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).
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.