Saturday, August 25, 2012

Design Find: Vintage Taylor Smith & Taylor Boutonniere Dishware Set

I was poking around a consignment shop yesterday looking for possible clothing items for a costume I was putting together (more on that later) when I literally stumbled across a couple of boxes containing the dishes you see pictured above. It's not an unusual pattern, in fact it's one I've actually seen many times before and liked for the combined elements of mid-century and that super yummy interior turquoise, though I would normally prefer a more geometric and less floral pattern, given a choice. 

What made this find unusual are the many serving dishes that were included with the set. These I'd never seen.  I nearly plotzed when, first thing, I pulled that coffee pot (carafe?) from the box and the tiny lid was with it and intact.  Then, the tiny sugar bowl and lid.  It actually gave me that light headed thready heartbeat feeling and I had to sit down on my butt real quick on the floor (I was already squatting and it was hot in there).

Next came the casserole dish and lid which caused me to break out in the cold sweat of desire and set me to digging around for the price.  TWENTY-EIGHT dollars, friends.  For 62 pieces. Luckily, this was a shop where I'm always selling my own stuff and a quick check of my account gave me another $14 to work with.  Got the whole shootin' match for $15.68 (that's a quarter a piece if you're counting which, of course, I am).  


I have not written much about it here, but I have for the last year or so, been delving pretty heavily into the world of thrift and consignment. If you're not aware, it is a world that is booming in this economy.  Booming, but still always with treasure to be had. I shudder to think of the hundreds of dollars of clothing I threw away at the Salvation Army in years past. Not that it isn't a deserving organization!  But, dang.  Sell, sell, sell, girls. Jewelry! Shoes! Purses! (And buy low!)

The manufacturer's mark found on the underside of each dinner plate.
While I can Google an approximate a value for almost every piece in the Boutonniere set, I find the carafe/coffee pot piece nowhere (not even available for reproduction as many pieces are).  The closest thing I can find to it is this; what they are calling a "carafe" or pitcher. I would love to know what the "pitcher" or coffee pot (?) I have is worth. Please do message me if you have thoughts about this.

Otherwise, I've learned that the original large set was made up of NINETY-EIGHT pieces.  It included an exhaustive list of items like tiny salt and pepper shakers, a vase, this sweet little cake and pie server, and what they're calling an "olive boat" or sometimes a "relish tray". Most sources put the time of manufacture and sale of the boutonniere dishes in the late 1950's.    

The diminutive size of most of these dishes is but another huge (har!) thrill for me.  The "cereal bowls" of which I have nearly a full (dozen) set are perhaps big enough to hold less than a cup of cereal and a similar amount of milk. Not to mention the itsy fruit/berry bowls and tiny "bread and butter" plates (for what my mother says they used to call "light bread"). The dinner plates are much larger and  quite serviceable as is everything, really, given a small enough portion size. The glasses may have been part of this original set as well, though I have to confess I really don't find them appealing looks-wise (and there were none included in the boxes I bought).   

Once I got the dishes home, I removed another more modern set of dishes from the cabinet to make room for them and then decided to turn around and sell the newer set. Hence, there is a very good almost certain chance I'll actually make money on this deal.  

As is, I plan to really use the boutonniere set for the time being, though I may sell them in the future at some point. I spent the rest of the day smugly running the less delicate pieces through the dishwasher and later that night slipped easily into the deep, dreamless sleep of the thoroughly satisfied bargain huntress.     


SentimentalFavorites said...

You really scored here! I'm going by a 1995 TST reference book, but the coffee server you have must be pretty rare. It was the most highly valued piece in the book at $23--I'm guessing it would be worth somewhat more now, despite the recession. Also thought you might like to know that the "vase" was originally marketed as a carafe with a cork-lined walnut stopper and a warming stand that was placed over a votive size candle to keep the coffee hot. Thanks for including a link to my pie server on Etsy--I just renewed the listing with a new find! Also thought you might feel better to know that Replacements does not sell repros but is like a virtual second-hand shop for people who do not enjoy the hunt as much as we do. :) Enjoy your new dishes!

Jodi & Justin said...

If you ever decide to sell, please let me know - my mother just gave me her old set of these - but it is hodge podge at best and I would love to complete it/add to it!

Jodi Magee

michelle a said...

great info! i have never seen the carafe either and have a lot of pieces as well!
this is very helpful information. shared your blog link to my page too. :) just started a facebook page just for tst china to share info. the link is at my blogpage for taylor smith and taylor china. am hoping that we can all link together to share pieces and complete a few sets of vintage tst. happy new year~

mandie pickelsimer said...

My email is

mandie pickelsimer said...

I have around a 100 peices of this set I got from a storage unit auction. Id like to sell it and have just been googling and reseaching what it is worth. My email is

michelle a said...

My page is The pyrex gypsy. On blogspot. :)

Robin in Florida said...

Hi to all, any issues with putting these dishes through the dishwasher? I have a full set of the Rose sachet pattern and would like to know if people use the dishwasher for these Taylor Smith and Taylor dishes.

maria said...

I love this dinnerware set. I first came across my treasure while helping at my daughter's catholic school yard sale 22 years ago. I was helping set up the tables, and came across a large box of poorly packed dishes. I fell in love with them instantly. Sister Joanne said I could have them for $3.00. I couldn't believe my luck. I as helping the school to offset tuition. I paid her mostly in quarters which I had for laundry. When I got the set home and discovered 12 complete 8 piece place settings plus platters, creamer, sugar bowl, butter dish and carafe, plus extra pieces! WOW! This was the 3rd happiest day of my life. I still use them today, great in the dishwasher, and sets a pretty table.

irishgirltara said...

I found mine at local thrift store & I love the color ... Spent $15 on 12 dinner plates, 12 cups & saucers, 12 small bowls, 11 small plates, 2 large bowls, 1 serving platter. I ran mine thru the dishwasher no issues. Can they be used in the microwave is my question? They say oven safe. But usually the older plates get hot in the microwave.

irishgirltara said...

I found mine at local thrift store & I love the color ... Spent $15 on 12 dinner plates, 12 cups & saucers, 12 small bowls, 11 small plates, 2 large bowls, 1 serving platter. I ran mine thru the dishwasher no issues. Can they be used in the microwave is my question? They say oven safe. But usually the older plates get hot in the microwave.