Large Blue Jersey Beach Pottery Tile Pendant
The tile on this piece is 40 mm long and 26 mm wide, set in sterling silver, with a textured back and an S shaped bail to thread the chain through.
This simple pendant has a piece of Jersey Beach Pottery Tile found on one of Jersey's beaches. I normally find these pieces around Jersey's castles: Elisabeth Castle, Gourey Castle and St. Aubin's Fort. My theory is that these were originally broken plates crockery thrown into the sea but he castle's inhabitants, as the sea was used as their 'bin'. The other source of these bits of pottery is the China Tea trade (plates were used as ballast), as they sailed past Jersey on their way to London. Similar bits of pottery are found on the banks of the River Thames on low tide.
The Willow pattern is a pattern used on ceramic kitchen/housewares. It became popular at the end of the 18th century in England, developed by English ceramic artists adapting motifs inspired by hand-painted blue-and-white wares imported from China. It represents a love story: a wealthy Mandarin had a beautiful daughter (Koong-se) who fell in love with her father's humble accounting assistant (Chang), angering her father. He dismissed the young man and built a high fence around his house to keep the lovers apart, as he was planning for his daughter to marry a powerful Duke. The Duke arrived by boat to claim his bride, bearing a box of jewels as a gift. The wedding was to take place on the day the blossom fell from the willow tree.
On the eve of the wedding, the young accountant, disguised as a servant, slipped into the palace unnoticed. The lovers escaped with the jewels and ran over a bridge, chased by the Mandarin, whip in hand. They escaped on the Duke's ship to a secluded island, where they lived happily for years. But the Duke learned of their refuge and sent some soldiers to kill them. The gods felt moved and turned the lovers into a pair of doves.