My life-long friend, Sandy, not only enjoys going to tea parties with me, she likes going antiquing with me too. Last May when we attended the Victorian Festival in Romeo, Michigan, we went to Kane's Town Hall [an antique mall in the same city] where I spotted a teapot that was similar to the everyday dishes my mother used when I was growing up. My mom got the dishes at A & P grocery store. The teapot was inexpensive so I purchased it.
The teapot is the Colonial Homestead pattern series manufactured by Royal China USA. The pattern my mother had was the Old Curiosity Shop series also made by Royal China. The transferware patterns are easily interchangeable, and since the dishes have no markings, they are sometimes confused with each other. The dishes are durable and pottery-like, rather than delicate and china-like.
Now fast forward to this past November when Sandy and I visited Jeffrey's Antique Mall in Findlay, Ohio. I saw a creamer and sugar bowl in the Old Curiosity Shop pattern, and debated about getting it, but then passed it by.
When Sandy and I got together last Saturday to attend the Chinese New Year's tea, she gave me my birthday present which was the sugar and creamer.
Now I have a three-some, and will be looking for a couple of cups and saucers to go with it, and will stop my collection there.
It took me awhile to track down the patterns, as well as the history of Royal China USA, which is no longer in business. The company was started in 1934 in Sebring, Ohio, with the intent of producing dinnerware premiums for grocery stores and gas stations, as well as souvenir items. The dinnerware patterns were in groups called "series," which varied from year to year. Currier and Ives was the most popular of their many patterns.
Colonial Homestead was introduced in the early 1950's and was still being sold by Sears catalog in the late 1960's. Old Curiosity Shop was sold primarily during the 1950's.
While I'm not collecting the complete set, it is fun having a few pieces like the dishes used when I was growing up. It's reminds me of a sign I once saw - "Nostalgia sells!" ;-) Anyone else grow up with these dishes??