Grocery Store Chinaware

Years ago, my mother-in-law gave us her old hutch when she replaced it with a newer, smaller one. When we first acquired it, we lived in a small apartment, so it sat in our living room as a home for knick-knacks and various bric-a-brac. When we finally moved into a house with a dining room area, I firmly made up my mind to use my hutch for the purpose it was intended. 

I'm a thrift store junkie, and if you are patient enough, you can usually find a good set of antique chinaware for a good price. I spent many months, then, searching for the perfect, full, inexpensive set of chinaware that had once fed another family for Thanksgiving. Until I was able to find a set, I picked up a make-your-own set from the Dollar Tree. After the years rolled by, I feared that I would never find a permanent set. 

Then, a few years ago, I was lamenting my predicament to my stepmom who promptly responded with, "I have that old green set you can have." The old green set was, I knew, an old grocery store set of chinaware that we used for many holiday meals. Now, if you're unfamiliar with grocery store chinaware, you can read up on that here. Basically, giving away chinaware sets, piece by piece, was a great gimmick for boosting sales back in the day.

At any rate, after I read that article, I figured out my set is part of the Royal China Company Currier and Ives collection in green. My set is unique in the fact that it is a complete set. Many of the pieces I've seen on ebay are just pieces from here and there. I have all the plates, saucers, coffee cups, salt & pepper shaker, butter tray, gravy boat, and etc. I think you get the idea. At any rate, I thought I'd share a few pieces of my collection -- on the hutch, of course -- so you can see what it looks like.

Here you can see, going clockwise, a plate, gravy boat on a serving plate, and a sugar dish.

Dessert plates, coffee cups, and a salt & pepper shaker set.

From clockwise, large serving plate, creamer cup (to go along with the sugar bowl), salad bowl, butter dish, and dinner plate.** 

Incidentally, when I was growing up, my dad and I had a set of the Blue Willow grocery store china that my mom built up, piece by piece, after she and my dad first got married. I inherited it at one point, but I was young and stupid once so I digress. 

Did you have, or know anyone who had, grocery store china? I'd love to see a picture of it in the comments. Until then, have a great Friday!


**If you're curious what the blue, odd-shaped item is, it's a wine cork that I bought at Bunratty Castle Folk Park, in County Clare, Ireland. It was made in a shop there, and I met the lady who made it. I also purchased a choker for myself and a pair of earrings for my daughter.

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