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The Find

Fall Fowl for the Thanksgiving Table

by Karen Parr-Moody 08 Nov 2021

Along with the age-old Thanksgiving traditions comes the fanciest table settings, including the seasonal motifs of game birds, waterfowl and, naturally, turkeys. You can adorn a fall table with seasonal colors via pheasants, squab and turkeys printed onto soup bowls, tureens, platters and more.


Beyond the inherent magic of conquering the air, such birds carry with them a gorgeous fall color palette. Our fair-feathered friends – a squab here, a turkey there – majestically capture the season’s rich tones of rust, mustard, olive green and navy.


Consider the traditional beauty of this turkey platter with a fruit border ($38; Booth B-218). This brown transferware platter made of sturdy ironstone features a hand-colored turkey in the center and a rim trimmed in fruit and vegetables. The large size – 19 inches by 14.5 inches – makes it the ideal platter for serving turkey or hen. And the colors are incredibly vibrant. Sometimes, hand-tinted transferware is finished with minimal hand-tinting, as if the artist was in a rush. But this is a highly finished piece.


Are you making white-lightning turkey chili with your Thanksgiving leftovers? Then pour some into this Johnson Brothers Windsor Ware soup bowl, one of a pair, that comes in the highly collectible dinnerware pattern called Native American Wild Turkeys ($28.50; Booth B-218). (Windsor Ware is a trade name used on wares made exclusively for the now-defunct Fisher, Bruce & Company, an importer established on Market Street, Philadelphia, in 1880.) The colors are vibrant, and the glaze is just like new.

Native American Wild Turkeys is a beautiful pattern to collect. It is a gorgeous classic for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it also holds its value in the world of vintage dinnerware patterns. Johnson Brothers of Staffordshire, England, produced Native American Wild Turkeys from 1951 to 1974 in an array of every imaginable piece of ironware, from teacups to platters. The underglaze transfer design features a hand-engraved wild turkey in the center. The rich brown pattern around the platter’s rim depicts pheasants, flowers, foliage and scrollwork.


If turkeys are not to your taste, may we suggest another sort of bird? This Johnson Brothers of England plate features two fabulous fowl – a male and female pheasant who calmly peruse a wooded glade ($28.50; Booth B-218). This vibrantly colored ceramic transferware plate was produced in the Pheasant pattern from the Game Birds line by Johnson Brothers. It could look beautiful as wall art or join the Thanksgiving table as a serving piece.


If you want to get utterly clucky about your avian collection, look no further than this charming rooster alarm clock painted by longtime Nashville artist David Wariner ($425; Booth B-162). The glossy oil brushstrokes in tones of rust, mustard, olive green and ink blue perfectly capture fall’s palette. (A multimedia artist, Wariner also photographs for GasLamp’s website and advertising.)

One could argue that cranberry sauce looks better on a plate with a turkey printed on it. And since our feathered friends are so physically attractive, a bird-themed collection of ironstone and porcelain pieces is perfectly apropos for Thanksgiving. So, get to GasLamp to start collecting and celebrating.
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