Wednesday, October 26, 2011

COLLECTION #84: Franciscan Ware Desert Rose Pottery

 I owe it all to my dear late mother-in-law, Betty. Or perhaps to her mother. But this summer we finally closed out the storage unit where her possessions have been residing since her passing in 2008, and brought it all down from Sacramento to Moorpark. We inherited several wonderful pieces of furniture including a pretty spinet piano, and a beautiful china cabinet with curved glass and intricate carved details. Stored safely inside that china cabinet, is my 'new' lovely set of Franciscan Ware, the Desert Rose pattern. Desert Rose was the second of the hugely successful patterns of Franciscan Ware. (The actual name of the company was Gladding, McBean & Co. who got their start making ceramic tile for California homes). Franciscan Ware rose to fame in the 1940s, where their lovely stoneware dishes became the epitome of the California lifestyle.  As a little girl, I remember that my Mom loved Franciscan Ware, and we had many dishes and pieces of Franciscan pottery in our home. I also remember visiting their headquarters and outlet store in nearby Glendale, where my Mom loved to browse.

 I really love the Desert Rose pattern. Although the most common and popular of Franciscan's pottery, it's easy to see why. Creamy white background with a sweet, rather simple rose and leaf design, with a clever vine design on the handles- it's a pattern that can go with any decor- modern or traditional.

I love the little egg cups, the butter dish, the sugar and creamer (alas, the sugar dish has a missing lid). There are divided platters, a small mixing bowl (my favorite piece), and many plates, saucers, cups, and salad plates. I only photographed the 'unusual' pieces, but perhaps I'll photograph the rest some day.

 The hallmark on the bottom of most of these pieces show that they were made between 1949 and 1953. So, they're not the earliest examples, but they're not the latest either. I'm hopeful that one of my daughters or daughters-in-law may want to add these dishes to their homes someday.

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