My enthusiasm for brown transferware is fairly recent, but I have to admit it’s growing on me. Perfect for fall, of course, it provides a wonderful cohesive platform for all manner of luscious deep rusty, green and yellow flowers.
In the case of Friendly Village, though, the standout coordinating colour is surprisingly, pink!
Johnson Brothers began producing Friendly Village in 1953 and continued doing so in England for 50 years. During that time they also launched a couple of specialty sets, including square plates with a Christmas theme and a 50th Anniversary set of six canapé plates with some serving pieces in 2003. Production then switched to China in 2004, and appeared under another name, “England 1883” . It carried on until 2017. It’s a pattern with a dizzying number of pieces, from plates of all sizes to tureens, glasses and coasters. Because there are so many pieces and the production was over such an extended period, you need to be careful what you’re buying. I believe it’s generally felt that the English product is of higher quality than the later pieces.
There are twelve dinner plate scenes in total, plus The Turkey, which I don’t have. He’s a significant premium price and I don’t need a baker’s dozen. Thirteen for dinner is bad luck…
The green in the plates is a soft, mossy shade. It prompted me to go looking for glasses and napkins in similar tones.
The glasses are Cameo Green by Fostoria. Although they look like Depression glass, they’re actually from the 1970s.
The Twill Plaid Forest Green napkin from Pier 1 coordinated very well. The flatware is part of a vintage bakelite handled set I got many years ago from Country Dining Room Antiques (now defunct).
The Metal House Lanterns from Pier 1 provided a nice warm glow to the table. They’re no longer available in white, but the blue is still to be had, and is on clearance.
The runner is Vine Floral Boutis from Williams Sonoma, in sage green. It comes in several colours, including a yummy pumpkin, which would be perfect for fall tables.
Of course, I couldn’t resist the salt and pepper shakers from the Friendly Village set. It was an eBay find.
They come in their own little stone walled container.
The back of the salt shaker has trees growing up it, and the pepper shaker has a back door. Adorable.
Hydrangea from the garden had reached the papery dry phase perfect for preserving. I simply gathered the stems together to form a bouquet, secured them with an elastic band and clipped the stems to the correct length. Into the footed wooden bowl (from Pier 1, discontinued) they went. I have to give them an occasional shove back into position, as Moxie is very fond of nibbling on them when she gets a chance. Cats eat the weirdest things…
The soft combination of pinks, greens and purples keeps its colour all winter (barring too many incursions from Moxie).
The “blue hour” had arrived so I snapped a couple of pictures.
It’s one of the consolations we get for shortened days and cold temperatures: candlelight dinners arrive much earlier and feel very warm and welcome.
Hallowe’en tonight, folks! I hope you have your pumpkins ready and the candies at hand, ready to shell out. I’ve been nibbling (“Nibbling??? Hoovering, more like” mutters Teddy) on Snickers, KitKat and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and hope we have enough left for the kids…
I’m in full Christmas table contemplation mode, and will be glad to see the start of November. My son, Adam, insists that Christmas decorations appearing before Remembrance Day is bad form, so I shall hold off a bit longer on the house itself. But I can still set and snap tables in the meantime. Because we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in early October, we have a free runway from the Adam-imposed-start date of November 11 through to Christmas Day. Let the tinsel begin!
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.
Such a pretty combination! The lanterns are the perfect complement to the pattern on the dishes!
Thanks, Alycia. I think I’ll get a lot of use out of those lanterns, in all seasons. Pier 1 has some great lanterns, at very reasonable prices. The daughter of a friend is getting married next year and we found some gorgeous creamy white ones for centrepieces for the tables. Thanks so much for visiting. It’s always lovely to hear from you.
I just started collecing Friendly Village. I love the green glasswre. Where can I look for hem ?
The glasses are Cameo Green by Fostoria. I bought them at Replacements.com, and you might try looking for them on eBay.
So nice to have a real bit of nature with the soft tones of your hydrangeas from the garden. Beautiful table settings and I especially like the salt and pepper shakers. Enjoy the Fall. Off to the UK tomorrow. Stay warm.
Aren’t we lucky in the Cape with all the hydrangeas? Instant centrepieces, no arranging required!
