Wednesday, March 6, 2013

St. Patrick, Shamrocks, and Dishware

I love history, and found St. Patrick's very fascinating.  He is the primary Patron [special guardian] Saint of Ireland, and is credited with bringing Christianity to the Emerald Isle.  But he wasn't actually Irish.  Born somewhere in western or northern Britain, he was captured from his home by pagan raiders and brought to Ireland as a slave when he was about 16.  After six years he escaped and returned to his family and became a monk.  Eventually he returned to Ireland as an ordained bishop to Christianize the country.  St. Patrick's Day is  the date of his death.

There is Irish genealogy in my family, so we always celebrate the holiday.  My mother's middle name is Rose, and she said her father always used to sing the song, "My Wild Irish Rose" to her.  ;-)  A couple of years ago when I was planning a St. Patrick's Day tea for her and her sister [my aunt], I couldn't resist buying a statue of St. Patrick for the tablescape.  I knew having St. Patrick's statue at the tea party would make them smile. [You can read about the tea party here.]  Ever since, I've brought him out of storage as the holiday approaches to add to the spirit of  St. Patty's Day.


When my mother moved into an assisted living apartment, she gave me the china trio sets that were in her china cabinet.  She never used them, they were just to look at and admire.  They've been stored in a tote which I finally unpacked today.  My mom's very proud of her Irish heritage, and this china trio was always special to her.  I might have given it to her as a gift years ago, but neither of us can remember for sure! ;-)  It will definitely be passed on to my daughter someday, and hopefully become a family heirloom.


Below is the backstamp. [Tara was the Irish name of the O'Hara plantation in the movie, Gone with the Wind.]


I was gifted with this 2-cup teapot and matching handle-less teacup, which I found quite interesting.  I had never seen a handle-less teacup previously.  


Below is the backstamp.  The pottery was founded in Carrigaline, County Cork, Ireland in 1928 and closed in 1979.


The next set of Shamrock China that I've acquired over the last few years is from HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls.  I'm sure many of you have seen it, as they carried the  mugs in this pattern this year.   The teapot is 3-cup, and it came in two different styles, but I liked this one the best.


It is backstamped Shannon Porcelain by I. Godinger & Company.


I managed to collect service for six [you have no idea how many stores I had to visit in order to get them!].  The set includes teacups and saucers, salad/dessert plates, large shamrock shaped plates [which I use as luncheon plates] and small shamrock plates [which I use as scone or muffin plates].  I also have a few accessory pieces such as a footed cake plate, a platter, a lemon dish, and a vase.


I was gifted with this shamrock mug.


It is backstamped Lefton China.


I usually get a shamrock plant [Oxalis] for St. Patrick's Day because I like its significance. Aside from being Ireland's symbol, it is said St. Patrick used the shamrock as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity.  Because its leaves form a triad, he felt the shamrock was proof of three in one.  He used it to illustrate the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate, but also a part of the same being.


9 comments:

  1. Love the pretty shamrock china, especially your mother's trio, and those shamrock plates!

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  2. How special that you have your mother's trio! It's beautiful but extra meaningful when you know the connection. I think I've seen more shamrocks on tea blogs this year than ever before -- and yes, it's definitely got me wanting some for myself! Now I just need to find a new Irish treat to make before St. Patrick's Day arrives!

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  3. I love all your shamrock china! Your mother's trio is very special! As you know I love trios, and I love shamrock china. What a treat for me to see your post this morining!

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  4. What a lovely collection of shamrock teaware. Love your statue too. How fun to have a shamrock plant each year. Does it count that we have clover thickly growing in our veggie garden right now. I keep trying to find a four leaf clover, but haven't found it yet. Happy Shamrock Day on the 17th!

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  5. You have a wonderful collection of shamrock dishes! How special to have your Mom's trio. Your tea party must have been so fun and so enjoyable to use the china this time of year to celebrate spring. I don't own any shamrock china so it was fun looking at your collection!
    Hugs....Nancy

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  6. Hi Phyllis,
    You have a wonderful collection of shamrock china. I too like the story of St. Patrick and I love how he used the significance of the leaves in relation to the Trinity. I am a wee bit Irish but Hubby is half Irish and very proud of it too. Thank you for sharing and coming to tea.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  7. What a great collection of shamocks! I have just one set I am saving for Tuesday Cuppa Tea's post/ I don't know which I like best!
    Ruth

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  8. What beautiful shamrock teacups and teapot, Phyllis. You have the ๐Ÿ€ of the Irish for sure!! Thanks for sharing your collection. I have a little teapot from the same pottery place in Ireland that I shared in my last tea post.

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  9. My little symbol in my comment was a shamrock, meaning luck. It didn't come through.

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