About Kimbesa

I love dishes, and I continue to haunt thrift stores, estate sales, and other places where vintage china, dinnerware and glassware are to be found.

I talk about Dishes

Made in the USA

Vintage Dishes – Seen in a Magazine

When I’m shopping for vintage dishes, I sometimes buy old magazines as well. Many home publications contain how-to articles that are just as “evergreen” as my favorite vintage dishes.

I can see why writers, photographers and food stylists choose to use vintage classics to show off the food in a recipe story, or illustrate the important points in articles about style.

Good design always shines!

These three example vintage dinnerware patterns all date from the 1950s and 1960s.

vintage dish in recipe article Swiss Alpine

Paging through a copy of Taste of Home’s Cooking for Two (Summer 2016) I saw a striking photo of a piece of Swiss Alpine by Marcrest. This is a distinctive pattern with a pleasing blue and green leaf motif.

The piece type in the photo is probably a saucer, used to serve a fruity dessert. It’s nice to see saucers multi-tasked and used instead of hidden in the back of the kitchen cabinet!

I’ve got several pieces of this pattern in my collection. The colors and motif complement other wares that I use.

If you decide to shop for Swiss Alpine, you will find plenty of it when you start looking. Watch for the usual condition issues, chips and cracks, and for crazing – fine cracks in the glass glaze.

Dishes that are crazed should not be used in any way where food comes into contact with the surface, because the crazing can allow chemicals from the ceramic underneath to leach into the meal.

These dishes can be used for any non-food purpose you can imagine, such as bases for pillar candles, additions to a floral centerpiece for your buffet, or chargers to go under another plate which will hold the food.

Two views of Star Glow by Royal China USA

I bought an older issue of Better Homes and Gardens (March 2016) that featured color as its theme. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw another familiar vintage dish in an article about Audrey Hepburn style.

“Raid grandma’s dish cupboard,” it said, and use her vintage plates for your picnic basket. Granny’s dishes in this piece are Star Glow by Royal. They do look fine with some gold flatware to set off the stars.

This pattern is a little more difficult to find in the secondary market. The larger pieces are marked, smaller ones are not. Again, watch for crazing if you shop for this pattern.

Star Glow is a complementary pattern for any Mid-Century, “atomic” theme you might be working on in your dinnerware collection.

Franciscan vintage dishes Starburst

Then, I checked a book out of the library, looking for recipes. It was a copy of Clean & Hungry by Lisa Lillien (Hungry Girl). There on the page with a good-looking brownie recipe, was a snack set in the Star Burst pattern by Franciscan.

If you can find this piece type, look it over carefully to make sure you’re satisfied with the condition. I saw a listing for 6 of these sets offered online for a 4-figure number!

Star Burst is one of the most popular vintage patterns you can collect if you’re into Mid-Century design. It took me awhile to find a few pieces in good condition, for a price I thought was reasonable. (Read more about that here.)

I can see why Star Burst is so sought-after. It’s mod through and through. Plates are not necessarily round, and the stars are exuberant!

Due to it's popularity, I would not be surprised if I saw reproductions out there. I have no problem with remakes, as long as they are advertised and sold as such. The price for new dishes should reflect that the pieces are new, not vintage originals.

Swiss Alpine saucer and red apple

I’m sure I’ll find more vintage dinnerware examples as I look through new magazines and books. The love of good design is timeless, whether expressed through art, furniture or dishes!

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I Shop Vintage Christmas in July

Christmas Tree dessert tray by Spode

Vintage shopping for Christmas in July? No problem!

I had a great time visiting just three of my favorite thrift stores to see what I could find to add to my collection of holiday dinnerware. Why should new goods shoppers have Christmas in July all to themselves?

I have noticed that some thrift stores create a holiday section later in the year. Some have a mixed section all the time with Christmas, Halloween, Easter and whatever they have. Others have a dedicated Christmas goods section all year round.

I can always find Christmas goods when I look for them. . . . → Read More: I Shop Vintage Christmas in July

Vintage Pitcher for Your Favorite Summer Drinks

Vintage glassware pitcher for lemonade

I find vintage glass pitchers like this one pretty often in my travels. They come in handy on hot summer days, to serve some lemonade or iced tea.

There are many sizes and styles to be found. For beverages, the larger ones are designed to hold enough of your favorite drink to serve several people.

This one is called an “ice lip” pitcher, due to the extra glass around the spout, which keeps larger ice cubes in the pitcher as your pour.

A pitcher like this has a large capacity, more than 2 quarts before the ice. Some models . . . → Read More: Vintage Pitcher for Your Favorite Summer Drinks

More Pleasure Vintage Dish Shopping

Retro china and stoneware

Any time is a good time to shop for vintage dishes, and especially now, when there seems to be more and more available in secondhand marketplaces.

