It wouldn’t be fall without a Game Bird table. Especially one that features ducks. Mallard ducks.
Enter Mason’s Game Birds. In green, as opposed to the polychrome version, which is also lovely, and easier to lay your hands on. But for this table, let’s focus on the six beautifully rendered birds in the unusual green colour. I got mine from eBay and Etsy, as Replacements had none of the plates in stock, just the covered vegetable tureen (more on that in a minute). These particular plates were made post-1952, judging from the mark on the back, and I suspect they’re from the 1980s. If you’re interested in the history of Mason’s, you might want to visit the Strathmore Blue blog from earlier this year.
Here we have The Snipe or Gallinago coelestis, as the plate notes on the back.
The pheasant is easy to recognize. His Latin name is Phasianus colchicus.
The Snipe (Gallinago coelestis).
The Quail, or Coturnix communis.
The Red Grouse, or Lagopus scoticus,
And lastly, the Partridge, though the plate description is quite dismissive, describing him as “the Common Patridge”. Clearly my mind was elsewhere because I didn’t get him in situ. Happily, Replacements has a photo on their site, though none in stock.
And here they are in all their glory.
The piece de resistance in this set was the aforementioned covered vegetable bowl, and that’s what lead me to the pattern in the first place. I had come across the two fortuitous tureens for the Apple Blossom by Ridgway table and happened upon this one for Mason’s Game Birds. Oh, happy day!
Not only does it have lovely birds on the lid (Snipe, I believe), but there is also an entirely different engraving on the inside of the dish itself. I thought they were puffins at first, but apparently they’re The King-Eider, or Somateria specatabilis (Linnaeus). Eider, as in Eiderdown, a marvellous old-fashioned word for what we now call a duvet. My grandparents had a puffy, burgundy coloured silk eiderdown under which I used to snuggle whenever I was lucky enough to be invited for a sleepover. Light as a feather, it floated on my little frame, keeping me warm as toast. Pure heaven for a little girl more accustomed to being weighted down with itchy wool blankets (probably army issue, knowing my father).
On to the accoutrements. Richly coloured napkins from April Cornell took a starring role in pulling this table together. They’re Gorgeous Garden and now discontinued (rats).
I picked them up on the Attic sale earlier this year. A tablecloth and pillow cover are still available. The bittersweet napkin rings are from Pier 1 last year and used previously here and here.
The centrepiece was easy. Plonk down the very forgiving burlap runner from Save on Crafts. Start with pumpkins from the grocery and a set of flameless candles in varying sizes from Amazon (complete with remote control – I feel like Dumbledore when plying the remote). Fill the remaining space with snips of Annabelle Hydrangea from the garden, a few silk leaves and small dried pumpkins (a vase filler from Pottery Barn several years ago).
Voila! You’re done.
The glasses are the unidentified wheel cut set from Elise Abrams antiques. I use them a great deal.
Little pumpkin salt & pepper pots added to the pumpkin ambiance.
I set this table the day before we used it, so I had the opportunity to take some photos at night, while the candles were lit and before the whole thing got destroyed.
Sigh. Yes, Dundee, who loves nothing better than to delicately lift the hydrangea off the table and toss it to the floor, where he and Clementine bat it around making a huge mess.
It vacuums up pretty easily, though. And there’s plenty more in the garden to replenish the decor. Price of pets!
As an aside, I found some adorable egg cups in green transferware at Replacements, when I was picking up the covered vegetable tureen. This pattern is Stratford Stage Green by Meakin. I’m dying to set a breakfast table using the egg cups and the Mason’s Gamebird set. Perhaps a Hunt Breakfast with Peameal Bacon Hash in the covered tureen, some waffles on the side, and dippy-do eggs, of course! Next year…
One last shot of the table.
Are all my American friends set for Thanksgiving? We are hoping to be in the Cape to enjoy the festivities. I love the Cape in the autumn, all decked out in its fall glory. As well, I need to get my little Mini back down there, pronto, to reclaim her winter tires. Winter has hit earlier than usual this year, and we had another dusting of snow yesterday. Mini was very cross with me as I slid all over the place on our greasy streets. “Where are my winter boots?” she demanded. “This careering about on my summer sandals is ridiculous. And dangerous.” Amen to that!
