I am going to take a little break from my regular posts to share something that makes me really happy, vintage dishware! I bought my first set of vintage dishes at Goodwill on Fairview & University about four years ago. When I saw them, I didn’t know why but I just had to have them so in the cart they went, and shortly after they went up on the wall in my old dining room. Those same four plates now hang above the window in my kitchen in our new house and I still love them to this day.
For the past four months I have been hitting up thrift stores (mostly with my friend Brooke but sometimes on my own, too) on a very regular basis on the hunt for cool and unique mid-century items for our new house. And now that I have the space, my love for vintage dishes has blossomed into a pretty nice collection if I do say so myself. At first, I just bought things that I thought were pretty and looked mid-century in style. Now, I’ve started researching the various designs so I know more about the manufacturers and what they’re worth. And while none of the items in my collection will make me rich, they are all worth far more than I paid for them.
First up, my original set of four dinner plates. These are made by International Ironstone in Salem, England. They are the “Whimsy” pattern. I have only had these four plates until last week, when three small bowls joined my collection!
Next, we have Taylor-Smith-Taylor’s Versatile TST 117 pattern. I first discovered a coffee pot/teapot in this style while at a Goodwill in Rochester. It was in mint condition and I was immediately in love (the pink and turquoise combo got me). Then, I hit up Savers right down the street and found SIX matching teacups with saucers in great shape!! I was so excited to buy these babies. Now, last week when I was at Savers in Bloomington, I found eight dinner plates, three small bowls, and a gorgeous serving platter in this pattern! I was SO excited. Finding these items one by one at different stores is such a high!
Next, I have another set of Taylor-Smith-Taylor plates in “Modern Star”. I love anything and everything starburst. So far I have five of these dinner plates but I’m sure I’ll find more pieces to add to this line.
This pattern is the Taylor-Smith-Taylor Fortune design. I found my first set of dessert plates in this pattern at Goodwill a few months ago and fell in love with the color combo. I added to my collection last week when I stumbled across three small bowls with this same pattern.
Here is another Taylor-Smith-Taylor design, this one is called Windmere. I bought these from the Mall of St. Paul Antique Store earlier this summer before I got smart and realized that I could find these at thrift stores for a much better price. In general, I never buy things from Antique stores anymore. Way too expensive for this thrifty girl! (Plus I like the thrill of the hunt).
I also have a set of bone china made by Johnson Brothers in England. The pattern is a blue wheat “Snow White”. This has a different feel to it than the TST plates. It is more delicate and very pretty. I have a TON of this (probably 12 or more dinner plates, salad plates, and dessert plates). I was lucky to find this entire set at Goodwill and you won’t even believe what a deal I got.
I bought this little baby at Arc’s Value village in St. Paul last week. The shape and colors drew me to it and I was pretty certain it was mid-century, but the brand was not marked so I wasn’t sure. When I got home, I researched it and it is in fact mid-century, from the early 1960s, made by, you guessed it, Taylor-Smith-Taylor. No wonder I gravitated towards it. At .50 it was a steal and I’m very happy it’s mine!
I must have not been feeling well because I almost passed on buying these four vintage teacups in mint condition! I haven’t found the pattern name or maker yet, but they could be TST, I’m not sure. I love the pattern and the shape of the handles!
I also have a full set of dishes in the Blue Heaven pattern by Royal China. I love this classic mid-century design. I initially found four salad plates in this pattern a few weeks ago, but then I scored a full set of dinner plates, tea cups & saucers, and some small bowls yesterday during Valu Village’s Columbus Day Sale. I got a major deal on these!
As for glasses, I have been collecting these blue goblets. I don’t know anything about them but I just liked them. I have 12 of them now in mint condition. They look so good with all of the plate sets and will look wonderful when I set my Thanksgiving table this year. (and yes, that Is a tail of a cat in the background, my fluffy black cat named Renzie to be exact).
And here is probably the best for last. This entire Mid-Centruy starburst pattern coffee/teapot collection complete with pot, sugar dish, creamer, two cups and two saucers/plates in an amoeba shape. LOVE these!! I scored this entire set at Arc’s Value Village in Richfield. They are made in Japan by Arita. I have not found out much about them but I think these could actually be worth something!
So there you have it. My vintage dishware collection that I could stare at for hours. I love the fact that all of my sets are interchangeable and will add a lot of interest and character to my dining room table during dinner parties. And, while I LOVE all of these patterns, I have a list of others that I am keeping my eye out for. Someday, I will share my mid-century hutch that I store and display all of these in! Also stay tuned for an update on more of my thrifting adventures and photos of my other vintage love: Pyrex!
How about you? What is your favorite thing to hunt for when you’re thrifting? What is the best treasure you’ve found? What places around the cities (or greater MN) do you like to hit up? Please, do tell!!