Where I live, there are new stores that have opened, and the regular thrift shops are often stuffed to the max with vintage wares.

I handle my shopping via my permanent shopping list, set up with categories to help me keep some kind of focus. If I didn’t do that, I might spend half a day in a single store. A nice idea, but I do have a life outside of vintage dishes.

. . . → Read More: More Pleasure Vintage Dish Shopping

Vintage Violets and Birthday Cake

Birthday cake and vintage china plates

Another year older: Happy Birthday, Diary of a Dishie!

I found these pretty dessert plates with violets on them, February’s birthday flower. Looks like a few white primroses, too, on a white background with gold rims.

This pattern is called Beverly and was made by Aichi China in Japan. I’m not familiar with this maker, though my research shows they have made other floral dinnerware motifs, available through vintage dinnerware outlets.

This pattern is typical of vintage dinnerware designs from the 1950s and 1960s.

There are lots of floral dinnerware patterns available among vintage wares. I only found . . . → Read More: Vintage Violets and Birthday Cake

Chop Platters Round and Sweet

Mikasa platter with Valentine treats

It’s so much fun to use vintage dishes for display pieces to show off some special holiday treats.

I went straight to my collection to find a sleek, modern plate to show some pretty Valentine goodies. I love to use my vintage favorites, like these platters. They are beautiful, and really personalize a creative table setting.

I wanted to use this particular chop platter to go with the pink Valentine’s Day cookies.

This Mikasa platter, in the vintage Tivoli pattern, is a simple, sleek style, and the china has a nice weight for its size. The blue and avocado . . . → Read More: Chop Platters Round and Sweet

Grab a Snack in Vintage Style

Corningware snack bowl and plate

Having an old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich, or that favorite chicken noodle soup?

Summer or winter, these foods are simple and easy, snacks you may remember from childhood.

And if you are in a certain age bracket, you might remember the Grab It bowl or Snack It plate shown here.

Velveeta cheese or Campbell’s soup: Do they taste better when you serve them on vintage dishes?

Corningware dishes like these remain popular after many years, though they are discontinued. If you’re a garage sale or thrift store shopper, you will find these pieces in the secondary marketplaces.

This bowl and . . . → Read More: Grab a Snack in Vintage Style

Christmas Roses – Sweet Briar and Cheesecake

Vintage china dessert plate with cheesecake

Vintage china featuring a rose motif is a classic choice for Christmas and wintertime entertaining.

The colors are traditional. Designs that feature shiny metallic rims add bling, as do the gold rim and verge line on this petite dessert plate.

The Sweet Briar pattern by Princess makes dessert even sweeter. This is a vintage pattern dating back to the 1950s, and is still available in secondary marketplaces. The high quality ware was made in the USA.

The timeless design makes this one worth seeking out, especially if you like traditional or floral table settings.

I’m serving cheesecake on this . . . → Read More: Christmas Roses – Sweet Briar and Cheesecake

Fire King Swirl – Vintage Classic

Anchor Glass 22K gold

This white glass dinnerware with golden edges is my newest collection. I found several pieces within days of each other, in thrift shops in the area.

Was it a sign?

This Swirl pattern reminds me of days long ago, eating egg sandwiches around the kitchen table. I liked the pieces, and the memories.

This dinnerware is part of the Fire King line by Anchor Hocking. These dishes can go in the oven, but not the microwave, due to the metallic decoration. The edges are highlighted by 22 Karat gold.

This is classic 1950s dinnerware.

I was happy to find . . . → Read More: Fire King Swirl – Vintage Classic

7 Vintage Dinnerware Favorites

Vintage Dinnerware Favorites

How to make a list of only a few special patterns? This is a challenge.

I decided to review prior posts that have gotten the most comments so far, over the 8+ years that I’ve been writing on Diary of a Dishie.

I enjoyed this review of favorite wares. It was like stopping by a friend’s house for a chat to catch up on things!

You might like these, too. Just pour a cup of coffee or tea, and read on as you wish.

Readers had a lot to say about long-time favorites like these:

Federalist by Sears. This . . . → Read More: 7 Vintage Dinnerware Favorites

Grandma’s Party Dishes – Making Memories

Glass party set Orchard Crystal

When my grandmother’s estate was settled, I got her party dishes. That was what we called them: three boxes of glassware snack sets, in an unknown pattern by Orchard Crystal, a total of 12 sets.

The plain boxes, somewhat the worse for wear, did not attract anyone’s eye, but I knew what they were.

It’s not that us kids got to use these dishes, however.

My grandmother used her glass party dishes when she hosted card parties in the afternoon with her “club.” This was her special group of church women who met at each others’ houses once a . . . → Read More: Grandma’s Party Dishes – Making Memories

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