Skip to main content

Amber and Aubergine Thanksgiving Table w/ Historical Transferware

Do you remember last July when I posted a table set with a series of plates by Crown Ducal that depicted 'The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere'?   I used them in a red, white and blue color scheme.  I mentioned then that I'd share more of that pattern at another time, in another setting.  Well, here is a Fall table setting in that same pattern, but a different color, unique to the one I posted in July.  I've much to share about it.

Okay, get yourself a nice beverage and then settle in because this might be a lengthy post.

Before we get down to a bunch of close up shots and such of my table I'm going to share a little information on the company that produced this series of special, historical plates. 

Crown Ducal

Based at the Gordon Pottery Works at Tunstall, Stoke on Trent, Crown Ducal was a trading arm of the A.G. Richardson & Co. Ltd.  Crown Ducal was formed in 1915 and is well known for the celebrated Art Deco ceramicist, artist Charlotte Rhead, who worked and designed for the company until 1942.  Production continued through 1974 when Wedgwood bought the property and relocated the business to Yorkshire.  In 1987 Wedgwood merged with Irish based Waterford Crystal to create Waterford Wedgwood.  By 2001 the company incorporated Coalport, Mason's and Johnson Brothers into their brand.  Struggling financially
in 2009,  Waterford Wedgwood was purchased by another firm, KPS Capital Partners,  and became part of a group of companies known as WWRD (Wedgwood Waterford Royal Doulton).  Sadly, the majority of Staffordshire potters have basically all been merged into a huge conglomerate and are no longer family owned and operated as so many were from as early as the 1700's.    Sadder, much sadder, is that most all production jobs have been moved offshore to places like Indonesia, China, and Malaysia.   And equally sad is that the wares are not the same, though transferware is produced in these countries.  Techniques and materials differ from that of English wares, and transfers are often litho printed, not hand applied, making them much less realistic, and frankly, much less attractive and desirable.   I can usually spot a piece of new transferware from a photograph alone.  Okay, now I'm probably ranting (I plan to do more ranting on this subject later!), so let's continue on and talk about this pattern.

Above is a photo of the unusually large backstamp found on Colonial Times.  

The pattern I'm sharing today was produced in the early 1930's under the Crown Ducal name and is called Colonial Times.  It is an absolutely PERFECT set of dinnerware for Thanksgiving.  The series consists of 12+ dinner plates, each having a unique depiction of Historical places or occurrences in America's history.

When The President First Gave Thanks

 Penn's Treaty With The Indians 1661

  The First Thanksgiving In America

The Spirit of '76

 The Mayflower In Plymouth Harbor

Going To Church


Independence Hall (sorry for the grainy pic)

Mount Vernon

Landing of The Pilgrims

Speak For Yourself John (sorry...grainy again)

Marriage of Pocahontas

I know of at least one other dinner plate, which depicts the scene, 'Signing The Contract In The Mayflower' but I do not have a photo of it and wasn't able to source one.

Colonial Times pieces each have four cartouches equally spaced around the plates border consisting of four scenes.  

 Return Of The Mayflower

 American Indian

 Mayflower in Plymouth Harbour

& Pocahontas Saving Life of John Smith

Subsequently, Crown Ducal also produced a series, in 1932, of Commemorative Wares celebrating the bicentenary of George Washington.  These plates blend well with the Colonial Times series and are sometimes gathered by collectors as one collection.  This series has four cartouche's with floral prints, rather than the scenic ones found on Colonial Times.  I've used two of these plates in this setting as I've only got four of the Colonial Times dinner plates in purple.

Washington kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge 

  Washington's Birthplace at Wakefield, Virginia

In addition to the plates there is a wide range of side plates, serving pieces and hollow wares.  I have to show you the teapot and sugar bowl.

Shown below in purple, red, and teal.   The pattern was also produced in blue, green and brown (less common). 

 Is that pilgrim head finial not the cutest?

Teal Sugar and Creamer 

There are also several serving platters, including ginormous turkey platters, super duper perfect for Thanksgiving in just two weeks, like these two in my shop (subliminal need to buy one!).

Colonial Times really is a wonderful collectors pattern!
I hope I've not bored you to tears because now I'm going to get on with the tablescape.

Amber, Aubergine and Sage
I LOVE this color combination!

The table was laid with a jacquard drapery panel.  You know,  I rarely use a tablecloth on a table but instead use blankets, draperies, throws, fabric, pillowcases and more...I've even been known to use  a dress.  Click HERE to see that post. 

