Thursday, March 10, 2011

Collecting Vintage Franciscan Ware...

 Featuring today my vintage Apple pattern Tea Service

Be forewarned that it can be addicting!!! I started collecting Vintage Franciscan Ware about ten years ago when I discovered it on Ebay. I started with the Apple pattern which is one of their most popular releases. When I was a little girl my mother had Fiesta Ware which I truly loved and our family friends mother collected Franciscan Ware Apple. I fell in love with these dishes at six years old! I loved eating at their home because I knew whatever it was would be served on these dishes. She had everything, the mixing bowls, tumblers, casserole dishes, etc. They were so beautiful! 

 The hand painted vibrant colors are still so vivid no fading after 71 years. This Teapot was fired in 1940 when the pattern was first released. I got it off of Ebay for $35 eight years ago. It's one of my price pieces.

Franciscan Ware originated in Glendale, CA at the Gladding, McBean Co. back in 1934. The most famous patterns of this period was Apple, 1940 and Dessert Rose 1942. The inspiration behind the dinnerware was the American Southwest earthenware style Pottery. The name was created from the Franciscan monks who reflected the simple, informal lifestyle and belonged to California.  This vintage dinnerware is still very collectible today. I say the vintage is because the company was sold to England in the early 80's and was massed produced and no longer hand painted. Comparing the new to the vintage is very telling. The colors of the new editions are not nearly as vibrant or vivid. The dinnerware itself doesn't really feel like pottery. 


My collection is very precious to me for a few reasons; it reminds of my childhood and happy times, I love the fact that it is Californian. I have been raised and still live in Southern California and last but not least the pattern makes for such a beautiful table setting.

If you are thinking about collecting this dinnerware the best place at the best price is on Ebay. Estate sales are great as well, but often very expensive like the Antique stores. You need to be very careful of the back stamp on the bottom of the plate. Hand Made in California needs to be stamped on bottom. or Gladding McBean, Co. If it says it's made in England it is not Vintage and was made after 1959. True collectible Franciscan Ware Apple or Dessert Rose was all produced before 1959, preferably in 1940's. When shopping on Ebay always make sure the seller shows the back stamp on bottom of item, if not email and ask for picture before purchasing. 

 This is an example of a correct vintage 1940 era back stamp. You can see all the components; Hand painted, Made in California, and Gladdings, McBean.
I use this dinnerware often for Sunday dinners, but in particular for Thanksgiving. This Apple pattern is absolutely gorgeous with the table set in the fall colors. My children and grandchildren love.

This beautiful pitcher was the very first piece I purchased for my collection off of Ebay. This particular piece was fired in 1942.

I am still collecting pieces and branching out to new patterns. I so far have collected a service of 12 dinner, salad, dessert plates, 12 berry bowls and sundry of serving pieces. I collected some in lots of 4 but mostly just one or two pieces at a time. I am now currently expanding my Dessert Rose pattern.

I hope you enjoyed this informal history on Franciscan ware, I would love to hear your thoughts!! 

Great Nora Roberts Giveaway going on over at my book blog
All Things Royal!

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  1. Still just gorgeous, my mom had the Desert Rose and I always loved it. Thanks so much for linking up with VIF!

  2. Great post on some BEAUTIFUL dishes...thanks for the background on it, too...I see it all the time in the antique stores - now I know, too! Happy Thursday - Tanya

  3. My mother had this pattern -- I don't know what exactly happened to it --- perhaps it didn't survive 4 children. How wonderful that you've been able to collect so much of it.

  4. Following back! Come to think of it, Grandma has a bunch of Franciscanware, too! I love all the vivid colors and patterns it comes in! has a line of vintage inspired Italian pottery with a Franciscan feel to it. Some was in the clearance section...if you use the coupon code SPRING 15 you'll get an extra 15% off! (not sure when it expires...) Have a happy Friday! (I'm having a rainy floody Friday!)

  5. I love this pattern too! You really have a nice pattern of Franciscanware. That is one of my favorites. Happy VTT!

  6. Ohhhhh...I LOVE seeing this pattern. My very best friend's mother had this (and I spent TONS of time at their house). This reminds me of using this with them!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. So nice to meet another Downtown Abbey fan, too. I just watch some of it again last night (my husband bought me the DVD-sweet Brit that he is). Love your choices of music in your profile as well. I'll be back!!!! ;-)

  7. Very pretty.. I had never seen them before.. I can see why you are addicted to them.. lovely.

  8. What a gorgeous vignette! Juxtapostion at its very best.

    I am having an antique auction on my blog. All sorts of lovely and romantic finds looking for a new home. I hope you'll stop by.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  9. Beautiful collection! I don't think I've ever seen these before. Thanks for sharing your information and linking up.

  10. A beautiful collection. I have about 60 pieces of Desert Rose, which I love. Thanks for sharing.

  11. What a lovely collection! I know only too well how addicting collecting vintage dinnerware can be, but oh what fun!

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  13. Great collection and lovely table. I am another addicted to collecting dishes!

  14. What a wonderful collection! Thank you for sharing your lovely design and the history of the Apple pattern. Cherry Kay

  15. Love your collection~ my mom has a whole cupboard full of Franciscan ware from back in the day ;) that was her grandmothers- it is so pretty! Thanks for sharing at FNF! :)

  16. I have the Desert Rose pattern, that I bought about 14 years ago. Of course they are not vintage, but I love them because they remind me of my Mom. You are so right that the new one are not as nicely made as the vintage ones.

  17. Very Nice Informative blog. The knowledge you are providing is really very helpful to me and it’s very helpful for the beginners too.

    fiesta dinnerware