Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Tablescape with Masons Vista

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Bye bye Old Britain Castles.  Hello Vista. 
That was my first thought, over ten years ago, when I was an avid Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles (OBC) collector and discovered Mason's Vista.
I like them both, but
    I love the deep, cranberry tones and the variations in shapes and hollow wares this line offers.   Plus, I like the deeper shade of pink/red.  Vista 
is one of those few transferware patterns I experienced love at first sight with.
I sure am glad I have to be faithful to one man and not just ONE set of dishes!   I don't think that would work out for me.

So, this week, here's another favorite pattern of mine set to a Christmas table. And...hooray, this tablescape was just featured in a local publication today in conjunction with an open house I'm having at the shop on December 11.  If you're in the Tulsa area, please come by.

About the Vista pattern:

Vista is widely popular amongst serious collectors and novices alike.  It is easily recognizable by it's castle and park like scenes with oak leaf borders.
The Vista pattern is by far the most popular that Masons ever produced.  It is attributable to Francis Morley who purchased from Charles Mason his business and factories in 1848.
Vista was largely made for export to the United States beginning in 1890, of which brown came first, followed by blue.  Pink/red is the most sought after, most common and most produced color.  Vista can also be found in green (dating to about 1900 with a short lived production) , purple, and multi-colored (dating between appx. 1918 and 1944), though they are harder to find in these colorways.
Vista was also produced in other variations such as Oak Vista where there is no oak leaf border but rather an embossed, non colored border. 

About my tablescape:

The centerpiece begins with a pretty runner of gold, olive, red and burgundy.  In the center is a Walmart angel I purchased some years back and added a little embellishment to.  I added ribbon, miniature ornaments, beads and wires to her dress.  I placed the angel on a wreath I decorated with glittered berry bunches, wire edged gold organza ribbon and lights with miniature pine-cone covers over them.  To either side are gold candelabras with votive candles and a few Christmas bulbs scattered around the base.

These Waterford Clarendon wine hocks have have been packed in a box for over four years.  They are all placed on hand beaded coasters that match the chargers. The thumbprint glasses are Kings Crown and I purchased them about 10 years ago in an antique shop.  I was so fortunate to find some with no, or very little, wear to the pink rims.  We have amber and olive thumbprint tumblers as our every day glasses.  They just feel right in your hand.

At each place setting, instead of placemats I used gold linen blend napkins with beading around the borders and placed them each at angles, corner to corner, allowing them to drape over the table.  Hand beaded chargers from Always Elegant were placed directly on the napkins...then came the Vista plates.

The pretty flatware is Barenthal which I sell for $67.50 for a 20 pc service for four in green or this burgundy color.  I think the marbleized handles are so striking.

I used two organza napkins, inside is a golden bronze and outside is an embroidered burgundy color.  The beaded napkin rings have long tassels.  The napkins and napkin rings both come from Always Elegant, a site I love, love, love for pretty table linens and accents.  I clipped glass bird ornaments to each napkin ring for an extra touch of Christmas.

The cups and saucers were each adorned with a trio of berries swathed in faux ice crystals.

Red and gold is a favorite color combination of mine.  

To each dining chair I tied gold organza garland with filled burlap and toile Christmas stockings to be taken home by the guests after dinner.  I just love all the burlap things being made now.  These darling stockings were hand made by DAnnAccessories, an Etsy shop specializing in Christmas stockings.  She's got various colors of toile combined with muslin and burlap. 

 I tucked floral picks into each stocking along with an all natural, hand made soap of goats milk, aloe vera and lavender essential oil in little organza bags. 

The little soaps make great stocking stuffers or small thank you gifts.  These also come from Always Elegant...where I get all my organza and beaded table linens.

This is the soap outside the comes sealed in a plastic wrap and embossed with a lovely design.

On the buffet table I scrunched up a runner and ran a simple garland of berries with sparkling, faux ice along with added Victorian pillar candles from Zest Candles Christmas candle line.  I also permanently display a large Vista soup tureen and two smaller Vista gravy tureens here.

Here are a couple of pictures taken at night.  Speaking of night, it's time for this gal to go night night.


  1. How lovely ! Very elegant, yet warm and welcoming at the same time !

    thanks for sharing,

  2. All I can say is WOW! What a beautiful table, I have to say I was never a big fan of transfer ware, but I am loving this colour and the way you decorated with it.

  3. Beautiful table! Love the Masons Vista! Like the faux ice crystaled fruit touches all.

  4. Im speachless! This is amazing, I love the colors, it has such a rich elegance to it. Your tables are masterpieces!

  5. I'm drooling! So beautiful. I love the birds :)

  6. What an absolutely gorgeous dining room....dreamy...

  7. Wow, what an amazing tablescape! I love all the rich cranberry tones. I always love the warm glow your tablescapes have - so inviting! That glassware is so lovely and elegant too. And the stockings on the back of the chairs are such a great idea. Well done today!

  8. OMG! You really work too hard, as what I can see from my perspective of view §;-)

    How I wish I could sneak in, grab & run when you say good night.
    I die for your dinner set, the turine is heavenly gorgeous.

    The runners too… ahhh… am sitting here in my office & drools at your treasures.

    Happy TS & a wonderful week-end to you and your family.

