Vintage Summer Tablescape


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!

Patriotic Display 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.

Patriotic Decor Enamelware

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.

Vintage Summer Tablescape 2

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.

Currier and Ives Red Transferware

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.

Currier and Ives Transferware

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.

Currier and Ives China

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.

Currier and Ives Stamp 1

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”.

Currier and Ives Stamp 2
The Currier & Ives stamp above shows that the pattern is called “The Road. Winter.”. If you want to know more about Currier & Ives, their work and how these patterns were developed, there is a great article by the Weekly View. This line of china was produced between 1940- mid 1950s where the company issued 25 different American scenes. As with most things, Currier & Ives was extremely popular when it was first produced, waned in popularity and is now gaining favoritism again.
Currier and Ives Tablescape

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.

Vintage Summer Tablescape

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)

Shop This Post

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!

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  1. So PRETTY!!! I love how this type of china can be used all year round by just adding holiday specific items. Your table is beautiful, Anna!! This was fun 🙂

  2. Happy to hear that Currier & Ives pieces are gaining favor again. The next time I am in that area, I want to see those pieces you will be bringing to your booth at Stone Soup. I have my eye on one in particular, so I better not dally. 😍

    1. Hi Kathy-
      If there are certain pieces you would like – just send me an email and I can set them aside for you! Thank you for commenting!

  3. What a great Blog. I grew up with our Mom using those plates for holidays. Thanks for bringing back those great memories

    1. Hi James! That’s fabulous that your Mom used these plates. It’s funny how things always come back in style again.

  4. I am with you Anna about the whole tablescape thing! It is a relatively new term to me too! The plates are gorgeous! I had no idea that the Currier & Ives pattern was made by Home Laughin. I’m headed over to Rachel’s post now but not before I pin this post!

    1. Hi Cindy! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and pin. I love that the plates were made in the USA given that they are being used for a Patriotic “tablescape”.

  5. Just pinned this post, Anna, it’s so pretty! I love the place settings you chose and how you draped the fabrics to make the backdrop such a festive one. It’s all perfection and the perfect way to celebrate the season! Hugs, CoCo

    1. Hi CoCo- Thank you for commenting on the vintage tablescape. The fabric in the background was a lucky vintage find. I am glad you like it!

  6. Hi Anna! Your table looks so beautiful! I am in love with the red transferware! It is gorgeous! I can imagine you using it for all types of celebrations during the year! One of these days, I would like to start collecting transferware. I just have to decide what color, lol! You were so lucky to find that bunting, I love how you draped it across the mirror! Enjoy the 4th! Donna

    1. Thank you Donna! Collecting transferware is always a good idea. Sometimes you have to collect more than one color! Have a safe, healthy and festive 4th of July!

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