Thanksgiving Table Setting w/ Black Turkey Plates

Black isn't a color you see mixed with traditonal Autumn colors very often but in the case of these turkey transferware plates by 
W. R. Midwinter I think they beckon to be used with amber, brown, gold, and shades of orange or red.   So that's just what I did.

I received so many compliments on the raffia I used in THIS tablescape, that I decided it would be nice to add some under these plates as well.  I did use placemats, however I flipped them over because they are beaded which I felt did not work with the plates...however the felted backs are black and provided an anchor for the plates to really stand out against.

I created a simple centerpiece that runs the length of the table by winding a garland of Fall leaves around several pillar candles.  I tucked a few berries in here and there and interspersed throughout with tealight candles in red glass holders.  This was cheap...about $5 for the garland, and honestly you could  gather real leaves and it would, in my opinion, be even prettier, and cheaper.  
I couldn't talk any of my kids into sneaking into the neighbors yard to cut down some of their branches full of turned leaves or I'd have made the centerpiece from them.  Better luck next time.  
(Ok...I didn't really try to talk my kids into doing that...I admit the thought did cross my mind...).

 I love these little pumpkin side plates.  They work well with most of my Fall dishes.  I used them last week in my purple and sage tablescape.  These were found at Ross for $2.25 a piece. 

These napkin rings are on clearance at Walmart right now for $2 per set of four.  They're plastique, made to look like tooled leather.  

I draped a 14' long needlepoint runner across the table so it hangs almost to the floor on either side.  I love the rich color and texture this adds.  

 I love these rich colors!

What dishes do you use for Thanksgiving?  Do you have a set just for that special dinner or a set just for Fall? 
I have sold lots of sets of salad plates this year that my customers will use with their existing china.  I have two customers who have sea green / Robins Egg blue plates and they each added brown transferware salad plates.  The blue green with brown is a pretty combination.

A couple of posts back I shared the history of English turkey themed wares and showed you all this platter, which is the mate to my plates.  

For those of you interested in the history of Midwinter:

W.R. Midwinter was founded by William Robinson (my maiden name!) Midwinter at Bournes Bank, Burslem in 1910.  The business expanded so quickly that by 1914 they relocated to the larger Albion Works, also in Burslem.  

( In the Staffordshire heyday there were over 2000 bottle kilns in use.  Above, 3 of the remaining 47 bottle kilns in the Potteries District )

William Midwinter served in the Royal Navy during the First World War and left the care of the business to his wife.  The company continued to grow throughout the 1920's and 30's and incorporated as W. R. Midwinter Ltd in 1932.  At that time, the firm acquired neighboring Hadderidge Pottery and continued production throughout the Second World War, though at a much reduced rate.  Following the end of the war, W. R. Midwinter's son, William Roy joined the business and assumed complete control in the late 1950's. Under the management of William Roy, Midwinter became one of the leading producers of domestic earthenware.  Midwinter made other acquisitions in 1964; A. J. Wilkinson Ltd. and Newport Pottery Co. Ltd.   Only a few short years later the Midwinter potteries were struggling financially and were taken over by J & G Meakin (relatives of Johnson Brothers), and by 1970 Meakin was taken over by Wedgwood.  

Midwinter was much less known for the transfer printed wares that I am so fond of, but more for art deco shapes and styles.  Some of their memorable patterns were produced by in-house designers Jessie Tate and Hugh Casson, who's French scene drawings on those wares are now so highly sought.  

Roy Midwinter remained on staff through the Wedgwood days until 1981 and then became a designer associated with Federated Potteries Ltd.  He died in 1990.

Peat, A., Midwinter - a collector's guide. (Cameron & Hollis, 1992).
Jenkins, S. Midwinter Pottery- A revolution in British Tableware. (Richard Dennis, 1997)


Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song.
Konrad von Gesner


  1. Spectacular..Black always works and you certainly proved that with this setting.

  2. Hi Nancy, what a gorgeous table for Thanksgiving! the tablerunner and those plates really play off of each other, thanks so much for sharing the inspiration, Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! xo

  3. I love your great rustic table Nancy, the turkey plates are so cool-enjoy:@)

  4. Oh my, I just found out looking at The O'Reilly Show that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, (I wasn't sure)!! I'm sure they didn't have a table as reach and gorgeous as yours, never the less with turkey plates, lol! I do love the rafia idea, it's so for the occation. I love the black runner with the plates. Happy Thanksgiving Nancy. Hugs, FABBY

  5. Beautiful table, Nancy! You're right ~ I wouldn't think of black right away for a Thanksgiving table. It looks great though! Love the flatware and goblets you used, too.