Safe travels, and enjoy all the rugby in England.
When you say the production carried on until 2017, is it being discontinued? Gorgeous tablescape!
Hi Patricia. Replacements indicates it’s discontinued on their website, and they tend to be in the know on these things. I googled around this morning and didn’t find an official notice anywhere else, however, if you’re collecting it, it might be best to err on the side of caution. Hope this helps.
What can I say – everything is just beautiful on your table. I look so forward to your posts, wonderful ideas and beautiful presentations. Thank you so much!!!!!
You’re too kind, Marilyn! I’m so glad you like the posts, and please be assured that I’m as happy to get the comments as you are to see the tables 🙂 I’m always very touched when readers take the time to let me know they’re enjoying the blog. So thank you!
Ahhh…Thanksgiving in Canada is earlier than in the USA. I knew that, but I had obviously forgotten as I kept wondering why you seemed so early in starting on Christmas. Now it all makes sense to me, and I look forward to your tables. The Friendly Village is interesting; sometimes it seems a bit pedestrian, but it draws me in anyway. The scenes are just so very comforting and pleasing, and the colors are so calming and softly beautiful. Thank you for inviting us for a peek. Cherry Kay
Hi Cherry Kay,
Yes – Canadian Thanksgiving is the same day as Columbus Day, so a good six or seven weeks earlier than US Thanksgiving. Out of respect for my American readers, I will do my very best to restrain myself and not go overboard with Christmas tables until later in November :). It’ll be a struggle, though!
Like you, I have always thought Friendly Village was a bit pedestrian, but it has charmed me. You’ve hit the nail on the head – the scenes ARE comforting and pleasing. On closer inspection, I also really like the greyish undertones of the browns and the greens. They form a soft, neutral palette, and with the unusual peachy-pink highlights, it makes for an interesting table to set and coordinate. I’ve seen it set with clear pink glasses, over at Nancy’s Daily Dish and that works well, too.
Thanks for visiting!
I love your table. I have these Johnson Bros. dishes also, and love when fall comes so I can display them in my hutch and have them grace my Thanksgiving table. They are so versatile and I love the way you accented them with you green plaid napkins. Your lighting effects make a visually beautiful table and it is all so warm and welcoming! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch
Thanks, Rosie. It’s hard to believe it’s November already! Friendly Village is a tried and true, isn’t it? One of those patterns that you find in a lot of places, and still love it 🙂 Enjoy your weekend and Happy Thanksgiving to you, also.
You can sometimes find serving pieces at Home Goods. I look every time I’m there! They’re usually a very good price.
Thanks, Tammy. It’s always fun to visit HomeGoods. They’ve got some interesting Toy Shop Christmas plates right now by Royal Stafford. I like the largely black and white design with hints of colour.
Your choice of green and plaid brings the China to a new level. Have thought about collecting this pattern. My mother in law had it but sadly it went into estate sale. Thanks for creating.
Thanks, Pat. I had toyed with collecting it for years, and when I began to look into it more carefully it really won me over. Maybe keep your eye on an estate sale yourself, or check out eBay? All kinds of it comes up for sale and you might get a great deal 🙂 Thanks for visiting.
I love Friendly Village! I fell in love with it at an antique store and I have kicked myself ever since for not buying the set I saw. At the time I didn’t know what a good price it was. Your table setting is beautiful and the salt and pepper set is adorable.
Thanks, Susan. How often have we passed things up and then regretted it? My rule of thumb is if I’m still thinking about it a week later, its likely a keeper. 🙂 I’m sorry you missed a chance, but do try eBay if you’re still interested. Some wonderful deals come up from time to time.
Thanks so much for stopping by, visiting and commenting. I appreciate it very much.
I like everything about your table setting. Such a beautiful set of dishes.
Thanks Thelma! Friendly Village is such a classic!
Friendly Village has been my everyday china for the past twenty years! I remember going to pick items for my bridal regristry, and falling inlove with this pattern. It reminded me of something my Grandmother would have in her kitchen.
It’s a heartwarming pattern, isn’t it? The brown transferware base makes it incredibly versatile, too. The touches of pink are unusual.