I picked up this plate somewhere back in Texas, intrigued by the lovely shape and colorful design. For years, it was displayed on an easel on the buffet. The move to Mississippi took its toll on a lot of things, due to lack of space mostly. A few years ago, while hanging shelves in the living room, items fell off of the shelves in the dining room due to vibrations. This chop plate and my Mother’s 1947 teapot were casualties. I glued the handle back on the teapot, but retired it from use. Call me eccentric, but I kept the plate even though the broken pieces were too small and damaged to attempt to reattach them. I kept thinking I would use it in a project of some sort. I once covered the top of a small table with bits of broken china in a mosaic design, after I saw it in a magazine. In the process of continuing to clear the kitchen, I was again confronted: throw it away, allow it to continue to take up space, or repurpose/reuse.
According to several resources I located, the ship back stamp was begun in 1930, but changed by 1940. The shape of the design was indicated below the manufacture date (37-1), but pattern names did not begin until the late 1940s. Knowles himself, president of the company, died in 1943. The Art Deco-Modern Yorktown design was first introduced in an ivory body, with colors added later. The decals were added mid-1936.
A similar pattern in the Yorktown was Knowles’ ‘Penthouse’ design, with an additional shorter orange line on the side tabs. An alternate edition of flower pots was manufactured that featured solid orange tabs with narrow black lines between the ridges of the tab, giving it a really elegant Art Deco look.
I confess (as noted above) to being a bit eccentric around things which appeal to me. No one makes me get rid of things or forces me to keep them. If I like it, and it is functional or beautiful to me, that is all the reason I need. When I set out on this quest to pass the valued family heirlooms on to my nieces to enjoy now, that was to me the right thing to do to ensure they were not at some point in the future lost in the dustbins of the past.
My four nieces and my great-niece are sentimental about our family heirlooms and their history. All 4 had the luxury of growing up with not only their grandparents, but their great-grandparents, great aunts and uncles and hearing many of the stories connected with them. They want these tangible things, and just as my grandmothers and mother passed many of them on to me while I could enjoy them, I want to do that now for my nieces–“give them their flowers now.”
There are only 4 more dish items to pack of the family history. Then it is on to the jewelry and textiles. Somehow, that seems a loving and appropriate thing to do. A thrift shop plate with a broken edge? I might make jewelry…or a mosaic…or, I might just put it on display in my renovated kitchen where it will not match the color and smile when I walk past it…kind of like Grandma’s painted sherbet dishes.