As we are all aware, pink is the color for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a color I happen to not be a real fan of. This statement is completely lost on my momma, who loves to tell the story of how apparently one year I wanted to be a pink and purple dinosaur for Halloween and she made me a great outfit. I think I've repressed that memory. If younger me could see the number of pink items currently in my possession, she would probably wonder what in blue blazes is wrong with me?!
When I was in my tweens and teens in the Peach State, we spent countless weekends going to flea markets and antique markets all over North Georgia. I considered this to be a horrible waste of time, and always prepared myself with a good book. For about 8 years, my stepfather had a real obsession with dishes made by the Homer Laughlin China Company. He especially collected anything dating from between the 1930s and the 1950s, with delicate floral designs and classic shapes. Eventually his collection was so massive that even hosting a Christmas Open House some 500 people strong, we still didn't run out of dishes.
Now, for some reason I still cannot figure out, I find myself prowling the local flea markets and antique markets (all the while bemoaning the dearth of such places in the area) looking for suitable dishes with which to replace the basic white Corelle dishes my grandparents gave me as a housewarming present 5 years ago. Side note: Corelle dishes are not shatterproof. They are breakproof, but not shatterproof.
A couple of weekends ago, I popped in to the Goodwill Industries thrift store nearest my apartment with $10 in my wallet, not expecting to find anything of value. Yet lo and behold, sitting on the shelf as though waiting just for me, sat a short stack of dinner plates.
Don't mind my awesome china photography skillz. ;)
I've been around HL for so long that recognition of a shape or decal (the pretty floral design in the center) has become almost instinctive. I still chuckled aloud when I flipped one dish over and saw the maker's marks on the back: Cavalier (the shape) Eggshell (the glaze). Then I saw the price: 99 cents. I checked the stack of smaller bread plates: 57 cents. Immediately I picked up all 13 pieces (4 dinner plates and 9 bread plates) and made my way to the counter. Total cost: $9.10. When I told my stepfather about my Goodwill loot, he mentioned that depending on the condition of the pieces, they could retail for $40-50 per piece. You can't beat that kind of a deal. And this is why I go flea marketing.
Homer Laughlin China got out of the consumer china business years ago, instead focusing on heavy restaurant crockery. Most of the meals served in restaurants now are served on Homer Laughlin. This is also the company that is responsible for starting the Fiesta line which I am sure many readers will find in the cupboards of their family members.
Back to the pretty china. Here's the thing about Homer Laughlin's consumer china. As I said earlier, it has been out of production for at least my entire lifetime, and therefore can really only found in several places: thrift stores, antique shops/malls, flea markets, or online (Replacements, Ltd or eBay).
Therefore, the best places to get the look as pictured above are going to be eBay and Replacements, Ltd. A few bits of advice and warning: Replacements, Ltd asks a premium price per piece, yet is able to guarantee that any pieces ordered will arrive intact and possibly in nearly new condition. Purchasing through eBay, however, does not guarantee that the pieces ordered will arrive intact or their condition as viewed online. But at the same time, you may be able to get several plates on eBay for the price of one from Replacements, Ltd.
Image via Bonnie, flea marketer/antique mall shopper/thrift store raider extraordinaire