Monday, November 12, 2012

Spode Love

"I have a little blue plate with a crinkled edge that old Mr. Bullis of East River gave me after his wife died. John likes an apple in the evening and I always put it on that blue plate. I have a feeling of richness every time I use it. It makes us part of so many lives--using these things."
                  From No Trumpet Before Him by Nelia Gardner White

I only have one piece of china from my mother's early years of housekeeping as she had no heirloom bits and pieces handed down through her family. It is a Fiesta teapot in a rose color, and its lid is not Fiesta but a marriage of blue. Mama might not have inherited sets of china or family silver but over the decades she did develop "dish love." She passed this love down to her four daughters. I know I have inherited an especially bad case of dish love, and I suspect many of you out there have it too. I admire the table settings in blogs daily, drool over them, have tried to learn from then but am a nervous wreck about showing my own attempt.

The china pattern below is not especially designed for autumn tables but more for spring and summer:

R.H. and I chose the Copeland-Spode Blue Bird for our wedding china, and a Fostoria pattern for our crystal that I have forgotten the name of (and we rarely use it now as the edge is so thin, instead using a sturdier pattern).

Our wedding silver is Wallace's La Reine.

Over the years we have added other lovely patterns of Spode, some of which we don't even know the name. But the Blue Bird remains my favorite and I keep it handy in a glass-fronted kitchen to enjoy often. Here is how I use it for a more casual setting for spaghetti night:

With all of the lovely blogs devoted to tablescaping, many of them often featuring Spode, this next bit of information may be a shocker.

We have one daughter and three daughters-in-law and only one of them has the least bit of interest in inheriting our Spode china!

That boggles the mind of this Spode Lover even when I understand that young women have different tastes than I do, taste that doesn't include Spode. Our oldest son's wife is the only one who likes my Spode china so I gave her my pieces of Spode's Billingsley Rose a couple of Christmases ago. Six plates in mint condition that we bought decades ago and a couple of ones I bought on eBay recently that turned out to be faded. (Please don't put your Spode through the dishwasher!) I also gave her the set of butter pats in Billingsley Rose, quite old and cute as can be. I was tempted to hold onto them but overcame that stingy notion. She collects pink willow ware  and had always admired my Billingsley  Rose so I knew the Spode would mix wonderfully with them.

Below shows how I used the Billingsley Rose for one of three tables at one daughter-in-law's bridesmaids luncheon here at Valley View.

But our Blue Bird? Several years ago I asked our son Defee to promise that he would keep our wedding china for a possible future granddaughter when we were no longer here. I know that as soon as that happens all our Spode will go on the auction block and I won't be able to do a blasted thing about it, will I?

He agreed to save it for a granddaughter although the hope of one seemed slim at the time as we had four amazing grandsons, all of them grown up. Then last Thanksgiving Day,  R.H. and I received a phone call--our youngest son and his wife were expecting their first child! The best Thanksgiving Day gift ever!

A couple of months later we had a florist delivery.

The beautiful arrangement was surprise enough, but when we opened the card to see who it could be from we received an even greater surprise. It was from Defee and Wallace and the card read:

           "It's a Girl!"

Think of that! I wonder if our sweet granddaughter will someday fall in love with Mimi's Copeland-Spode Blue Bird? Will she succumb to dish love?


  1. I'm sure our baby girl will gladly accept your wedding china one day. You will have to teach her proper etiquette for setting a table. All she will learn in our house is how to set Fiesta plates and paper towels for napkins. I'm sure we have several years of sippy cups and plastic plates, with Buddy the grey cat eating all of her dropped / thrown food off the floor. Of course, that is when he is not on top of the table eating off her plate. Any blogs out there on how to train an old stubborn cat?

  2. Why Defee, you and Wallace serve wonderful meals on those Fiesta plates and that's what matters. Those years of sippy cups will go by all too fast, but I love thinking about that baby girl helping me set the table some day. I think you better give up on training that cat, cats have a way of training their people instead!

    And can you believe that I forgot to include a picture of our meal on the Blue Bird china? Only spaghetti but I did rush to put it on the plates before my camera man got tired.

  3. What a cute story about the Spode passing to a future...(not anymore)..Granddaughter! Long before I knew anything about Spode or transferware I had a teapot in the Bluebird pattern. I enjoyed reading your post! Thanks for sharing, Nancy

    1. Thank you so much! Blue Bird is cheerful. I once had the Blue Bird teapot. One Christmas our oldest son badly needed a Christmas gift for his girlfriend's aunt, who had been so nice to him. The aunt collected teapots so I gave him mine to give her. He married the girlfriend and I like to think of it being in her aunt's collection. Her aunt is Crystal Gayle. Super nice lady!

  4. That Blue Bird pattern is delightful! And I'm sure your grand-daughter will grow to love your collection - especially if you give such beautiful tea parties as these pictures show!

  5. I'm happy you like the Blue Bird! And the beautiful tea set shown with the teacup is by way of England. Whoever knew that stainless steel could be so pretty? And the little mustard pot in the center has its tiny spoon. I'm assuming that mustard was for the little sandwiches served with tea and not for the tea itself?

    I have enjoyed your blog so much since I discovered you through your interview with the beautiful Pamela and handsome Edward. You make even plumbing problems sound interesting enough for a book!

  6. I love your tea parties..Blue-Bird pattern is my favorite!! your grand daughters are lucky lucky girls... I would love that collection any day..

  7. I'm so glad you love Blue Bird! And I love your darling blog Highheels and Daffodils! Will be looking at more there soon as I'm curious about a young woman who loves Blue Bird!

  8. Oh my gosh!! Who could not love and want anything by Spode? I just see the name and have to have it. ha. Hopefully your new little girl will love it.


    1. I know, Judy, hard to believe. I hope she will. I know I'd love to have anything of my grandmother's now. I do have the rolling pin of another grandmother that my grandfather carved himself. I treasure it.


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