Learn how to create a vintage summer tablescape for the 4th of July using vintage Currier & Ives china and old flags.
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First, I had never heard the term “tablescape” until 2022. Seriously. I always thought tables with dishes and flowers were referred to as table settings. As in – “Please set the table for guests”. So, I was surprised to hear that setting the table had taken on a whole new meaning! Also be prepared to settle down for some serious viewing time if you enter the term “tablescape” into Pinterest. Wow. As I said previously, I had NO idea! Tablescape is now an entire category unto itself.
So, it is with great pleasure that today I am sharing with you a vintage summer tablescape!
Speaking of setting the table, my friend Rachel from the Antiqued Journey also has a post about vintage items you use at the table. Specifically, using vintage enamelware!
We decided to do a post together where we are both featuring vintage items that we use in summer. Rachel has a fabulous post called Patriotic Decorating with Vintage Enamelware.
Also, I love the Campfire Marshmallow tin in her photo. Nothing says summer like marshmallows.
Rachel also loves to collect vintage and antique items. If you love to collect enamelware, then head on over to her blog post to learn more.
Vintage Summer Tablescape
With the 4th of July only a few weeks away, I thought this would be a great opportunity to decorate the table in honor of the up and coming holiday.
So here is my secret to this vintage summer tablescape – I used red transferware by Currier & Ives. This vintage transferware comes in a variety of patterns. Although some patterns incorporate a winter scene, other patterns focus on Colonial times. However, I thought the red color was perfect to use for summer and most notably for the 4th of July.
These plates were made by the Home Laughlin company, which is based in the United States, and has been churning out various patterns of china since 1870. The fact that this china was made here in the U.S.A. made it seem all the more appropriate for using it for the 4th of July.
Because the Currier & Ives patterns mix so well together, I ended up using a variety of patterns. Even though the scenes on the plates, bowls, platters, and pitchers differ, they are unified by the fact that it was produced by the same company, in the same era, and in the same color.
You don’t even need a complete set of plates. As you can see in the photos, I used a salad plate and set it on top of a white dinner plate. The contrast provides some visual interest and prevents everything from looking the same.
There are also a variety of serving pieces you can find – such as platters, gravy boats, pitchers and large serving bowls. The jute chargers are several years old but I found some similar ones from Target that I linked below.
One of the nicest features of this china is the back stamp that not only clearly identifies that it is Currier & Ives, it also identifies the specific pattern. Such is the case with the stamp above for the “Landing of the Pilgrims-1620”.
I used some vintage bottles to hold some small hand held vintage flags. You can read the post about collecting vintage bottles where I share different qualities to look for. You can read the post about collecting vintage flags where I share the different traits that identify old flags.
Finally, this vintage summer tablescape is pulled together with the patriotic bunting fabric that is shown in the background. This was a really lucky find when I was out antiquing. There are a total of 16 yards of fabric. (What you can’t see in this photo is the fabric puddled on the floor on either side of the antique pine dresser)
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I will be bringing Currier & Ives china to my booth at Stone Soup Antiques Gallery in the next week. I recognize that many of you who read this post are not within driving distance of Ballston Spa, NY. So, I did some research and found some comparable Currier & Ives pieces that are being sold through Etsy. I tried to find china that:
- came in a set of at least 4; or
- were unique serving pieces (such as platters); and
- that was a reasonable price.
Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope you are inspired to create your own vintage summer tablescape to celebrate American history and the 4th of July. Also, hop on over to Rachel’s post on vintage enamelware because she has some great information to share!