A Vintage Adventure – It Was Thrift Store Heaven!

Southern Vintage China Vintage China Rental NC

This past weekend I went to the opening of a new thrift store, TROSA Thrift Store, in Durham. (Thank you, Linda, for sending that text!) For me, this may be one of the most exciting events I can imagine!  I realize some folks would just shake their head in amusement at this declaration but there are many others who totally get the magnificence of a thrift store, especially a new one. And, this place is huge – housed in a once-vacant box store – with so much to see and admire. More about this terrific organization, TROSA, at the end of my entry.

I claimed my cart and made a beeline to the houseware’s department. Of course, I get that one annoying, thumpidity-thump-thump cart but by the time I realized how bad it was, I couldn’t turn back and pushed it onward to the back of the store. Even though there weren’t gobs of plates on the shelves, I quickly saw there were many patterns I had never seen. I stood there and took a deep breath because I knew I had arrived at thrift store heaven!

Trying to act as nonchalant as possible so as to not attract attention to my little goldmine, I began pulling plates off the shelves. For most of the patterns I found only one plate, which makes them even more special, but some had a couple and I did find four dinner plates in one pattern. There were also some Blue Ridge dessert plates, definitely a find, and a few more of one pattern I found early in my collecting but hadn’t seen since. What a joyful rush!

My cranky cart, filled with vintage china plates, was now clinking and squeaking as I moved through the other departments in this vast store. This store has everything – clothes, toys, housewares and books – but I think the best stock is their furniture. If you are in the market for shelving, chairs, tables or desks, this is the place to look.

After I checked out all of the departments and made one last inspection of each plate to check for chips, I paid for my treasures. Although there was a bit of line on this busy opening day, it was very organized and the staff quickly helped their customers. This is one consistency about my encounters at a TROSA event or store – the folks are polite, helpful and very appreciative you are there.

Here’s a look at six different patterns I found that day. From muted to striking, each of them has its own unique history. Two patterns were made in America, four are from England and collectively they span decades.

Made in the USA

These two American patterns have a soft, gentle look. The first one is called Classic Flower Vernon Ware by Metlox of California. This pattern dates from the 1970s and has an understated beauty about it.  I love the textured rim and the center design is very pretty.

The second pattern is Foliage by Canonsburg.  This lovely fall-inspired pattern was made in the Canonsburg Pottery kilns in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.  This china company was founded in 1900 and closed in 1978.

Made in England

These two English patterns are strikingly beautiful. The first one, Spodes’ Tower-Blue, is gorgeous with beautiful details. In this lovely outdoor tower scene, there are birds, cows and even a couple of fishermen. This pattern, made from 1902-1970, also has a textured rim known as gadroon, which means decorative edging.

The second pattern, Historic America by Johnson Brothers, was produced from 1930-1974. I only found this one plate but when I looked it up, I discovered it’s a multi-motif pattern which means each piece of the pattern features a different scene. The dinner plate is called “View of Boston.” Don’t you think it’s a bit ironic this American historic series was created by an English china company?

The third English pattern is Tintern by Royal Doulton.  Manufactured from 1935-1960, this creamy pattern is colorful and dramatic. I was thrilled to find two of these!  According to Wikipedia, Tintern, a historic village in Wales, is known for its natural beauty and the ancient 12th century Tintern Abbey. Interestingly, Tintern and another historic village, Chapel Hill, have merged to form a larger province.  Perhaps a cosmic message for me to visit, huh?

The final one from England, also a Spode pattern, is called Primrose-Blue and Yellow. With its scalloped edge, textured rim and colorful center motif, this lovely pattern was produced from 1954-1969. Wish I had these for my daughter’s wedding party with our blue & white with yellow color scheme!

As you probably figured out, I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon finding these treasures. One shopper, after taking a look in my cart, commented to me, “You have quite an interesting collection in there!”  “Indeed, I do,” I replied.  Interesting, lovely additions to Southern Vintage Table‘s elegant and casual vintage china collections, now available for your next gala event.

Southern Vintage China Vintage China Rental NC


More about TROSA –
TROSA, Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers, is a highly successful non-profit organization that supports people who want to make a positive change in their lives.  They have several different businesses to help with job skill development including two thrift stores, holiday tree lots, lawn care and moving services. Each time I visit their work sites, I am impressed by these folks who are always pleasant, hard working and appreciative.  Take time to visit TROSA’s website to learn more about their mission and work.

China pattern dates – Replacements, LTD

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Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

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