Blog by Dr. Lori

3 Valuable Thanksgiving China Sets

by Dr. Lori Verderame
3 Valuable Thanksgiving China Sets

Thanksgiving collectibles have a longtime association with turkeys. Founding Father Benjamin Franklin even wanted the turkey to be named America's national bird. The most common Thanksgiving collectibles are associated the serving of the Thanksgiving meal.

Known as a prosperity symbol, turkeys often appear on transferware china dinnerware sets, particularly at Thanksgiving time. And where there is a Thanksgiving meal, there is holiday china. Here are three of the most popular and safe Thanksgiving transferware dinner sets featuring Tom the Turkey.

1. Challinor & Mayer China

The brown and white transferware Melbourne pattern of china by the Challinor & Mayer firm dates from 1887 and can be worth 500 dollars retail for a full service for 12 including dinner plates, bread plates, soup tureen, salad bowls, teacups and saucers. Do you know the difference between retail and auction value? Look for the two tone brown and white pattern. Maybe you'll find it sitting at your sister-in-law's holiday meal.

2. Johnson Brothers China

Johnson Brothers China

The Orange Turkey pattern of transferware featuring a central, prominent turkey in autumnal colors and a repeating band of turkey images around the perimeter of the plate is another prized collectible. The Orange Turkey pattern was made in England by Johnson Brothers in the late 1800s of Spode porcelain and is worth 100 dollar per plate. The darker the orange color, the better. See the Spode mark and discover another famous and valuable holiday pattern you need to find for value.

3. Presidential China

The Presidential china service from the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes and First Lady Lucy Hayes features plants and animals on the dinnerware china. In 1879, the Hayes State Dinner service was designed by artist Theodore Davis of Asbury Park, N.J. and featured more than one hundred different designs of American plants, animals, and scenic views of our country at a cost of 3,120 dollars. That's a lot of feathers in 1879. Find your china set in one of my articles.

Some antique holiday china has high levels of lead making it toxic and the lead can leach out if the china is exposed to heat (ovens), water (dishwashers), or cold (refrigerators). So keep your grandmother's toxic china on display in your china cabinet and far from your mashed potatoes. I can always help you determine if your set is toxic or not. Simply bring a piece to one of my events so I can review it.

Don't forget to look at the mark on your holiday china before you start eating. Send me a picture if you want me to review the set for you.

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