Thursday, May 12, 2011

Franciscan Desert Rose

You could probably tell from my previous post that I have a thing for pink roses.  One of the most beautiful flowers in the world!  I love them in my garden.  And I love them inside my house too.

Franciscan, Desert Rose

I remembered seeing this pattern when I was a kid.   And I loved it!   So, several (15?) years ago I bought 6 place settings of this stoneware at a department store.    Then my Mom and I picked up a few vintage serving pieces.  That is when I discovered that the newer pieces made in England weren't as nice as the older ones from California. 

Franciscan Pottery (Gladding McBean Co) started making Desert Rose stoneware in 1941.  The dishes had a lovely raised relief rose design which was hand painted.  It proved to be a very popular pattern, so they still make it to this day.

BUT, it's not the same anymore.  After a series of mergers and sales, the American factory in Glendale California was closed.  Wedgewood bought the Franciscan line of dinnerware in 1984 and moved all production to England (and later to China).  The roses on the newer pieces don't have  as much of a raised feel, and I don't think the detail is the same either.   When you see them side by side, there is a very real difference.  

I still have the mix of new and old pieces, but I only buy the older ones now.  (I only purchase those that say California or USA on the backstamp.)

My large serving bowl was made before 1947.

This creamer and sugar were made after 1958.
My sherbet dishes were made about 1954.

It is really interesting to see how the backstamps changed over the years.  
And it helps to date your pieces. (Enlarge to see.)
(from Franciscan Marks brochure)

And speaking of roses,  this is what my"Nearly Wild" looks like today.
Lots more buds have opened up in the past two days.

Today I'm linking to Vintage Thingie Thursday  at The Colorado Lady.

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  1. That is one of their older patterns. It is very costly in the antique malls.

  2. This was so interesting. I guess it is more proof that they don't make things like they did in the "old days" ~ a favorite saying of my grandmother. Your collection is so pretty. laurie

  3. These are so lovely! The history is really interesting too. I love hearing about it. I don't have any of this companies dishes, but some day I will find some!

  4. Oh I love this pattern...thanks for the history.
    Hugs for a great day!

  5. When I was married in 93' Jim's family knew how I loved antiques and vintasge, so one of his Aunts gave us the Desert Rose tablecloth and napkins. I love it, but can't afford the Placesettings of the original dinnerware. I do have the same problem you do with vintage Mochaware..different makers.... much different glaze. I prefer Hull or Mccoy, but there is one less expensive maker that does go well without much difference.
    I'm so happy you cam by today. Hope you come back soon!

  6. That porcelain is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the photos and the useful information!

  7. I grew up near Glendale and have the original Desert Rose pattern. I saw some at Home Good last week and was surprised because the quality was so poor compared to mine. Thanks for sharing the history of these dishes. Your rose bush is beautiful and I'd like it for the middle of my table!

  8. these are beautiful! And wow in such great condition for being so old...It is just a delight to see treasures that were taken care of and still around for us to enjoy...Thanks for sharing the beauty today..Mica

  9. Oh your nearly wild rosebush is so wonderful!!! I wish I had one doing that - but nothing is blooming - it is rain rain raining - and cold.

    I have a huge set of Desert Rose - most of it came from my grandmother, she used it for her every day dishes. After we got boxes and boxes of it - I think about service for 10 - we got a few more vintage serving pieces to round it out. It still is one of my favorites. And I agree - the newer things are clunkier and not as pretty.

  10. My mother in law had the same Desert Rose dishes. She was also a china painter and loved to paint Wild Roses. Thanks for sharing your beautiful collection.

    Jocelyn @

  11. This stoneware is so lovely, the roses beautiful. You have such beautiful things in your house!!!!!!! Thanks for the history, very interesting the stamps. Whe i am on a 'brocante' for buying stoneware I immediately turn the dish to look at the stamp.
    ANd your rosebush is great.

  12. I remember those rose dishs well, I too had a set years ago, and some how miss placed them over the years in moving, they are adorable.

  13. Such a shame that quality always suffers. Your rose bush does match the dishes well though:@)

  14. Followed you back from my blog and now am following your blog! Have seen those dishes and loved learning more about them.

