A few weeks ago, when Manny and I were visiting my brother and Alyssum in Pittsburgh, we all went to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. And never mind the architecture — I fell in love with some plates.
Y’all know by now that I have a thing for dinnerware.
(In front of Fallingwater in PA’s Laurel Highlands — a stone’s throw from where I grew up.)
The house was built for the Kaufmann family, who owned an iconic downtown-Pittburgh department store (it closed when I was growing up and I remember having been so sad).
Their son, who sold the estate, left everything to trust basically — art, furniture, even their porcelain collections.
I swear to you I’ve probably been to Fallingwater a dozen times, since I grew up fairly close by. But I hadn’t been in some years and I was much more attentive this time through than I used to be. I wanted to know everything about everything. When I saw the plates set out on the dining table, I almost fell over they were so pretty and cool.
“These,” our guide said, nodded toward the table, “are by Spode.”
I’ll admit, I was pretty surprised. Spode is a British company — they make bone china and stoneware and it’s perfectly good stuff, but I never assumed I’d stop in my tracks for it. The Florence pattern is so glorious, though. Produced in the 1930s, it’s all kinds of vintage goodness.
You can still get the Spode Florence pattern via eBay and other online auction sites. If you buy it per item it’s pretty pricey (think $30+ a piece). But you can get pretty lucky with larger sets at auction.
By the way, if you’re wondering what pairs well with Spode Florence china, Mrs. Kaufmann knew. The staff at Fallingwater set the table with her Dansk Fjord teak and stainless flatware. (And I do love me some Dansk).
As far as I’m concerned? Swoon-city, folks.