A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal had a piece about Lettuce Ware, about which I was vaguely aware. Apparently, C.Z. Guest collected it and had tons of pieces of all sorts. This is some of her collection in her kitchen.
As you might expect, pieces like Lettuce Ware were produced in England during the 18th and 19th centuries. Doesn’t it seem like one of those things that Victorians would love? Of course, around the same time, Majolica from Portugal and Spain started coming into fashion as well, but it wasn’t as realistic as the English pieces.
American potteries such as Wanopee, a no-longer-existing Connecticut company, and Dodie Thayer, from Florida, produced Lettuce Ware. The Duchess of Windsor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Brooke Astor were all collectors of Dodie Thayer’s Lettuce.
JBKO’s 20 piece Dodie Thayer Lettuce collection went for almost $7,000 at auction, while Brooke Astor’s 218 piece collection went for over $75,000, even though the estimate was only $9,000! You’ve got to have a lot of confidence to serve a dinner on this, although I’d see it more as luncheon ware. And, of course, it would be only one of your sets of china!
If pieces like this one, on 1st Dibs are a little out of your price range, you can check Ebay and thrift shops for similar pieces. I recently found this small tureen at a local thrift shop. It’s marked “Holland”, so not the good stuff, but it’s a great little piece, nevertheless. It could start me on a whole new area of collections!