Skip to main content

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!


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 

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

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

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