Guest Blog: Souvenirs de la Reine: Shopping for Blue Onion Pottery in Berlin

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 297px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TChV4e5GynI/AAAAAAAAE7o/7x5TSMuuw4M/s400/blue1.jpg” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Like Carolyne Roehme, I have A Passion For Blue. This passion influences my furnishings: my NYC living room is furnished with white sofa and armchairs with huge cobalt blue pillows from Ralph Lauren Home; my clothing is heavily accented with blue bags, scarves, jewelry, coats, and even shoes. My dishes are blue and white. Even my late but still beloved BMW was Ocean Blue.

to 10px; WIDTH: 227px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 302px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TChV4kQRPHI/AAAAAAAAE7w/Pee5tNbHvmY/s400/blue2.jpg” border=”0″ />So it’s no surprise that many of my antiques are blue. The white shelves surrounding my fireplace are carefully arranged with my blue travel treasures:

  • blue and white tulip vase from Delft, Holland
  • cobalt blue vase studded with silver I found in a souk in Marrakesh
  • petite blue oil painting of Paris
  • blue and cream Dutch KLM house found in an antiques shop in Amsterdam
  • blue swirl glass bowl from Kosta Boda I found at their outlet store in Sweden
  • pale blue Limoges oyster plate I found in Savannah
  • dark blue fleur de lys on white platter from Madrid
  • blue and white taper candles from France
  • cobalt blue and white cake plate from Royal Copenhagen I found in Copenhagen

to 10px; WIDTH: 302px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 227px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TChV5U5PW8I/AAAAAAAAE8A/33YhuR8DHe0/s400/blue+3.jpg” border=”0″ />Are you seeing a pattern? So on a recent visit to The Antiques Diva in Berlin, I had a mission: a piece of my favorite German Blue Onion Zwiebelmuster pottery. I have pieces in both the German Meissen pattern and the Czech pattern, I’m all inclusive!

And not only did I want Zwiebelmuster, I wanted antique. And more specifically, I wanted a lidless Zwiebelmuster crock to put on my stove and hold cooking utensils. The Antiques Diva was on the case! Our first stop (after Starbucks for my daily addiction of a Tall Skim Chai Latte, extra hot bitte) was the Berliner Antik und Flohmarkt. And as we wandered the stalls, the Diva introduced me to a vendor specializing in blue & white. It was love at first site. And as I browsed the crowded shop, I found my newest treasure:

to 10px; WIDTH: 322px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 243px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TChV5BVDleI/AAAAAAAAE74/zHPXAJimRjU/s400/blue4.jpg” border=”0″ />If you look at the two crocks I’m holding, you can see they both say the word cocoa in German: Cacao. and Kakao. As I had only seen cocoa spelled with a “k” auf Deutsch, we were treated to a little history of German grammar lesson by the proprietor. Herr explained, “In the early 1900s, the German government implemented the Deutsch Rightig Sprechen und Schreiben. These new grammar laws standardized the spelling, pronunciation and punctuation of the German language throughout the country. As a result,Cacao. became Kakao.”

Who knew?

to 10px; WIDTH: 302px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 227px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TChV5hQQLrI/AAAAAAAAE8I/UE3NA9O2ZvQ/s400/Picture1.jpg” border=”0″ />If you, too, love the Blue Onion pattern, you may be interested to know:

  • it’s not an onion at all, in fact it’s a pomegranate!
  • this pattern was copied by Meissen from Asian pottery in the mid-18th century, and soon copied by other pottery manufacturers, most famously Czech factories, who produced a much more affordable version
  • Meissen Zwiebelmuster is treasured by traditional German housewives. In fact, when I travel Germany visiting my many family members, I’m always served kuchen und kaffee on their treasured Zwiebelmuster
  • Blue Onion is readily available in the US online at ebay or Replacements

La Reine’s Shopping Tip:
You can find your own blue “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva by shopping her new online brocante. Recent blue treasures include vintage Delft pottery, tiles, and vases.

Happy Shopping!
La Reine

PS. Enjoyed today’s post? You can read more a La Reine’s great blogs at She’s Shopping Now!