Behind the Lace Curtains-TTS #63, 2020 Table Setting Challenge #23, Desert Rose

At this time of year, wild roses bloom in abundance. They're found all over the Western US and Canada. Their blooms usher in summer in delicate fashion.

They were the inspiration for my table setting for the week. Desert Rose, similar to the wild roses that perfume the prairie air, was manufactured by Gladding, McBean and Company for its famous Franciscan line. Two women were responsible for this iconic pattern: Annette Honeywell was a free-lance artist credited with designing the pattern, while Mary Winans Grant was responsible for the production design work. This was back in 1941/42 during World War II, in an industry dominated by males and a time when women filled in at factories while the men were off at war in two different theatres. I think it is marvelous that two women were responsible for the best-selling dinnerware pattern in American history. Desert Rose was made by Gladding McBean until 1962, when it was sold to International Pipe and Ceramics, who manufactured the popular pattern until 1979. Wedgwood purchased International Pipe and Ceramics in 1979 and made Desert Rose until 1986. In 1983, Wedgwood moved production of Desert Rose from Los Angeles to England. Waterford Glass Group purchased Wedgwood in 1986 and continued the line, with the business changing its name to Waterford Wedgwood. In 2009, KPS Capital Partners bought out Waterford Wedgwood and Desert Rose was lumped in with many other patterns under the "WWRD" group, standing for Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton. It was then production moved to China. In 2015, Fiskars acquired the WWRD brand. I have but one original American piece in my collection; the ones you see are all made in China, so they are newer. I found the tea set (covered teapot, covered sugar and creamer and four each of cups and saucers) in a pretty hat-box packaging, along with a little box of four salad/dessert plates at Herberger's, and I just couldn't pass them up!

I paired Desert Rose with Fiesta P86 Rose and Ivory (various sources). The silver plated flatware is Queen Bess by Oneida (thrift store finds). The green and pink water glasses are Napoli by Pfaltzgraff (Herberger's) and the wine glasses are Claret by Libbey Glass Company (Walmart). The table cloth and matching napkins in pistachio are named Meadow Butterfly and were purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Sterling shakers by National (thrift store) and my little silver plated bird salt and pepper shakers (thrift store) are also on the table, as is a little silver plated bell by Leonard (thrift store). I like to put bells at the Master's seat sometimes, as a reminder of days when previous owners had paid servants to help serve dinner.

The centerpiece is simple; a rich raspberry pink Franciscan planter (thrift store) is filled with bright yellow roses from my precious rose bush (I didn't have time to go out and pick wild roses), which is a nod to the yellow in the centers of the roses in the china; flanked by two cute little green cat salt and pepper shakers. I call them my "gossip cats". I found them at Golden Girls Antiques Mall in Helena, Montana.

On the Pepin sideboard is the dessert service. I used the Desert Rose dessert/salad plates at the covers, so I used alternating Fiesta P86 Rose and Ivory salad plates and fruit bowls for the dessert service. The Desert Rose tea set is out for tea, and a Fiesta P86 Rose large disc pitcher serves the water.

On the menu:

Avocado and Orange salad served on fresh greens;
Chicken Piccata;
Couscous with Dried Cranberries;
Buttered Green Beans;
Cheesecake Jello Pudding (sugar free, and just as tasty as the regular sugar-filled kind!)

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