Black and white with cheerful touches of lemon yellow seemed just the ticket for a chilly January day.

I stumbled on this charming set of square luncheon plates on eBay when I was looking for additional pieces for my sparse collection of Maxcera’s Toile Bunny. 

Barnyard Toile by artist Elisabeth Trostli for Andrea by Sadek does indeed have a bunny. But as a marketing effort, the confusing set of attributions in the name is less than compelling. “Andrea by Sadek” is bad enough as a company name. Adding the name of the artist and the name of the pattern itself to the mix makes my hair hurt.

Striving to make sense of it all sent me down an internet rabbit hole. You may remember Andrea by Sadek from the elusive Lily of the Valley plates, of which I managed to cadge three, several years ago (also on eBay),

Andrea by Sadek was founded as the Charles Sadek Import Company in 1936 by Norman W. Sadek and his father, Charles. Unfortunately, of Charles, I could discover very little, but I did find Norman’s obituary online:

Norman W. Sadek, 92, founder of Andrea by Sadek, passed away peacefully Saturday, November 13, 2010, at his home in Hartsdale, NY. An industry pioneer, he founded the company with his father in 1936 as the Charles Sadek Import Company. After 40 years as the sole overseas buyer, he taught his craft to son Jim and daughters Andrea and Lauren, today’s leaders of Andrea by Sadek.

Ok. I’m beginning to understand the players, at least in the Sadek family, though I’m puzzled about Andrea’s presence in the corporate moniker. What happened to Jim and Lauren?

Now let’s turn our attention to the artist, Elisabeth Trostli, whose beguiling drawings have been incorporated into this charming country dinnerware.

There is little to be found about Elisabeth. Still, according to Visit Sarasota’s website, she “creates fantastical photographic collages, in amazing detail, using her own original hand-rendered illustrations, antique papers, exquisite embellishments, photography and geometrical fractals. A native Brazilian, she received her artistic education at the Rhode Island School of Design, majoring in Illustration.” Ok, I’ll bite. What is a fractal, precisely? Another mystery! But wait… says:

“A fractal is an object or quantity that displays self-similarity, in a somewhat technical sense, on all scales. The object need not exhibit exactly the same structure at all scales, but the same “type” of structures must appear on all scales.”

So now we know. Who says collecting tableware isn’t educational?

I can’t decide which of the plates are my favourite. Besides the bunny, who started this whole thing, we have the adorable pigs with the curious chick who seems to be saying, “Can you hurry it up? I’m hungry.”

The gleefully content expression on the lamb makes me long for spring.

And the basilisk glare of the hen is all too familiar to anyone who has raised chickens. “Get one step closer to my chicks and you’ll regret it.”

My collection of this pattern extends to the square luncheon plates, mugs, teapot and jug. Upon receiving the pieces, I realized that there were additional illustrations beyond the four on the plates. The jug sports a patient cow on one side

And a haughty rooster on the other.

The mugs hold a gaggle of geese…

and the friendly pig on his own. 

The hen’s gimlet gaze also greets us from a mug.

Can anyone tell that as a child, I read and reread Charlotte’s Web by author E B White, illustrated by Garth Williams, until the binding came apart? In fact, the drawings on this tableware are reminiscent of those by Garth Williams. He also illustrated the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, another series I read over and over.


But back to today’s table.

The dinner plates are by Pier 1; I’ve used them many times.

Most recently, with Halloween Dogs.

The rooster napkin rings fit right in with the barnyard crowd.

And the wheelbarrow open salts brought further farm flavour to the table (Pier 1).

The yellow juice glasses are Depression glass (1930-1933), in the  Minuet Yellow by Fostoria pattern. The mellow yellow shade coordinated well with the napkins and grudgingly tolerated the more exuberant tones of the jugs and flowers.

The cake stand you see lurking in the background holds Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins. Breakfast, anyone?

One ore look at our sunny side up table.

Have a lovely week, all.