Friday, August 28, 2009

Franciscan Desert Rose Dishes

Bruce’s Mother, Hilda, loved these dishes and now so do I. Hilda and Harold visited the Franciscan company while on vacation in California during the mid-sixties. (The company was still the Gladding, McBean, & Co.) She bought a very large set of Desert Rose dishes including the large serving pieces. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy had ordered the same china for the White House; Desert Rose became one of the most popular china patterns ever sold. Hilda was so proud of them and although she used them every day, on holidays the whole set came out. Bruce can still remember Thanksgivings and special dinners at his mom’s house and how pretty the table looked.

When Hilda passed away, Bruce got the dishes. Several of the dishes are chipped and some missing so we added pieces via eBay, now the china cabinet is very full. Because the dishes meant so much to his Mother and she meant so much to Bruce, he figured out a special way to honor and remember her. He made a Desert Rose mosaic picture frame for his favorite photo of Hilda and Harold. He took a chipped plate and cut it into small pieces to make it. It turned out so pretty he made one for his brother. Isn't that a sweet way to remember the good times?

We used them very rarely, mainly because they cannot be put into the dishwasher. For ten years, I looked at them, wishing I had enough nerve to use this vintage set every day.
MissDazey Personal Story:
Last Sunday I was browsing eBay and found a set of new Desert Rose dishes at a very low price. These are not hand painted or as pretty as the original china, but they are dishwasher and microwave safe. They arrived Tuesday! I think I am as happy with them as Hilda was with hers in the ‘60s.

Do you have a favorite pattern of dishes or a story about them to share? If so, please leave a comment.
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