A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens has inspired a great many other creative endeavours, including films such as It’s A Wonderful Life, one of our must-watch films every holiday season.
These creative pursuits apparently extend to tableware, I was excited to discover. Shenango, primarily a manufacturer of restaurant ware, produced this series of twelve plates between
1952 to 1963 for advertising purposes – one plate per year.
Update: I have now received the remaining four plates and discovered that Shenango started producing them in 1949, not 1952. The first three plates were produced in 1949, 1951 and 1954. I can only guess that they weren’t sure at first how popular they were going to be so the first three came out slowly, and they are marked as the first, second and third plates. The remaining plates all say “one of a series”, with the exception of 1963, which says “last of a series”.
With a few false starts on eBay (nothing quite like what I went through cobbling together the Gibson Girl plates, mind you), I managed to lay my hands on eight of them before we left Cape Cod and returned to Canada last month. To my delight, Replacements tracked down the remaining four (
1952, 1953,1949, 1951, 1954 and 1957) and they await us upon our return to the Cape. Stay tuned! I’ll do another post next year with the full monty. Update: I’ve now got all twelve and have included the remaining four in the gallery below.
Here are the fronts and backs of all twelve. I really enjoy the full descriptions in cursive on the back of each plate.
The next challenge was styling the plates. They’re green and black, as you can see. And it’s a distinct shade of green – hard to match exactly, but would be good to contrast with other colours, or incorporate with a plaid. Maybe next time. For this go round, I elected to the table arrangement in shades of green so as not to detract from the plates.
I started out with cedar boughs, ivy, green apples and pears, but it still looked a bit dull, as you can see above. I consulted Mary Plumstead, my cohort in tableware crime, and she suggested layering in some gold leaves to add depth. Bingo. Dried Annabelle hydrangea and votive candles provided another layer of interest and the arrangement was complete.
Here it is with the candles lit.
Needless to say, this is NOT a table setting one can leave out casually for the cats to destroy (hydrangea everywhere – shudder). It did survive overnight, however and I was able to get pictures both in the daytime and the evening.
I wish all my readers a wonderful weekend!
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.