The 1950s gave us some gems in tableware, and Wakefield by Johnson Brothers is one of them. It made its debut in 1952 and sung its swan song in 1965, just as the rocking 60’s really got going.
A cheerful floral chintz pattern on a creamy white background, it conjures up images of wholesome meals eaten in the garden, served up by Harriet Nelson or Jane Wyatt, swishing around in their full skirts.
It goes with practically any flower, but the lilacs were begging to be picked, so purple it was! Who could resist?
Add in some vintage amethyst American Lady iced tea glasses by Fostoria and we were cooking with gas (in our full skirts). The stemware is from the same era – produced between 1948 and 1964. They were made for each other!
They’re very similar to the rich green Colonial Dame, also by Fostoria, that I’ve used in several tables including here, and here.
The slightly ribbed scalloped edge trails into the shoulder of the Wakefield plate, dividing it into eight subtle sections, each with a central floral motif. A floral feast for the eyes.
I’ve collected pieces slowly, mostly through eBay, where the pattern comes up fairly frequently at very good prices. There are a lot of quirkily shaped serving pieces, too, but so far I’ve confined myself to dinner and salad plates.
With so much colourful activity happening on the plates, I stuck with plain sage green napkins (Pier 1 calls them Olive Green Twill Chambray – currently on clearance) and vintagey looking “spoon” napkin rings from Pottery Barn, years ago. The pewter coloured flatware is Danieli from World Market.
Another peek at the lilacs. Happy sigh… I can just smell them. Heavenly!
The Greenhouse Metal galvanized pitcher was a steal from Christmas Tree Shops. The height combined with the narrow neck makes it perfect for holding top-heavy stems of lilac. It can be had for the princely sum of $9.99. Free shipping, too!
The Woven Banana Bark placemats are new this year from Pier 1 (currently on sale if you’re interested). They’re much sturdier than I expected, and pack quite a heft. I liked the neutral colour and the visual interest on the rim.
They’re fairly large at 16″ diameter, so will work with even big, modern 11″ plates. Fun for the summer, and I loved the “Banana Bark” name. (small things amuse small minds, I know…)
The lilacs were at their peak when they joined the tablescape. The extended cool spring in the Cape has allowed their buds to develop fully, and they’re just gorgeous.
It’s very hard to beat spring for pure fragrance luxury.
I’ll leave you with one last picture.
Have a good day, dear readers.
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.
So pretty and springy. Those plates make spring come alive and of course the lilacs. Mine are in full bloom all over my garden and I can’t get enough of their perfume. What a pity they’re not endless summer along with my hydrangeas. Warm weather has finally arrived on CC. Happy Spring
You’re so right about the longing to have lilacs be endless summer… Wouldn’t it be marvellous if they were repeat bloomers? I’ve been eyeing the lilacs here in Canada and they’re puny! Very flabby looking. Quite disappointing after the jumbo blooms in the Cape.
Oh! How I miss lilacs! And they are perfect with your simple, spring setting. And who could pass up all the colors of purple?
Thanks Sandra! I’m sorry you’re without lilacs . I take it you live in a warmer climate?
As usual, your setting beats any for sophistication and simplicity, letting the flowers take centre stage. We had record-breaking warmth in the valley in April, so the season started early and ended quickly. (Normally the snowy breeze keeps them fresh for many days.) But for a brief time, the neighborhood was awash in their perfume, as every other yard seems to have at least one, and they are allowed to grow 15 feet tall! You can’t give them away ’round here. This year my new addition will be Mme Lemoine, a single white dwarf I had in Alsace and loved. Must add amethyst glasses to my search list. I’d like to see you pick out that blue in the plates with your Fostoria eerie electric-blue glasses! With a mass of Mme Lemoine, that would be a sight. I use a pewter stein to hold mine…perfect size, diameter, and heft to stand up to their heavy heads.
Oh, how marvellous that must be. Fifteen foot lilacs, all billowing with perfume. White lilacs are my favourite, too. We have too much shade in Canada, but I plan to add one to the garden in the Cape (rather than wander around trying to find a “wild” one to pilfer blooms from). I’ll investigate Mme Lemoine. Thanks for the suggestion. A pewter stein would be the perfect vessel, especially for a lower arrangement.
Such a beautiful setting. I love the plates, they are so perfect for Spring and those lilacs with it’s fragrance must be a delight to the scent and to the eye.
I have an antique tea set in pewter and I must use the teapot as a vessel.
Great idea on the teapot, Fabiola. It would provide a lovely base, and just the right height. Thanks for dropping in!