Friday, November 9, 2012

The Thrifty Federalist

A couple of weekends ago, I had the chance to go on a thrift shop excursion with several of the girls from my book club. Why did book club wind up out thrifting? I guess that's a good question. It seems like just about all of the girls in the group enjoy thrifting or antiquing. But, it was also clear at the beginning that everyone had a different favorite spot. Once we got to talking, it seemed like an awesome outing to get together and spend the afternoon visiting most of the suggested favorites. I enjoyed having places on our agenda that were familiar, as well as some that were not!

At one place I'd never been before, a shop called It Takes A Village, at 34th Street and Chicago in South Minneapolis, I hit the jackpot. I found dishes that match my dishes! This was the very best thing I could ever have imagined finding!
 Here they are: 2 dessert plates and 2 dinner plates!

 This pattern is called Federalist Ironstone. It's a super durable collection of ceramic dishes. Up until this addition, the entirety of my collection came from my grandparents' house. When I was in college, my dad's dad passed away after a brief, ferocious battle with brain cancer. He left a house full of furnishings, including these dishes, which my parents packed up and brought back to Minnesota from St. Louis.

These dishes were sold in big sets at Sears during the 1960s and 70s. My dad's mom, who passed away when I was a baby, picked them out. I brought the dishes to my first apartment mostly because I didn't have anything else. I've treated them pretty roughly in the time I've had them, using them in the microwave and washing them in the dishwasher. I like that my grandma chose them and I think they're beautiful. So, over time, I've grown to love them and think of them as an heirloom.

 The new additions were mostly in pretty good shape. This dessert plate was marked by some stains and covered in crazing (cracks below the surface). I have another piece that's covered in crazing as well, and I've treated it just as roughly for the 6 years I've used these as my everyday dishes and it doesn't seem to be any worse for the wear. Plus, since they were only asking 50 cents each for the dessert plates, I figured I would just throw it away if it broke.

Does this pattern look familiar to you? I think they bear an uncanny resemblance to the Ikea Arv collection, available at everybody's favorite Swedish retailer. In fact, when I spotted them, I assumed that's what they were. The scale of the pattern, and the shade of the ceramic, are quite similar. But, I found this telltale stamp on the back, and then I knew for sure they were coming home with me!

I'm happy to report that these new additions to my collection have safely survived their first trip through the dishwasher. I was hoping this experience would take care of the stains on the dessert plate pictured above, but unfortunately, it did not. Otherwise, everything held up great! The new plates are now in the stack along with the old ones. What a great find! I'll be sure to head back to It Takes A Village!

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