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.