Sunday, December 28, 2014
For years this pattern has evoked childhood memories of visiting my Grandpa and Grandma Cook. It wasn't a pattern I would choose for my own everyday dishware, but Grandma loved it and Grandpa made sure she always had a full set.
When Grandma died just before Thanksgiving, I knew the only memento I would ever need was one piece of Franciscan Desert Rose. I learned about back-stamping and the history of the pattern before looking for a piece. Grandma started her collection in the 1950s, and probably hadn't gotten replacements since the 1990s, so I knew I wanted to find something within that time frame. It turns out the company started it in the 1940s in California, going through a couple of company changes before being sold to Wedgwood in the mid 1980s. Manufacturing moved to England until 2003, when Wedgwood sold and manufacturing relocated to China.
As with most vintage items, the older pieces are the most valuable. I was able to collect cups and saucers dating from the 1950s to 1980s. Each daughter received a cup and saucer. I kept eight so I could have a full set. I found serving bowls from the 1960s from my brother who had a special relationship with Grandma. I received the 1958-1965 range sugar bowl and creamer for Christmas. The teapot was a fabulous find. It is in great condition, but is obviously well-loved by a previous owner. It is dated March, 1947.
Now on my counter top, the tea set always reminds me of my Grandma whose love language was acts of service, whose refrigerator was always stocked with Pepsi, and whose pantry always had a few of my favorite cookies tucked away.