged friendly conversation...not a grump in the group.

We carried away newfound friends, a plethora of information and an enthusiasm for our club...we look forward to a continued growth on every level. I heard many "Talk to you soon," "We'll be in touch" and "I'll see you next year." I know I will be there, we hope to see you too.