Game Birds by Johnson Brothers is a casually elegant pattern evoking visions of misty Scottish moors filled with bracken and heather.
Johnson Brothers produced the pattern between 1953 and 1976, and typical of specialty sets, Game Birds features a number of different feathered friends, united by a common theme. There are dinner, luncheon and salad plates; I confined myself to a set of six of the 11 1/8″ oval dinner plates.
It was hard to pick a favourite bird!
I am especially captivated by the look of harassed inquiry on the face of the “standing” quail. It’s hysterical!
The two partridges peering over the horizon are pretty funny, too.
The ruffled grouse on the right looks like he’s wearing a scarf and overcoat. I guess that’s what the “ruffle” refers to.
The pattern plays well with others, too. The tureen is Brookshire, also by Johnson Brothers. I had a lot of fun putting this table together with all the birds, tartans and heathery bits.
The birds on Brookshire are nicely depicted, and the deep green border continues the autumn colour scheme.
The pheasant salt & pepper shakers are by Spode, and are part of their Harvest Figural Collection. The series was discontinued in 2014, but pieces are still available on Amazon, and, of course, on eBay and through Replacements.
Who could resist those little pheasant faces? The guy on the left is described as a gravy boat, but functions well as a small tureen. I filled the candy dish with small acorns, and they look quite at home nestled there.
The table really glowed at night. I used smokey glasses of Bohemian Crystal purchased a while ago from Laureleaf Farms. They were “one offs”. I’d love to expand the set, as I have only five of the large and seven of the small glasses, but I’ve never seen anything like them anywhere else.
The blue hydrangea in bark covered vases echoed the blue in the tartan wool blanket (which normally resides in my Mini, at the ready for passenger naps or impromptu picnics). Glenn got me the blanket from the National Trust in England on one of our jaunts. It’s made from recycled wool, and while I can’t say it’s the softest of blankets (or rugs, as the Brits call them), it’s very warm and extremely durable. I’ve laid it over a metalasse bedspread that I picked up at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and repurposed to function as a tablecloth.
This little gal is a female pheasant-shaped trinket box from the series by Fitz and Floyd, and was an eBay find. According to Replacements, (source of the picture below) they made half a dozen different shapes.
Here she is in the daylight. I think she’d make a great soup tureen. Hmmm. Another blog…
The flatware is Sawyer by World Market.
One last peek at our pheasants. I think the guy on the right looks quite cranky…
Almost forgot – the napkins are from Wayfair a couple of seasons ago.
Who is your favourite of all the birds? While I like them all, I think the ruffled grouse is the front-runner with me. 🙂
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.
I’ve always loved these plates!
They’re a classic, aren’t they Yolie? I love them, too!
Your description of the birds is hysterical! I’ll never again look at a bird plate without guessing what’s on its mind! Actually the plates are quite lovely, with an appreciation of the details in the feathers and the stance of the birds. Fun tablescape!
Thanks, Sandra. As you may know, we have three golden retrievers and three cats. When the kids were little we always had a variety of small animals (gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters – even a pygmy African Hedgehog) as well. They’re a constant source of entertainment; I’m always wondering what they’re really thinking, and I can’t help translating that curiosity to pictures of animals and birds, too! So glad you enjoyed the table. Have a great weekend.
I love your pheasants and the Johnson Brother plates..
Thanks, Cindi. It was a fun table to set. 🙂
What a great pattern. Love how you designed the table and the pheasants you added. Those blue hydrangeas are so pretty!
Hey Liz! Thanks so much. I had wanted to use paler hydrangea – ones that had begun to dry already, but went with the brighter, fresher ones as they seemed add a bit more “oomph”. Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.
My husband’s parents had this set of dishes. Sadly they were lost in a house fire years ago. I hope to someday replace them for my mother-in-law. What a beautiful table you have set!
Oh, Rebecca. That’s so sad! Replacements.com is an excellent source or keep your eyes peeled on eBay or Etsy. Especially at this time of year. Good luck with finding a set.
So glad you enjoyed the table. 🙂
What a collection you have!!! You were showing great restraint to purchase only 6 dinner plates! They look just as you described, though, like something straight out of the “misty Scottish moors”. I further envision haggis and clapshot on the menu with a bold Scotch whiskey after dinner. These plates…this entire setting…really paints a picture!!! Lovely!
Great ideas, Alycia! Dinner or even a Scotch tasting in honour of Robbie Burns day could be fun! Always great to have an excuse to play with tableware. 🙂 Enjoy your weekend.
Loved all your bird plates. It’s a shame you have to cover these birds with food. However, these birds will be well fed with your gourmet food – fit for a king or Queen.
As much as we admire the pattern, in the end, plates are for conveying food. :). Thanks so much for visiting, Maura. xo
I love these plates! I think my favorite is the quail, not because it’s the prettiest plate but because of my childhood memories of my grandparents, who loved quail and taught me to call them with their “bob-white” whistle. The birds would actually answer, which of course thrilled a child like me. Thank you for sharing this pretty table, it brought back wonderful memories!
Did you ever read the Trixie Belden series as a child, Joy? They belonged to a club called the Bobwhites and would call to each other using the bobwhite whistle. China is about so much more than just plates, isn’t it?