Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Vintage Dishes: To Microwave or Not?

After years of admiring this pattern of dishes, I hit the jackpot at an antique store in Fulton, Illinois a few weeks ago.  I'd seen individual pieces for years but never a whole set.  This store not only had one booth with full sets and pieces but THREE! I was able to get a 10-piece place setting with two serving dishes for 50.00!  Each piece was 1.00 (cup and saucers were marked as 1.00 for both pieces!).
The pattern is called Boutonniere and is made by the Taylor Smith Taylor company.  It was manufactured between 1955 and 1965.
   The colors are perfect with my living room / dining room colors.
On of my favorite things about this set is the inside of the cups with the blue color -- so pretty!
There are some great serving piece for this set that are out there on Etsy and Ebay and I'm going to begin patiently collecting them.  One of the first ones on my list is this covered casserole dish.
 One of the things that is very interesting about this pattern is that the soup bowls are almost nowhere to be found and when you CAN find them, they sell for around 22.00 - 24.00 EACH!  I can't imagine why other than maybe soup/cereal bowls were the most often used pieces by children and most of them were broken and lost??  So I'll just try to find a plain white bowl with the blue inside to use instead!

This morning I was thinking about the dishes and realized, "Hey, they didn't have microwaves in the 1950's and 60's" - duh.  So I wondered if I should use these in the microwave and I found this great article on eHow that tells you how to test your dishes.  Basically, you put a microwave-safe glass measuring cup full of water in the microwave.  You add one of your dishes so it's not touching the glass and heat for one minute on high.  If the dish is cool, it's microwave-safe.  If it's warm or hot, it's not microwave-safe because that's telling you that there is some type of metal in the glass.  The verdict on mine, probably not microwave-safe.  While only the very center of the plate was slightly warm, I'll err on the side of caution and not use these in the microwave.
Do you collect vintage dishes?  I'd love to see your collections!

P.S. Be sure to enter my Sneakpeeq Give Away
 (Ends May 5)


  1. Hi Lauren,

    Your dishes are beautiful. I just posted mine.


  2. You are right not to microwave. I have found that even microwave safe stoneware will randomly crackle from use in the microwave. You wouldn't want to do ANYTHING to ruin the beautiful finish on these. I agree that the blue is gorgeous!

  3. These are beautiful! I don't collect any vintage dishware, but I love the look of it.

    Great tip on the microwaving, I'm definitely going to try it. :)

  4. Your "new" dishes are beautiful. I don't blame you for not risking them in the m/w. Love that inside blue color! Congrats!!!

  5. I DO love your exciting find! And that teacup with the blue interior....WOW! And I'm not even a blue girl, even though I do appreciate it and have some blue pieces, I'm at heart a green girl. And I would never subject that beautiful set to the micorwave, even it it did 'pass' the test. Just too risky. My rule and I have to keep saying it to 'certain' members of this household..."If it's old or gold DO NOT PUT IN THE MW!. Thanks for sharing.

  6. OOOOooooo! Lucky you! I LOVE these dishes! I am doing my "new" house (new to me, not brand new) in blue and those would look awesome! But I know I will never find them, so I will have to just admire yours!!!! And my dishes get screaming hot in the microwave. They are new, and the box said microwave safe. I thought all dishes got hot in the microwave! Very interesting to know!!!

  7. Oh, my what a lovely set of dishes!!You hit the jackpot!!
    I'm your newest follower! And I'll be back!!


  8. These are beautiful, Lauren. I love the pattern, shape and color. Yes, I do collect dishes, all kinds, including vintage.....Christine

  9. Really lovely find Lauren! You lucky girl you! Those dishes are so pretty and I love the cups that have colours inside too! Love the shape of them as well! Although I have sets of Spode, Royal Doulton and Wedgwood, only one of them is vintage and I inherited them from my Grandmother! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful treasure! Angie xo

  10. Lovely pattern. Have you been collecting these last two years? Here's that casserole for $5 on ebay!

    1. Thank you Geneva! I just may get that dish -- it has a chip in it but it's such a good price. I've collected a few other serving pieces but am always on the look out for them.

  11. Love your set! I see bits and pieces of it at the GW around southern Maine. I'm a huge fan of Red Wing pottery (and totally have a dinnerware monkey on my back). About 2 years ago when I got my first pieces of Red Wing dishes I wondered the same thing about microwaving them. I found an article (and it's not coming up for me right now) that had cut off years - the microwave had been invented and manufactures accommodated. If you can find out what year your pattern was introduced, that's helpful. My Red Wing "Pepe" pattern is microwavable, but the other two patterns I have are older (pre 1965-68) and are not. That was my take-a-way from that site. Sorry, I can't seem to find the article today.


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