 I like to leave some of the wood exposed on my table so the drape is great for that as it allows a few inches to show on either side.  I  like the look it gives, the mix of textures.  Down the center of the table I placed four aubergine beaded placemats equally spaced apart (for a bit of sparkle)  and then laid three grapevine wreaths over the spaces.  The grapevine offers a rustic, natural look.  In the wreaths on each end I placed a bowl upside down and then put a smaller, crystal beaded  wreath on top and finished with purple ceramic pumpkins.  A pair of left and right facing birds are nestled into the outer sides of each of the outer wreaths.

I built the height of the center wreath a little more than the two on the outside and layered the same way but added silk mums and pheasant feathers.  

I chose not to use any placemats, so plates were set directly onto the table/drape.  Oblong pumpkin plates are placed at an angle slightly above and to the side of each dinner plate.

I think these glasses on the right have become my favorite.  I can't seem to quit using them this Fall!  

I used embroidered white napkins to keep that simple and to add light to the table since I used so much color.  The silverplate is called Tudor plate and belonged to my Grandma Stubbs, whose Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie I'm going to share tomorrow or Saturday.

Some sage green taper candles placed at either side of the center wreath add just the right touch of ambience.

(oops, I see I left my I-phone and the lighter on the ambience in that!)

If you made it to the end of this post...thank you!
Don't forget that I've teamed up with Maison Decor for a $60 giveaway to my shop.  Head on over to enter.


I'm joining

Vintage Thingie Thursday 


  1. Since I was a History major I love, love, love this table and all the great info! Thanks for sharing - now I have more plates to lust after!

  2. You are right it was a long post! I share your rant on the quality of the dishes now being produced in Asia. I have been a fan of Royal Dulton's Bunnykins dishes (my daughter ate off them everyday when she was little) and I often gave them as baby gifts. But now that they are made in China they are not as nice, the transfers and the colors are somehow off. Your turkey platters are wonderful. Please stop by if you get a chance and see my Vernon Kilns dishes. Thanks for sharing such good info. Laura - Cottage and Broome

  3. Everyone is on the bandwagon to get the Spode Woodland as Thanksgiving dishes -- these are so much better (no matter which color -- but I do like the purple) AND they can be used year round as well! I absolutely adore them and your stunning table.

  4. I love your plates. They are truly a work of art. Your table is really beautiful as well. My favorite are the plates though. :-) My two favorites are When the President First Gave Thanks and The First Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing them.

  5. Another gorgeous table from you, amber with the purple plates. Your centerpiece is always gorgeous...I haven't decided if it compliments the dishes or if the dishes compliment the centerpiece!
    Thanks for the little history lesson of the maker...I always learn something from you.
    Have a great weekend!

  6. Beautiful pattern, Nancy! I love the color and those purple pumpkins in the center are just gorgeous!

  7. Thanks for the info on the Crown Ducal. How timely, I have a piece of Wedgwood to research this evening. It is a shame that to get a piece made where it originated, you have to buy secondhand.

    Love your Kings Crown Thumbprint Tumblers too!

  8. I've had a very busy and distracting day today.Just as I was about to read your post the phone rang.I'm coming back tomorrow to really enjoy your post.If you can remember me,I LOVE and want lavender Transferware.Looking forward to enjoying this post.Denise

  9. One of the prettiest if not the prettiest table settings I've ever seen.When do I get to buy a piece of lavender?

  10. Hi Denise! I sent you an email earlier. Now I'm wondering if you got it. I hope you see this message. I'll try to track you down another way also.


  11. This is such a unique Tablescape for Thanksgiving! I would love sitting down to one of those place settings.
    Lovely tablescape!

  12. SWOON, SWOON, SWOON! Just ABSOLUETLY gorgeous!!!!!

  13. Wow...lots of wonderful commentary! I, too, am saddened by the "outsourcing" of pottery-making. I have been building my set of Royal Albert "Old Country Roses" and while I have a few pieces from Indonesia, most of mine was made in England. My DH is from England and we received a beautiful tea set from there as a starter set (before it was outsourced). Enough of that...your table is beautiful and I LOVE the colors that you've used. Perfect for this holiday time!!

    Thank you for a wonderful post!

  14. The green, amber, and purple combination is just stunning! LOVE those gorgeous pumpkins sitting in nests. I might have done better in American history if it was presented to me on plates!

