Much of the 19th century transferware was born out of the aesthetic movement in the 1860s which espoused art for art's sake. Simple beauty, craftsmanship and nature were key components to this movement and many of the designs contained text along with imagery. The alphabet, nursery rhymes, proverbs and sometimes religious texts were popular subjects on plates and mugs for young children. Transferware itself was born in England about a century earlier and quickly became mass produced around the world as demand for fine china and tiles became in demand by the wealthier class. The first 2 examples below are decorative plates from France belonging to my good friend Bonnie Thompson Norman. They each have a transfer print of a different French rebus or word puzzle on them. The rest are British alphabet mug and plate designs which are often referred to as ABC transferware. Beyond the first two images, you may click on individual items to identify links and credits.