Friday, July 1, 2016

A Patriotic Tablescape

Happy Friday everyone and Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian blog buddies!  I hope you have special plans to celebrate your national holiday.

We always look forward to July 4th here at Forest Manor, and I finally got a table set in the dining room.  Whew!  What a crazy, busy year this has been.  I've only done one tablescape since March, when I set a table for St. Patrick's Day (another favorite at our house).  I'm excited to show you these dishes we purchased a few years ago; they really are perfect for celebrating our country's birthday.

This pattern is "Liberty Blue" Staffordshire ironstone. I found some interesting information online regarding the history of these dishes.  The Liberty Blue dishes were originally begun as a promotional campaign by the Benjamin Franklin Federal Savings and Loan Association.  Enoch Wedgwood, in England's historic Staffordshire district, was contracted to create a pattern of blue and white dishes featuring scenes from historic colonial America.  The Benjamin Franklin Savings and Loan launched the promotion in 1975.  When a subscriber made a new deposit of $50, he received a free four-piece place setting, and additional pieces were available to purchase.  The Liberty Blue dinnerware was also offered as a promotional item at grocery stores. You can read more about this dinnerware Here.

I first came across some of these dishes a couple of years ago at a local estate sale.  I purchased eight dinner plates for a dollar a piece.  I used them in a July 4th tablescape Here.

I paired the Liberty Blue dishes with my "Old Britain Castles" dishes by Johnson Brothers.

 Here is a closeup of the dinner plate, featuring Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, PA, and below, the manufacturer's stamp.

After finding those eight dinner plates, I got really interested in these dishes, so I found some pieces on E-bay for a good price.  As I recall, the group included four of the fruit/dessert bowls, featuring Betsy Ross with her American flag,

and four of these bread and butter plates depicting Thomas Jefferson's Virginia home, "Monticello."  I believe there were also some coffee cups and saucers with this group from E-bay.

Then last year my husband called me one day during his lunch hour.  He was calling from our local Habitat Re-store.  He'd gone there on his lunch hour just to look around and had spotted some more of  "those dishes."  ;)  He said they had a big group of the Liberty Blue dishes for --

a great bargain!!  I kept the price tag so I could remember the amount.  Thirty-eight pieces for $110.00.  Included in this group were more dinner plates;

cream soup bowls (above) featuring the Old North Church in Boston; cereal bowls (which I didn't use in this table setting); a bunch of saucers but no cups;

 an oval vegetable bowl, depicting a Minute Man from the Revolutionary War;

a water pitcher with the Old North Church;

  and three coasters.  Two of the coasters feature Independence Hall,

and the third coaster depicts General George Washington at Valley Forge.  All those pieces for $110.00 -- I was thrilled people!!  :-D  Back to the tablescape, I brought in red with the straw placemats and the napkins.  I used brass candlesticks and candle snuffer, along with pewter salt and pepper shaker and napkin rings.  The mint julep cups are an E-bay find, and the sterling flatware belonged to my husband's grandmother.  I thought these pieces gave the table setting an older and somewhat historic feel.

The engraved napkin rings were a wedding gift, and the sterling pattern is State House "Inaugural" which seemed somehow appropriate for a patriotic table.

The pretty blue and cream hydrangeas came from our local grocery store.

For the centerpiece, I chose to use this Jim Shore figurine.  It's actually a nutcracker, and he's supposed to be Patrick Henry.  I just love the colors and details in this piece.  I've had it for years, and I'm so glad I thought to bring him out for this patriotic table.

I've set up a tray on top of the dresser here for coffee or tea after the meal.

These cups depict the ride of Paul Revere and the saucers show the Old North Church.

I forgot to mention earlier that we found this sugar bowl and creamer on E-bay in perfect condition (still in the boxes) so my husband purchased them as a surprise for me.

Sorry for the long post -- I've been looking forward to setting a table with these dishes.  :)

I hope you will all be able to spend time with your family and/or friends this holiday weekend.  At a time when it feels like the whole world has gone crazy is turned upside down, I hope we can remember how and why our nation was founded.


