Old Country Roses China (Favorite Things Friday)

My mom was a simple woman. She was born in 1920 and raised during very hard times in the mid-west. Her family moved from Kansas to Texas during a very bitter winter and she remembered, vividly, that her dog had to ride on the car’s running boards in a snow storm after her father offered a ride to a man walking along the highway.

My mom was a working woman all of her adult life. She began working while she was still in high school as a waitress, and retired, following a severe shoulder injury, after working 30 years as a meat wrapper for a large grocery chain.

My mom and dad were married in 1942. My dad was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps very soon thereafter. They really didn’t have a wedding, and in those hard times brides did not register for wedding china and pretty things for their homes. Most of my growing up years, our every day dishes were the patterns that were bought weekly, piece by piece, from the grocery store. My mom did have a special set of dishes that she kept in the high cupboard over the fridge that we used for special occasions. They were a pretty, floral stoneware. I believe she had place settings for six, but no serving dishes at all. If memory serves, I think she bought these by redeeming Blue Chip stamps.

Several years after Copper and I were married, my mom decided that she was going to have china. I’d never heard her even mention wanting china before, and I was quite surprised to find out that she had always loved the Old Country Roses pattern from Royal Albert. She began buying place settings and serving pieces when the large department stores held their sales.

During this same time, since she and Dad were both retired, they began traveling in their pick-up and camper a LOT. One such trip led them into Canada where Mom discovered that there were even more pieces of this pattern available than were offered in the United States. She met a dealer there that sent her sale flyers throughout the year and Mom continued to build her set of china. She decided that she should have 13 place settings (12 for using, and one extra of each piece in case something broke). She had oodles of serving dishes of all shapes and sizes = bowls, platters, candy dishes, two tea pots, a coffee server, warmers and two covered soup tureens – one small, one large.

Now, I have to tell you (and this will crack you up, I’m sure), I thought that the Old Country Roses was just a bit too ornate and colorful. But Mom loved red, and had an exquisitely decorated home that featured red drapes and red carpet. Sounds a bit much, I know, but it really was pretty. I even thought so then, though I knew that I’d “never” (never say never, my friends) have RED stuff in my home!

I lost my mom to uterine cancer in January, 1993, and Dad passed away in August of that same year. I was an only child. There was no doubt in my mind that my Grandmother’s China cabinet, with the Old Country Roses china inside, would have to be placed in my dining room. The idea of packing away Mom’s china, which she waited SO many years to have, was unthinkable!

It’s an oft repeated saying, but ladies, I’m here to tell you that it’s true – As we grow older, we DO become our mothers!! Or at least very much like them. !!! I’m sorry Corin and Danielle, but it’s a fact!! I now absolutely LOVE “my” Old Country Roses china!!! I now have the china cabinet, which was my Grandmother’s, in my parlor with most of the china displayed there. And, yes, we do use the china for special dinners during the year!

But you can find the Old Country Roses china here and there throughout my home.

I have a tea cart in my parlor (which was a gift from my parents) and on it I have an Old Country Roses tea service.

Lu and Meg (Copper’s Dad and his wife of almost 23 years!!) have blessed me with three Paul Cardew Old Country Roses decorative tea pots as gifts over the years, along with other little odds and ends from this pattern that Meg has a knack for finding.



Meg also found this cute miniature tea set that is just “almost” Old Country Roses, which she gave to me before my first, and so far only,  granddaughter was born. (Somehow Meg just knew that that third grandbaby would be a girl, and she was right!). The Old Country Roses china not only sets the tone for the way my parlor is now decorated, it is the foundation on which I hope to one day re-decorate it.

Finally, in our bedroom, there is a small Old Country Roses tea-for-one setting positioned on a trunk against my beautiful RED bedroom wall (remember ladies, NEVER say never!!).

And now, thanks to Corin, my blog also features this lovely, feminine, old-fashioned china pattern! Old Country Roses China – definitely one of my favorite things!!



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16 comments to Old Country Roses China (Favorite Things Friday)

  • Your Old Country Roses China is absolutely beautiful!  I’m sure it is even more special to you since it belonged to your dear Mom. 

    I’m also an only child who has lost both of my parents (lost my Mom 16 years ago to breast cancer and my Dad to lung cancer almost 4 years ago).


  • Your china collection is beautiful. 

    Thank you for sharing your sweet, heartwarming story.

  • What a beautifully written post! At first, I was giggling b/c our stories are so similar–my mom born in 1921, married in 1941. We had the Golden Wheat pattern dishes from Duz detergent, then two sets bought week-by-week at the grocery. Mom never graduated to Real China in her lifetime, though.

    Such a beautiful tribute! I’m glad we have learned to *use* these treasures. I especially love your bedroom tea-for-one set.