  15. As always, a beautiful table!!! Love the history lesson, you tell it so well, thanks!!! hugs...cleo

  16. What a treasure trove you have here to set the mood for a true thanksgiving FEAST for both the eyes and the bellly!

  17. Nancy this is a most perfect Thanksgivings table. I love your creative centerpieces and the color is amazing.. Totally wonderful table.. thanks for the background history too.. xo marlis

  18. So gorgeous Nancy!! Your tables are always so beautiful and inspiring and love the transferware in this post too! So pretty!
    Thanks for linking up!:)

  19. OMGoodness, this is beautiful! Thank you for the info on these GORGEOUS dishes!!! Your table is exquisite! XO, Pinky

  20. Hi Nancy,
    You have so much knowledge on the history of these beautiful old transferware dishes.
    I love the plates you used on your Thanksgiving table.
    Thank you for your comment and I would love too!


  21. Gorgeous table! i love your china.Joann

  22. These are fabulous dishes, Nancy! I always find the history lessons about them so interesting! You always set the most beautiful tables, and this one with these particular dishes is so perfect for Thanksgiving!

    Thank you for sharing your your table and knowledge at Potpourri Friday!

  23. You are right! These plates are perfect for Thanksgiving. A few years ago I bought a few Mulberry Colonial Times plates - they are hard to find and more expensive in mulberry. You inspired me to get a few more. I have found that the color varies so much from plate to plate - do you know why? I wam curious to learn more.

    Also I have 6 Paul Revere salad plates - in looking for more I only see soup bowls? Any insight you give would me most appreciated.

  24. Sharon Ryan, Willowbrook, ILJanuary 5, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Hi. I am new to your blog. I found it today while searching for information on the Crown Ducal Colonial Times. I have a lot of this china that I inherited from my mother's aunt. Do you know how I can go about finding out what it might be worth? I have a lot of dinner plates, salad plates, cups and saucers, a large turkey platter (more elaborate design than yours) and a covered casserole with the pilgrim head finial. It might have been a service for 12 at once time. Any suggestions for finding its value?

  25. Your table is beautiful, the plates are so pretty, love the purple. I also love the purple ceramic pumpkins, I was wondering where you bought them? Thanks for sharing your beautiful table, love your posts.

  26. Well, here it goes again............One of the most beautiful sites I have visited on the web. Vanessa in Johnson City, Texas

  27. What a wonderful post! I love the history and frankly I believe that is one of the attratctions of transferware for me. I love the artistry and appreciate the talent it took to hand paint these. I am very sad too about the state of is appalling. My daughter told me I had to go see the brand new Home Goods store in our area because they had some great turkey plates. Let me tell you they were not the quality of anything I would purchase. Like you I could spot the difference a mile away. the way manufacturers are pawning cheap goods off on us is a low blow. Just let me wander through your website and I will feel the comfort of these lovely designs anew....


Post a Comment

I love hearing from my readers. I appreciate the time you take to post a comment and I read them all.

Popular posts from this blog

English Cottage Living Room - Before, Partly After & Still a Work in Progress

I am sorry for not posting more pictures of the progress we've made settling into this new (to us) home.   It seems life rushes by so fast and that at times, doing little things, even those that I love and enjoy, often get pushed aside and onto the back shelf of my mind where I tell myself, "I'll get to this later".  Well, it is later and though I don't have as much to share with you as I'd like, I'm going to at least share my favorite spot in our living room.  I promise to show the rest of the room soon but for now the opposite half of the living room has been occupied by my daughters boyfriend who has been staying with us for the past 7 or so weeks until his apartment is ready for him to move into, and so the couch is usually made up for him to sleep on!   Here is a photo of the current living room just as we found it, a small room just off the entry of the house with a nice marble and wood fireplace surround, hard wood floors, beautiful crown mouldi

The History of Johnson Brothers and The Friendly Village Tablescape

Last week, Shawn and I popped into a couple of estate sales and I picked up over 100 pieces of Johnson Brother's The Friendly Village .  I think I may have to hang on to 12 of the dinner plates and use them this year at Thanksgiving but the rest of them, including this 48 piece service for 8, will be you know where. I don't know about you all, but I have had enough of Summer and I am down right ready for the cooler temperatures of Autumn.  I've been doing a lot of rearranging around the house….I'm in one of those zones where I've got a zillion projects going on, even if half of them are just in my mind that I'm contemplating!   We've also been moving kids out and around.  Three of them are out and the three still at home are moving or rearranging their rooms around.    Since I am yearning for Fall, haven't posted any tablescapes in a while and just got these Friendly Village pieces I decided to set the table with them.      Oh great, I