Have a safe and Happy Fourth and thanks so much for visiting!!


Linking To:
Tablescape Thursday, Between Naps on the Porch
Thoughts of Home on Thursday, Decor to Adore
Foodie Friday and Everything Else, Rattlebridge Farm
Dishing It & Digging It, Life and Linda


  1. What a beautiful table for celebrating America's birthday ! I adore Liberty Blue and I just used four of the plates. I love the pitcher, the tea set and teacups are gorgeous.
    I have a big dinner set too, besides the eight place settings with Liberty Blue, but I have no tea sets and teacups. I have for a twelve setting a complete red and white one.
    Happy 4th. of July.

  2. Hi Denise-
    It is so nice to meet you!
    I also collect blue and white plates and dishes and you can never have enough.
    Yours are perfect for your tablescape.
    Thank you for joining Thoughts of Home.

  3. Oh, how I love those dishes!!! What a great find! Your table is beautiful, and the dishes are so perfect for the Holiday. I love blue and white. I think is is a true classic. I hope that you have a great weekend and a very Happy Fourth of July!!!

  4. Wow, a nice table for your July 4th celebration. The Liberty Blue dishes are perfect for a patriotic setting and how perfect your hubby was in the right place at the right time to pick up more for your set.
    Happy summer and 4th of July to you!

  5. Still jealous over the bargain you got on those dishes! The blue is beautiful and so perfect for now.

    Thanks so much for joining Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. I don't usually get jealous but I am a wee bit. What an amazing find--you know I love blue and white dishes. Your hubby sounds like mine, in fact my churchill dishes were found by him at GW or somewhere like that. Your table looks very festive. I hope you have a happy 4th.

  7. Denise, How wonderful your husband is now a partner in collecting! I love the history behind these patterns and you have told the story so well. You have that gift!
    I gasped at the lovely pitcher of the old North Church!! Lovely indeed! This was a great find. Isn't it fun to realize so much history in dishes! I'm ashamed to say I have a collection of blue and white plates and some red with some of these patterns. I need to look at them again and see which ones I have. I know I have the north church in blue, Betsy Ross in red and Castles in Blue but not sure of all the others. Isn't that awful! Shame on me. Your grocery store hydrangeas are so pretty and fresh. You know I love hydrangeas.
    I love how you used the Jim Shore nutcracker that is Patrick Henry sitting on top of the book 1776! What a clever centerpiece. I love David McCollough! He is a great author. Just finished his book, Americans in Paris. To be as smart as he is !!! Whew I'm amazed!
    Lovely patriotic tribute blogging friend. Have a great fourth.

  8. I am so glad those gorgeous liberty dishes found a good home. Your tablescape is patriotic perfection. Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  9. Wow, lovely liberty dishware. How special to have those..truly patriotic and full of history. It's so nice to hear your hubby is collecting as well. I need to shop with you...LOL Happy 4th and thanks for sharing your lovely post at DI&DI. xo

  10. Your tablescape is beautiful and those hydrangeas are lovely. I enjoyed stopping by and appreciate you linking up to Dishing it & Digging it link party. We love having you.

  11. This is a beautiful tablescape! These dishes are so perfect for the 4th holiday, I love them. You know we can't have too many dishes. Love, Mom

  12. What a perfect table for the Fourth!! I've long admired the Liberty BLue plates, and how fortunate you are to now have such an extensive collection! I absolutely love that our history is so beautifully depicted on this dinnerware. Your pitcher and cream and sugar set are WONDERFUL! Thank you for sharing this table with such attention to detail to make it truly patriotic! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  13. What a wonderful collection of Liberty Blue dishes you have, Denise, and you've made such a patriotic tablescape with them. I can see why you love them so much. Happy 4th of July to you and God Bless America!

  14. I love these dishes. We have a very few of the red ones of West Point. What a find! What a sweet husband to call you. The scenes are wonderful reminder of our early days as a nation. Thanks for sharing. Linda

  15. Beautiful table and beautiful dishes. It still amazes me what people will discard or donate! Your dishes are just wonderful.

  16. You could teach history using those wonderful dishes! Your table looks beautiful.



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