  9. OMG, what a beautiful Dinning room, the table setting and the buffet are just gorgeous! I love the picture of the entire Dinning room, love the plates on the wall, and the transferware dishes with the cranberry glasses, everything is just stunning!!! I have a set of the crannberry glasses in my storage, seeing how lovely yours looks makes me want to go a dig my out! Thanks for sharing!!!
    Blessings~~~ Daphne

  10. Stunning, amazing, beautiful! I blown away.

  11. Wow Nancy, what a stunning setting!
    I've never been a real fan of red, but seeing your table setting has made me re-think. Maybe I'll find a nice set here in time for next Christmas as I think it all looks SO festive.
    (My family would be amazed that the table wasn't set with blue and white!)
    Have a great weekend
    Rose H

  12. How truly beautiful! Love the shots from overhead.

  13. I'd love to be seated at this elegant table! All is so festive. Thanks for sharing. ♥♫

  14. Awesome- the best table I have seen this season by far!
    I love your wine glasses with the extra long stems.
    I collect King's Crown, but do not have any beverage glasses yet- yours look wonderful here. They do feel right. I even have your little clip birds in my kitchen, also.
    Hugs- Tete

  15. Beautiful tablescape and setting. I may have to add some of this beautiful transferware to my collection. My favorite has to be the little stockings on the backs of the chairs. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Nancy, This is a gorgeous Christmas tablescape! You know I love the transferware and the Waterford glasses are beautiful as well as perfect for this setting. Such an elegant and fabulous table and buffet.
    Happy Holidays,

  17. Nancy, this is rich, elegant & inviting ... love the transferware & Waterford is my favorite crystal. Just beautiful.

    Pop by for our (3) giveaways ~
    Have a beautiful winter day ~
    TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

  18. There you go again Nancy setting a stunning table! What's not to love; transferware good, all the little touches good, pretty stockings on back of chairs good,etc. The time spent in that room at that beautiful table, priceless!

  19. Wow!This is fantastic! Never seen something like this before. Well done!
    greetings from Holland,

  20. Stunning! Happy Pink Saturday!

  21. I'm so delighted to have learned a bit more about Mason's Vista. I have a few pieces myself, but I wouldn't call it a collection, I got sidetracked by Villeroy and Boch Burgenland. I love the layers on your table. It's so elegant. Beautiful.

  22. Such stunning photos. Happy Pink Saturday.

  23. Nancy, each week you top the table from the week before...I am in awe...this table is magazine worthy, just beautiful!

  24. Oh My, I'd love to be one of your dinner guests. Your knowledge on vintage dishes is just mesmerizing. I love seeing your table settings and centerpieces. This week's gorgeous filled stockings added to the mix, just "take the cake".
    Thanks so much for joining the party!

  25. Oh my goodness, this is totally exquisite. Wow. I love everything about the table and your entire dining room is stunning. I have drooled over ever single picture. Gorgeous. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  26. Fabulous!!! I love the treatment you gave to the chair backs, and the red and gold is all so pretty! A favorite color combo of mine, too! I saw the "sneak peek" of the glasses on an earlier post of yours, and I am even more in love with them now! They are perfect with the whole setting.

  27. So elegant, warm and inviting!!! Thanks for the eye candy!


  28. Hi Nancy!!!

    I had to run right over after I saw your photo on Jami's blog Freckled Laundry! I have the same china!!! Yep Pink Vista. My mom started collecting it for me when I was 12yrs old (32yrs ago) and I don't know too many people who have it.
    It is very pricey in antiques stores. Hard to find as well.
    I use my china every holiday and when I have special guests for dinner.
    Please come over for a visit and see my collection.
    Pamela from French Buttons!

  29. I really enjoyed looking at your collection of Pink Vista. I have fond memories of growing up with my mom collecting it and now I have in in my cupboard and always use it at Christmas. This year I added lovely 1940's vintage parfait glasses from the old Pere Marquette Hotel in Peoria, Il. with the Vista and enjoyed the ambiance. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful collection!

  30. That is really beautiful, reminds me of when my grandmother had her house set for the holidays. I have her Mason's Pink Vista dinnerware and have not used it for years. She had collected so many accessories and had about 13 place settings. Some of the extra pieces she added were the pink Spode Tower. I wish I had her style, but sadly it is just not our style. Do you know of a group of collectors or site that would be interested in my set? Or advice on how to sell it?

    Sheri (

  31. Oh my,I am almost jealous of your vista collection, it's fantastic! I have quite a lot myself, but not the outstanding rare pieces... I love it! And you've created a gorgeous diningroom :) Thank you for the inspiration!

  32. I'm very impressed !! It's all gorgeous ! Wondering if you could me identify a piece I can't find anywhere. I inherited it. It says Mason's above a crown, then under that it says Patent ironstone China, under that Vista England. And the number "5" is on the back also in "red". It's a 3 section relish tray with a loop handle. My estate handler said to hang onto it but I can't find it and would like to know it's value. It's in great condition. OR could you refer me to someone. I live in the Dallas area. Thank You ! My email is

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  37. I found two green oval plates. Can anyone give me more info on the green versions?

  38. I love everything about your table setting. It is all so beautiful and my taste.
    I am your newest follower.

  39. Oh my, this is so gorgeous and looks almost magical tablescape! Love the shimmer and glitter that this setting creates! Have a happy holiday!


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