  15. I have a friend who collects this pattern and she says the same thing as you.
    Our wild roses are still just a dream up here - lots of leaf but no flowers. Like me, they're waiting on the sun.

  16. I am glad you pointed out that the new ones are different. I will now be looking for the same situation with other old favorites that may have been bought out..Thanks.

  17. What a lovely post. I had no idea the pattern had been altered. I will look when I see these dishes at antique stores to see if I can spot any differences.
    Have a lovely spring day......Denise

  18. I have always loved that pattern! I have the Franciscan Apply pattern in a coffee pot, tea pot and 4 dessert plates. I use them in the Fall.

  19. Gorgeous rose bush, Gayle! The Franciscan Rose is such a beautiful pattern. It is a shame that everything is being made in China these days.
    Did you get lots of rain last night? We got 3"+.

  20. What beautiful dishes. I love the rose pattern. So feminine and pretty.

  21. here is my link for cutting tshirt yarn, Hope it works maybe you could cut and paste it in your url, enjoy. Tink

  22. i saw you at another blog and had to come by for a visit...Garden of Daisies...cause i just got back from the nursey with....yellow daisies...and then i come here and see this..roses...i just posted my roses this morning...and my sister-in-law collects desert rose too...

    i really enjoyed my visit here today....

    all so pretty


  23. I love that pattern! It is so old fashioned and rustic looking. Your rose is gorgeous too.

  24. my dear aunt liz had a huge set of vintage franciscan desert rose. i know exactly what you mean about the vintage, vs. the newer production. i've always admired that pattern. it's gorgeous.

    have an excellent weekend, gayle.

  25. Those dishes are so pretty! Now, let's talk about your rose bushes! I love rose bushes, and I'm going to be adding some to my flower garden this summer, if we ever get summer! Huff!

  26. What an interesting post. You sure know your history of the stoneware. I love the rose design too. The rose bush is charming also.

  27. Very pretty dishes, I remember a friend in Bavaria had a very similar design which I always admired.
    Learning the history of the manufacturer is always fascinating too.

  28. Oh! They are lovely!
    I love pretty dishes.
    I have a old set of Wedgewood that I use for my fine china.
    My mother got the whole set at yard sale for 10 bucks!

  29. I adore this pattern, I registered for it as my wedding china and never got one piece I was so bummed. your collection is beautiful as is your bush!

  30. I grew up eating on Desert Rose! I wish I had the dinnerware today.

  31. I have seen that pattern before, but didn't know much about it. It sure is pretty and such a shame that the newer ones aren't as nice.
    Your roses are looking lovely.

  32. What gorgeous dishes! The pattern is beautiful and something you can really enjoy! ♥

  33. I love your china pattern! One of my friends has the entire set.

    I have found the same problem with The Irish Belleek china, The older pieces are more delicate and have more raised paterns, the newer pieces are not as nice.

  34. Beautiful china!
    Sorry we've let you down over here with the newer inferior china - i feel kind of embarrassed and guilty!!!
    Have never seen this design before but can see why you love it.
    Your roses look lovely!
    Gill xx

  35. So nice to have stumbled upon your blog. Lovely Desert was the chosen china in our wedding registry 20 years ago! I have full settings for 8, the completer set and on the lookout for unique pieces. Thanks for sharing the history of such a classic design. Have a lovely day :-)

  36. I was so surprised to see this pattern on your blog. I found you by way of Bluebird notes...

    My great Grandma had these and when she died at 106 and a half my mother received these dishes and she loves them. I will always remember all the special times we had together when I see these dishes. Thanks for the information.
    Kimberly S.

  37. My early collecting story is much the same as yours, except my nmother originally poo-poo'ed my choice by telling me, "Everyone's grandmother had that china." heeheehee. She bought me my first four place settings, and my husband said maybe he could live with it for a while. That was almost 21 years ago!

    I recently designed some fabric to make pillows for my kitchen benches:

    After my samples come in, these will be for sale on the site!

    Post a picture of your desert rose kitchen, and I'll post mine, OK?


THANK YOU for your thoughtful comments. Replies to your questions will be posted here, so be sure to check back soon. Have a wonderful day! - Gayle, Garden Of Daisies