This past weekend found us at the Omni Grove Park Inn, participating in Victoria Magazine’s Christmas at The Biltmore conference. I attended the conference, Glenn got a bunch of computer work done while enjoying the gorgeous scenery and delicious food. The Grove Park reminded me forcibly of Kellerman’s from Dirty Dancing, and with good reason. It turns out it was filmed at a resort very close to Grove Park. The conference was loads of fun, with presentations from April Cornell, Kathryn Greeley, and Jan Karon. They all spoke beautifully, and it was wonderful to get a glimpse of the personalities behind their “brands”, as the soulless expression goes. Jan Karon, in particular, is absolutely delightful. I hadn’t realized the Mitford Series carried on to 14 books, so downloaded the last two in the series, which I hadn’t yet read. What a treat!
Enjoy the weekend, everyone!
I”m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.
Such an apropos setting for this time of year – ducks, pheasants, quails, etc in all their glory being displayed by the master table setter. The covered vegetable bowl is so beautiful and almost too pretty to use. You’ve blended everything beautifully together once again. Well done!
Thank you, Maura! Given that I am not a fan of blood sports AT ALL, my fascination with game bird sets is very contrarian. 🙂 But they seem so right for fall! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Take care! HK
Beautiful table and your description of the various designs. A true education!
Thanks, Maureen. The plates all had that full description on the back. It made me wish I knew more Latin. Where is my mother when I need her?
This is gorgeous Helen! I love the rarer green design – it really works with your table. And honestly, your crystal! I was swooning! 🙂 Happy Almost American Thanksgiving to you! Glad you’ll be here to celebrate.
I have similar wine glasses in both the Cape and Canada, but the water glasses are only in Canada. They’re the most pleasing shape out of which to drink. The glass itself is quite sturdy, surprisingly enough. We use them all the time.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Can’t wait to see what else you come up with on your site!
Such a lovely table, I adore any kind of transfer ware and this pattern really sets a perfect Autumn table. I refuse to look at any Christmas anything as time flies fast enough without pushing things so forward. Have a lovely holiday with your beautiful table setting!
Thanks, Sandi. I’m growing increasingly fond of transfer ware, myself.
All the best to you and yours for a marvellous Thanksgiving!
What a wonderful post! I loved the story about Dundee and Clementine! No photo of the carnage?
I also loved your comment about Dumbledore. If they made the remotes wand-shaped they’d sell a ton of them. We have some of those candles and they reduce the stress that live-flames-on-the-table create (for me). I just ordered more of them.
Yes, I’m working on Thanksgiving now, and using many of your “tricks” to set the table. Thanks for all the help you didn’t know you were providing.
You’re so lucky to have attended the event at the Grove Park Inn! We visit Asheville every Christmas (in-laws live there) and love both the Grove Park Inn and the Biltmore, but there’s no way DH would have sprung for another trip there so close to Christmas. I’m living vicariously through you.
Isn’t the Mini Cooper a wonderful car? I’ve had three of them. Gave up the last one when we moved to New England as it wasn’t good in the winter (no, not even the Countryman cut the mustard). I have a Jeep now and feel much safer.
We are big Harry Potter fans in our family. My granddaughter Maddie received a Harry Potter wand as a gift a few months ago. Very popular! They’re quite magical. You’re so right about the remotes. Can you imagine the soaring sales of flmelsss candles packaged with wand shaped remotes? I have visions of adults waving wands over table settings and outdoor lanterns. On, off, on off. All for the fun of it!
We love the Mini Cooper. Like you, I’ve had several, and am due for another one soon, as this one is now 10 years old. It will live out its natural life as a runaround in the Cape. We rented a Countryman when we were in Asheville, actually. It was as steady as a rock, which turned out to be a good thing because we had snow on the last day when we were leaving for the airport. Even in North Carolina! Geez, the weather has been weird this year.
Enjoy your week, Barb. Good luck with all the Thanksgiving dinner prep!
Wondering how much you paid for the covered vegetable tureen. My mom has the same one and we were wondering what it was worth
I can’t remember what I paid for it, but one way to check current pricing is to go to Replacements.com and see if they have one in stock. That will give you one indicator. Also, you might check e-Bay to see what they’ve got listed and if there are none available, create a search and ask to be notified if any come available.