    I identify with your “never say never” sentiment, too! We find out our mothers had pretty good taste….

  • What a lovely post.  What a wonderful blessing to be surrounded by things that belonged to, and were cherished by, those we love but are no longer with us.  You know what I say, “I’m glad we become like our Mothers as we grow older, I thing that is a GOOD THING!!”

  • I don’t mind becoming my mother, I just don’t want to become later “the lady in the oval frame”!

  • Okay, so if I liked the china, and I encouraged you to paint your wall red, does that mean that I’m the one that will have the red carpet? Scary thought!

    Ditto to Dani’s comment!

  • Such a lovely tribute to your parents!! The china is just gorgeous, love the rose pattern! Enjoy your day and thank you for sharing such wonderful memeories with us!

  • My mother was born in 1912 (I was born when she was in her 40s) and I remember our dishes being the kind that were purchased at the grocery store. It was the pattern that looked like Blue Willow. Now, my daughter is becoming more like ME. It is a wonderful site to see.

    I love your china (and your blog!). I have the Royal Albert Lavendar Rose, purchased by a miracle of God. They were just displaying it and Goodwill one day (eight place settings, sugar bowl and creamer, two platters and a bowl) and another miracle…I had the money for it. All of that for less than $80.00. I had been going through a very difficult time for a couple of years and it was like He knew exactly what would bring me joy (and it does, when I view it in my inherited corner china cabinet each day).

    I have a teapot that goes very well with it, even though it is not the same pattern. It was a gift from my daughter when she was in college.

    I do love reading your blog. My two kids are twelve years apart, my daughter born when I was 23 and my son when I was 35 (God’s sense of humor). We did not homeschool her but we do my son. He is now a Junior!

  • Oh, what a wonderful story! I enjoyed hearing about your mom and how she collected her favorite china!
    You have it displayed beautifully and it looks wonderful against your red wall. :0)
    I had to say that I just LOVE the tea for one set. Too sweet! Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories with us.

  • what a sweet and sentimental story!  I love the china too. I am a dishes freak and LOVE THESE!

  • Ahhhhhh, my china!!  My favorite in the whole world!  My Grandma had a cup/saucer of Old Country Roses in her collection, and as a child, I loved the pattern.  So when I married, I registered for extra pieces, as, through sales, I had already bought 8 place settings.  I love it dearly, although it hasn’t been used a lot yet (little children here!) it will be, as time goes and they get just a bit older.  It is however, on display (part of it) in my home.  I loved seeing your collection; thanks for sharing!

    About those dishes your Mom “collected” at the grocery store, wouldn’t she laugh today, seeing what those nuggets will fetch an an antique shop??  Oh, how I love depression glass etc. 🙂

    Anyway, have a lovely weekend, “Tea”

  •      SimpliciTea – I do undertsand about little ones and special dishes…but might I encourage you?  We use the china on Christmas, and my grandsons (now just 4 and 3), have china plates at the table.  The only reason my little granddaughter (16 months old) hasn’t used them is because she’s still eating her meals right off her highchair tray.  This Christmas, though, she’ll have a plate too!
         Might a plate get broken?  Sure.  But you know what?  One could just as easily slip from my soapy hands while it is being washed in the sink!
         Your children will learn to cherish and treasure special things as you allow them to use them.  Knowing that they are special to you, and that they are being allowed to use them only on special occasions, will bring out the best in your children! 
         Better still – they will feel special because you are letting them use it!!!  That’s worth the price of replacing a dish or two over the years!! 🙂

  •      Ladies, one and all – Thank you for your sweet comments.  I do appreciate them all.  It’s so nice sharing my favorite things with you.  And thanks for realizing that I was trying to honor my folks, as well.  Marriages of almost 51 years are rare these days, and with my anniversary just a day away at the time I posted about the china, thinking of my parents’ long marriage was very much in my heart.
          God bless you all today, as you look well to the ways of your households.

  • I enjoyed reading about the legacy of your set.  Now your girls will get to enjoy it someday, too!

  • I have been enjoying your blog these last few weeks, thanks to a friend who passed it on to me.  I really have enjoyed it and feel right at “home” reading your daily entries.  It all sounds very familiar and much like my home and life.  So, when I opened up this page I was once again surprised to see something from “home”.  I love Old Country Roses and have started collecting the china pieces for myself.  I am the mother of three boys and decided many years ago that it was okay to decorate in the things that I loved… roses and tea!!!  Now my boys all enjoy tea with me on occasion and buy me anything with roses on it, especially tea cups and pots.  I hope someday my granddaughter or daughter-in-law will have a legacy story to share about my china.  Thanks!

  • I have been collecting Old Country Roses since I married in August 1968.Sadly I have been a widow for nearly eleven years but still collect when I can afford it.