More Traditional Red White & Blue Rooms with Transferware

A couple of weeks ago I shared some pictures of beautiful rooms in red and blue color schemes decorated with transferware .    Here is another roundup of rooms that I adore, all with red and blue color schemes and all with transferware!  Enjoy!  (via Traditional Home) (via enchanted home) (my old living room) Joining some of the following parties: Between Naps on The Porch Transformation Thursday at  The Shabby Chic Cottage Feathered Nest Friday at  French Country Cottage Friday Inspiration  At The Picket Fence Cindy at  My Romantic Home Funky Junk Interiors Charm of Home No Minimalist Here WOW  Amaze Me Mondays  Making Monday Link Party  Motivational Mondays  What'd You Do This Weekend?   Inspire Me Monday   Make It Pretty Monday   Monday Link Party  Inspire Me Monday 

My English Country Mom Cave

Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch is hosting a Home Goods Mom Cave contest with four lucky winners.  Come on in to my little niche I've carved out of my house.  This is where I work, create, relax, read and chat with friends and family. This is one of my favorite spots in the house to read about one of my favorite subjects...English transferware or poetry, and drink tea.  I often start and end my day right here. Next to the chair is an antique dumbwaiter which holds some decorative items as well as lots of poetry books.  This is the view of the room from the wing back chair.  This cozy room serves as a small living room, although it's not uncommon to have 8 or 9 of the girls in here during family gatherings.  It's usually where we all wind up to have coffee and visit. . On either side of the sofa I display some of my vintage Canine figurines on Spode meat drainers. Above the sofa are some of my favorite paintings.  The one directly over the sofa my Mom pain

Decorating with Brown Transferware & $100 GIVEAWAY

Brown was introduced as a transferware color around 1829-30 and is the least expensive of colors to make. Therefore it is fairly common, so far as transferware goes, to find.  It is also one of the most collected colors and it is probably the most versatile of colors in my opinion.  Brown is neutral and looks good with any color scheme from pastels to rich jewel tones, but it is with the ushering in of Autumn that I see it popping up in home decor and vignettes the most.  Though, most of these rooms and vignettes are decorated with brown pieces year round, it just seems the perfect time to share them.  I may have to do another post because there are so, so many more equally beautiful spaces that have incorporated the use of displaying brown transferware  and I can't fit them all here. So, check these lovelies out and then stick around for the giveaway at the bottom of the post. This vignette just stole my heart the first time I saw it.  So many of us have vintage luggage

The Aesthetic Movement and Transferware

What is the Aesthetic Movement? The Aesthetic Movement refers to a period of time in the late 19 th century (1870-1900) which was a backlash to the formal Victorian years.  Artists and writers of the Aesthetic movement period maintained the belief that art should provide refined sensuous pleasure, rather than convey moral or sentimental messages.  They believed that art did not have any didactic purpose; it need only be beautiful.  Japanese art had a great influence on Aestheticism. Aesthetic interiors were often decorated with Japanese prints, screens, fans and other objects. An appreciation of the art of Japan is seen in the work of many Aesthetic artists and designers such as James McNeill Whistler and E.W. Godwin. photo credit Country Living The Aesthetes developed the cult of beauty, which they considered the basic factor in art. They ascertained that life should copy art and considered nature as crude and lacking in design

Decorating with Blue Transferware and a GIVEAWAY!

   If you haven't already been over to Enchanted Home , you'll want to go over after you finish this post because the wonderful Tina, who authors the incredibly gorgeous blog,  has a great post up about decorating with dishes plus she's hosting a giveaway to my online shop, English Transferware !  Details at the end of the post! I know Tina loves blue and white (just look at her header and you'll know!) and has a collection of her own. In honor of Tina, I've decided to share some of my favorite images of rooms decorated with and often around blue transferware collections.  You can see more rooms decorated with blue transferware on my Pinterest board . To me, Charles Faudree is just about as synonymous with English transferware as he his with French Country Decorating...he seemed to always find a use for it in his incredibly detailed decorating schemes.  Isn't this bedroom charming? I love this next image from Decor Magazine.  Look how the blu