A new Spode pattern! Yeah!
Strawberry Thief is a modern interpretation of the William Morris pattern of the same name. I discovered it while browsing through an issue of English Home magazine and was instantly captivated.
The original Strawberry Thief pattern, shown above, is typical of the designs of the Arts & Crafts movement. Textile and wallpaper patterns were rich and complex, balanced by clean, simple lines in the furnishings and millwork. It’s an incredibly interesting juxtaposition. (Don’t you just love the Rabbit pattern, too?).
The Arts & Crafts movement was known as Mission Style in the United States. According to Wikipedia “It was inspired by the ideas of architect Augustus Pugin (1812–1852), writer John Ruskin (1819–1900), and designer William Morris (1834–1896). The movement developed earliest and most fully in the British Isles, and spread across the British Empire and to the rest of Europe and North America.” The movement encouraged a return to traditional handicrafts within a simpler way of life and focused on improving the design of ordinary domestic objects. So that’s the background.
It’s as beautiful and relevant today as ever.
The new Strawberry Thief is an easy-care, dishwasher safe, and relatively inexpensive tableware. The dinner plate has a clean white centre, and the coordinating salad plate has full coverage. The use of white background at the bottom of the dinner plate and at the top of the salad plate adds some light freshness to the design.
I styled the plate with a combination of modern and vintage glassware. The tumblers are a recent birthday gift from my daughter, Kirsten (thanks again!). They’re from Pier 1. The goblets are Park Lane Blue by Colony Glass and are an e-Bay find.
I couldn’t resist the three cake tins of graduated sizes. The way the pattern develops from top to bottom, dark to light is very pleasing. Besides, the cake tins are a great depth. The Brits are big on heavy, plummy cakes for tea time and the tins reflect that.
With the vivid complexity of the plates, and the visual weight in the colour of the glassware, not much else was called for. I used a Vine Floral Boutis quilted white runner from Williams Sonoma and some yellow checked napkins I’ve had for a very long time (20 years?).
My trusty Dubost olivewood flatware from Sur la Table finished off the table.
Obtaining Strawberry Thief from Spode themselves proved to be a non-starter. It’s not a pattern they distribute in the United States or Canada and were unwilling to make arrangements to ship it to me. I was starting to get quite frustrated, and had determined that I would pick some up when I was next in England and have it shipped myself, when I discovered Kings and Queens online. They were very helpful and shipped the plates, tins and mugs (I forgot – the mugs are fabulous) to me in short order.
Have a lovely Valentine’s weekend, everyone.
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.
I’m generally not crazy about Arts and Crafts, but I do like William Morris’ patterns. These dishes are great. I’m amazed the color of the glassware matches perfectly – as well as the heft both designs have.
I’m with you, Sandra; Arts and Crafts patterns can be quite overwhelming in large doses, but I thought they did a nice job modernizing this one. That “denim blue” (as I call it) shade of glass is quite popular these days. As you can imagine, I was thrilled to find the vintage pattern – it was quite by accident. There’s a fair bit of it around on eBay. Thanks for visiting!