The Norman Transcript


November 11, 2012

A box of old dishes finds a new home



They sat in a box for 11 years and are now sitting on the shelves of my daughter’s home in Sevierville, Tenn. They were carefully wrapped in newspapers and hauled eight hours from Santa Fe, then repacked and hauled 16 hours from Norman to the Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee.

Once unwrapped, something magical happened with the dishes. The young couple has become excited about the Fiesta line and its rich history. They’ve been going to flea markets, garage sales and estate sales in search of pieces from that era. They’ve even found a Fiesta shop and know how to find the good stuff on e-Bay.

They have become Fiesta aficianados and can spot a fake or a factory second from two garage sales away. The old stuff is preferred. Finding missing pieces that are the original colors has become a game for them.

n n n

The “new” dinner plates are larger, perhaps because we all eat more than our relatives did in the Depression when the plates were first designed. Gravy bowls are hard to find. The water pitchers from the 1940s and 1950s are nearly identical to the new stuff. Here’s a tip: The vintage china has stamped letters or numbers on the bottom. Collectors Weekly said it’s the most collected dinnerware in the world.

The company kept the original six colors — red, cobalt, ivory, green, yellow and turquoise — for two decades. It added four more — chartreuse, rose, forest green and gray — in the 1950s.

They haven’t told us, but we wouldn’t be surprised if our newlyweds took a secret honeymoon trip to the Fiesta factory in Newell, just across the Ohio river from east Liverpool, Ohio. Tours are conducted twice a week and the retail outlet is open seven days a week. Grandmother got her wish and the kids have experienced a family connection 67 years in the making.


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