This charming, hand-painted, Blue Ridge China cake plate or serving tray by Southern Potteries, Inc. seems the perfect serving piece for a summer luncheon or bridal shower. Its maple leaf shape and cheery hand painted floral design makes it a unique piece that would add welcome variety to your serving dishes. Can't you just see it gracing a buffet table with tea sandwiches, strawberries, chocolates or pastries piled high?
I believe the pattern is VERNA, based on other pieces I have seen for sale on the internet, including a china replacement service company. (Their price was $65!) It is a pretty, free form floral design featuring pink roses, a yellow tulip, and other colorful floral accents and leaves. It also has a cornflower blue dot and dash painted trim on the edge of the leaf and handle.
The shape of the dish is very interesting too: the maple leaf shape is contoured and includes a 3-dimentional cluster of grapes near the stem end of the leaf-shaped tray. A graceful, shaped handle loops from the base to the top of the grapes.
The plate is underglazed, meaning the design is painted on before final glazing and firing, a technique that makes the decorations more durable than surface painted designs. Though there was a basic design for each pattern, the fact that each piece was hand-painted by many local women artisans, means that no two pieces are exactly alike.
The underside is faintly marked, "Blue Ridge China, Hand Painted Underglaze, Southern Potteries, Inc., MADE IN U.S.A."
The plate measures 10 1/4 inches in height and width at the widest points. It is about 2 3/8 inches tall, from table to top of looped handle.
The plate is in very nice condition. The glaze is very nice and shiny and the colors vibrant. I did not detect any chips or crazes. There is a tiny "pock" in the glaze (not a chip but part of the firing, I believe.) It is located in the darker green/brown area on the ridge of the leaves emanating from the left side of the central rose--about 1/4 inch up from the rose.
A little research reveals this hand-painted plate was made by the Blue Ridge China division of Southern Potteries, Inc. in Tennessee, in the late 1930s-1950s. In fact, it was Blue Ridge's hand-painted "bright clear colors and uninhibited style" that "gave [that division] an immediate edge over the rigid styles of decal-decorated dishware" of the 1937 era. So much so, by 1938, Southern Potteries "transitioned entirely to a hand-painting operation." About a decade later, the workforce grew to over 1,000 workers, making Southern Potteries the largest, hand-painted china company in the United States. Sadly, the rise of popularity of Melmac type dishware caused the closing of the company in 1957.
This pretty serving plate would please any lover of vintage, cottage chic or country decor.
Feel free to ask questions. The plate is located in Brookfield, Wisconsin (just west of Milwaukee County.)
I sell from a smoke-free, pet-free home. All sales are final. Payment is due in cash upon pickup.
Posted in: Household
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