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La Vie en Rose

UPDATE - Thanks to the tireless research of Angela Grant I was made aware that, although right on the cusp of the changeover from Ridgway to Brown, Westhead & Moore, this service was made by Ridgway & Bates! If you are interested to see Angela's terrific research, which is a work in progress and gets added to every week, you can find her here:

I did not adjust the text of this blog post, but please note that my identification was revealed to be wrong... and you know what? I love being proven wrong, because it means we are learning new things! 😄🤓 Keep it coming, porcelain researchers!


As we are all feeling a little scared and worried these days, we can do with some uplifting distraction! What better than a good dose of pink... and it isn't always what you think it is.

So today I am showing a very fabulous dessert service in bold pink, made by Brown, Westhead & Moore in about 1860.

I have been wanting to talk for a while now about pink and the ideas we have about feminine and masculine... and what better opportunity than this wonderful service, and the need for escapism we are experiencing at the moment?

"La Vie en Rose" is French for "life through a pink-tinted lens" and it means seeing everything from an optimistic perspective; being grateful, happy, light. Edith Piaf sang a song called La Vie en Rose, as did Louis Armstrong and countless others after them. It is the title of several movies and you often see it used as an expression.

We can certainly do with some Vie en Rose!

Pink is often thought of as a feminine colour, but did you know that this has not always been the case? In the 18th and 19th Century pink was equally popular among men. In fact pink used to be seen as a colour for civility, intelligence, charm and youth; much-desired qualities in eligible young men as they courted the ladies.

It seems that blue and pink were entirely interchangeable between boys and girls all the way up to halfway the 20th Century. So what changed? The difficult times of the early 20th Century meant that women often had to manage without men; this gave a new sense of independence. In the 1950s, which were all about restoring order, there was a strong trend to put women back into their homes and bring men back to their previous positions. But how to keep the ladies happy at home, while taking away their independence? Give them the exclusive ownership of the colour pink! Fashion, mostly designed by men, played its role by creating a pink dream for the ladies, and we have been immersed in it ever since.

Although I escaped an upbringing dressed in pink because I was lucky enough to grow up in that short period in the 1970s that was influenced by feminism (I mainly got to run around in navy blue overalls), women have been identifying with pink ever since.⁠

The very fabulous Brown, Westhead & Moore dessert service I am showing today is, well, incredibly pink! So you might think this is very feminine, but now we've cleared up the pink issue: we are not living in the 1950s anymore and this set is equally fabulous for men and women! In fact, I think it is a very strong and bold colour, there is nothing demure about it. The service is painted with stunning flowers, painted by a highly skilled painter. The rims are pierced, and there are wonderful comports at three different heights.

You can find the dessert service here in my shop, and you can see all my dinner and dessert services here. And if you always want to see the latest additions, follow me on Instagram... I post pictures and a story every single day 💗💕💖⁠

Enjoy your weekend - and #stayathome 🏡


This week's new treasures:​



Shannon Tierney
Shannon Tierney

The gender differentiation was also promoted by clothing manufacturers, to encourage buying more baby and child clothes and using fewer hand-me-downs. I am a breast surgeon, and the promotion of pink with breast cancer awareness has made pink even more feminine!

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