Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Big Vintage Dish Score

So, I have been hating our dishware for some time now--it was what we received as a wedding gift almost 10 years ago, and while I loved it back then, it is pretty dated today, not to mention almost every piece had a significant chip or crack. So, I had been thinking for some time that I wanted some new dishes, but did not want to buy a brand new set of matched dishes--I just wanted to acquire some quirky and lovely mismatched pieces over time--ideally, through thrifting. But everytime I go to the thrift shop and look at dishes, I immediately feel overwhelmed my the sheer amount there (most of it hideous) and I really do not have a clue what I am looking I will look half heartedly, but always end of leaving with nothing. This has been going on for months and months now.But as you can, perhaps, see in these photos, WHOA NELLY! Saturday was my BIG LUCKY thrifting for dishes day. I just kept finding partial sets of several dish designs that I liked and adding them to my cart, and then before I knew it, I had 5 different pottery/china designs that made up:
  • 10 dinner plates
  • 7 dessert plates
  • 8 salad plates
  • 2 saucers
  • 7 cups
  • 1 platter
  • 2 serving bowls

I came home all happy about the price paid ( most pieces were less than $1), and the array I had found--mismatched, but all have some sort of brown in their design, so in my mind, they all hang together okay. And while I purchased nothing for potential value of the piece and all simply because they appealed to me, I decided to do a little reserach on several of the pieces that had brands imprinted on the bottom and here is what I discovered (okay, I realize this is probably not nearly as interesting to you as it is to me, so you will either have to suck it up and bear with me--or, you may just want to go onto another blog right now--your call on how much vintage dish talk you can hack)...Those brown speckled pottery dishes picture above are made by Western Stoneware and are from a line called Mojavi that was made in 1967. Most plates are selling for $20+ apiece today. The 17 pieces I found are in perfect condition. Were they even used?--I don't know. But I love the brown flecks, the weight of them in your hand, the subtle imperfections due to being handmade, and the ribbed edging.These oh-so-lovely vintage china dinner plates above were made by the now defunct Vernon Kilns in California and the pattern is called May Flower. They are hand-painted, and transfer printed. Mostly, I just love the little scalloped edge and the colorful wild flower design. The design dates back to the 1940's--selling for around $25 per plate today.And this one is by Nasco and the design is called Mountain Wood-Land. It is transferware and dates from the 1950's. I am utterly in love with the intricacy of this design, but it is actually worth the least--about $10 per plate. I also purchased some very neutral Dansk dishes (not really pictured here except on the periphery of one of the photos above), as well as a couple of what looks like reproduction trasnferware plates of untraceable origins.

Sure, I am still in need of some soup bowls, but I can thrift those over time too. In the meantime, I have packed up and donated our former dishes, and am happliy drinking coffee from my saucerless stoneware cups and eating dinner on my new vintage plates.


The Retired Mama said...

I love to thrift plates. And I really love to come home and look them up on the internet and see what people are selling them for. So I was definitely interested in your post. Congratulations!

Carol E. said...

Love your dishes! Love your blog! I followed it through the Toy Society... I've been doing drops in St. Paul and other areas. What are the dimensions of the cloth napkins you are making? Do you just use the whole FQ?

Holly said...

Hey Carol E. I was just posting about cloth napkins AGAIN--and now I see your comment. Funny--I was just thinking how probably NO ONE is interested in the specifics of the napkins--but here you are. So, yes, I do use the whole fat quarter. It makes a generously sized napkin, which I like. Also, sometimes when you buy fat quarters they are cut a little unevenly, but I did not even bother evening out the edges of thiis batch I just finished--and I think they look just fine. I mean, I don't expect anyone to lay the napkin out on the table to see if all the edges are straight and even. I am all for foregoing perfectionism where possible in the interest of time savings...but that is just me. Also, thanks for the nice words about my blog. Nice to know other local people are doing drops around here too...

Max California said...

this has been my dream! unfortunately, alot of the thrift stores around here are NOT CHEAP. But luckily, where my parents live is op-shop heaven!

Although this means I have to save my op-shopping for when I'm down there.