  6. Nancy, you have outdone yourself on this is gorgeous! The plates go so nicely with that fabulous needlepoint runner. I love the stemware, I think I have seen a piece in that pattern in purple.
    Thanks for the history lesson.

  7. That runner really anchors the table and brings all the colors together. I have those same pumpkin plates, so cute! Thanks for the history.

    Robin Flies South

  8. Gorgeous table! I really love the needlepoint runner, it has such great colors and design and looks amazing with the beautiful turkey plates and the rich colors of all the accessories. Great table; I love it all!

  9. Love the the needlepoint table the raffia peeking out...sumptuous, truly sumptuous when all converge!


  10. I'm actually doing one of our Thanksgiving tables with black as the foundation. I love yours with all the beautiful fall colors mixed in! I am so in love with those salad plates with the great turkeys on them!!! Cool touch with the raffia on the plates, too!!!

  11. So very pretty! I would love to have a set of dishes like this. Maybe one day...

  12. Outstanding as usual! I love the turky plates and also your pumpkin side dishes. I am a fan of midwinter for their moderne styles and their chintz pieces. Some great stuff! Thakns so much for the wonderful tablescape!

  13. Oh Nancy, you did it again!!! Love the tablerunner and the use of black, just stunning!! I actually have a black tablecloth I will use soon with red dishes....hugs...cleo

  14. It's just lovely, Nancy. I'm a fabric girl, so I'm totally drooling over your runner! Gah, I wouldn't want it anywhere near spilling food--but, maybe that's just my family.

  15. Oh Nancy. that runner with those plates - absolutely a perfect combo! I love the black of the runner and how it picks up the black in the plates.. I have pinned a few just to remember how lovely your table is. There is nothing out of place, nothing overdone, just beautiful artistic touches everywhere.. you took my breath away! xo marlis - happy Thanksgivings!

  16. Your tablescapes are amazing. DO wonder how you keep so many beautiful, fragile pieces organized. And so appreciated your history lessons on the industries which produced and still makes our favorite pieces. Thank you.

  17. Just gorgeous, as always! Wish I could find a needlepoint runner like that! I love the turkey plates, but we'll be using Johnson Bros. Windsor Harvest plates which I recently got. Loved your post on those, too! Happy Thanksgiving!


  18. Hi darling, thank you for the history on the dishes. I've never heard of the company.. my heart is pounding. They are gorgeous, as well as your table. The details are incredible. I'm going to break my down and add a few things now.. lol.. You always inspire... Love my plates, they came in great shape, and fast!!! Can't wait to order more.. think I might just slip over to your little shop on line now.. From our home to yours Happy Thanksgiving.
    hugs ~lynne~

  19. Nancy, I think this has to be one of the richest, most elegant Thanksgiving tables I've ever seen. Clever idea to add the raffia. It's a nice look. And the plates are truly special. It all looks fabulous on the needlepoint runner. Using that was another clever idea. You are such a talented lady!
    Happy Thanksgiving! ~ sarah

  20. Beautiful and elegant! I love black with anything. The dishes, placemats and table runner are all just perfect!


  21. All of the elements work so well together on your table. I am drooling over the amber glasses, they are exquisite. Absolutely beautiful table!

  22. Hi Nancy, I finally made it back to comment on you beautiful black turkey plates! I read read this post last week during Susan's party but got distracted before leaving a comment.

    Everything about your tablescape is beautiful, from your unusual plates to the lovely table runner that brings out all the colors in those plates.

    I also want to thank you for visiting and commenting on my tablescape.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your beautiful family!

    xoxo Bunny Jean

  23. This is nothing short of brilliant! Well done!


  24. Sumptuously deliciously delightful!

  25. The black is stunning! It adds a richness to the tablescape. Great needlepoint runner! Thanks for linking up to The "Autumn Décor" Talent Scouting Party at WhisperWood Cottage!

  26. Rustic and elegant at the same time, I would lave to have Thanksgiving dinner in this lovely setting!


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