Standard Willow Pattern plate with a reticulated (arcaded) rim and a basket weave moulded inner border, impressed MINTONS.
International Willow Collectors (IWC) is a group of people who collect willow-pattern china and other willow wares. Our primary purpose is to increase members' knowledge and enjoyment of willow and to provide a network through which we can communicate with fellow collectors throughout the world.
With a history of almost 40 years, IWC continues to be the only organization of its kind dedicated to a pattern that has witnessed four centuries. Quite impressive given its humble beginnings. From its introduction in the late 1700s to its still popular production today, the Willow Pattern has earned quite a distinction in history: it is the only china pattern that has been in continual production for the longest period of time - more than 230 years. The Willow Pattern has truly become a cultural icon!
Our membership spans the U.S. and includes countries all over the world. Club members receive a monthly bulletin by email and a club roster. The website is maintained by the club for use by members and non-members. We sponsor an annual international convention in the U.S. and there are regional collector groups who meet throughout the year. We are also fortunate to count among our current and past members many experts in the field of willow-pattern and Chinoiserie china and pottery. These individuals have spent countless hours writing books and articles, researching, photographing and documenting our pattern for collectors today and in the future.
We hope our website will be a warm welcome into the world of willow collecting and that you might also consider joining our club and attending a future convention. You'll meet other friendly collectors who share your passion for the Willow Pattern and who are more than willing to help answer questions, encourage your interests and share their vast knowledge.
On July 18-20, 1986, 85 lovers of the willow pattern gathered at the Omni Netherland Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio, for the first-ever willow collectors convention. The event was organized by The Willow Society, a Canadian-based group of collectors started by Conrad Biernacki, with members from the U.S., Canada, England and Australia. Connie Rogers (U.S.) served as chairman of the first convention.
The 1986 event included a show & tell session, a consignment auction, regional lunches, a Sunday sale, a dinner banquet and several slide lectures, including “American Made Willow” by Connie Rogers, “Willow Variant Patterns” by Conrad Biernacki, “Oriental Export Porcelain” by Brian Musselwhite and “Transfer-Printing and the British Decorative Arts” by Cecie Grineff. Also shown was a 1914 Thomas Edison film which recounts the famous Willow Pattern Legend.
Under the same organization, a second convention was held in Little Rock in July of 1987, and a third in Chicago in 1988.
It was at the 1988 convention in Chicago where members voted to separate from The Willow Society and rename themselves the International Willow Collectors. Connie Rogers was the driving force behind IWC’s formation. Barbara Stevens was elected IWC’s first president, along with other board officers that included Harry Hall (vice president), Steven Hunter (treasurer) and Jessie Hall (secretary). Committees were formed and bylaws were drafted to begin organizing the club structure as we know it today. In 1989, a convention was organized under its new name and held in Dallas, Texas. Annual conventions have since been held throughout the U.S.
IWC is proud of its history and the countless friendships made among its many members.
A 1986 newspaper article announcing our first convention.
THE 1986 CONVENTION
We recognize and appreciate the leadership and guidance of our past presidents.