While we may attribute the theory of "target marketing" to mid twentieth century Madison Avenue, English transferware potters of the 1820's through 40's can claim pioneer status for this notion.
The former North American colonies, with their developing society and lack of a native ceramics industry, offered a major opportunity to the export hungry Staffordshire potters. To appeal to these buyers, potters began to feature not only American landscapes, townscapes, and public buildings, but historical and allegorical images trumpeting the triumph of the Americans over their English overlords--unbothered by the somewhat anti-British tone. One potter went so far as to replace his accustomed logo, the British royal arms, with an American eagle for goods headed to the new nation. Americans eagerly celebrated their heroes and democratic ideals on their dinner tables.
Collectors often associate American historical patterns with the intensely dark, saturated tones of cobalt blue appearing on some wares of the 1820's. This group has come to be known as "historical blue." The two phenomena, however, appear to be independent. The deep blue tones were popular in the United States and naturally were employed for many American subjects. Historical patterns, nevertheless, appear in the full range of blues available to the early transferware producer, as well as the full range of colors typical of the 1830's and 40's.
Historical, political and royal celebrity subjects were also appealing to the native British consumer, and we have included a selection of these commemorative pieces in this section.