Think of New England, Early American or traditional design, and your mind can easily conjure an image of a comfortable home with rooms filled with folk art and rustic antiques from more than 200 years ago.
This look is not for everyone, but for those who own homes that fit this style, setting a traditional table with the right china and stoneware can add a special touch to your family get-togethers and events.
Pfaltzgraff has been called "America's potter" because the company has a long history. Five generations of family ownership over more than 150 years saw the company produce millions of pieces of pottery, dinnerware and table accessories. Your mother, grandmother and even further generations back, could easily have owned Pfaltzgraff.
Of the many patterns still in production, three stand out as classic for traditional table setting. These patterns have stood the test of time because they are so perfect for setting a table when Americana is your theme.
Very few china patterns, by any maker, get to celebrate anniversaries of 30 or 40 years in production.
- Yorktowne was introduced in 1967. This dinnerware was inspired by early 19th century handpainted motifs, and blue tones of the company's early salt-glazed stoneware.
- Heritage came out in 1963. Collectors of vintage glass will recognize the name Georges Briard, but may not know that he designed this ware. The stoneware pieces are multi-sided shapes, glazed in classic white, a very traditional, architectural look.
- Village was released around 1975-76, the time of the American bicentennial. Its warm, earthy tones of brown and rich butter yellow complement many traditional table settings.
There are hundreds of different pieces made in each of these patterns, from the standard place setting items, to metal pieces and flatware, fabric table linens and glassware.
A fourth pattern, America, was made during the 1980s but is no longer in production. Nevertheless, it has its fan base and pieces are available in the secondary market. This ware features green and blue sponge-decorated rims on a warm yellow background, and different Early American motifs on many of the larger pieces, such as birds and houses.
Here are a few ideas for accessorizing a traditional table setting:
- Combine with metal pieces in copper and pewter
- Select table cloths and napkins in fabrics like linen, cotton or raw silk
- Use candles made from beeswax to add charming detail to your table setting
Most of all, use and enjoy your dinnerware. Pfaltzgraff is available in the new and secondary marketplace, so there is always a way to obtain additional pieces in your traditional Pfaltzgraff pattern.
No matter what china patterns you have, bring them out often and create special family meals using dishes you love.by