I don’t know why, but I have multiple dish sets. There is my Royal Doulton wedding china in the buffet. My cabinets house a set of white dishes, Villeroy & Boch, white and green trimmed Dansk dishes, and some colorful Chinese bowls for condiments. A couple of weeks ago, I found some large white bowls to use for pasta. I like the bowl idea instead of a large flat plate because it captures the sauces. In the buffet, I found my grandmother’s blue paisley lunch plates with teacups and put them in the cupboards. I also found a William Sonoma Mediterranean pasta set and some green and white Corelle set fragments. Do any of you remember Corelle??
During the winter, I did little clean-out projects. In the downstairs kitchen, I found bits and pieces of old china. I found a set of pale green Martha Stewart dinnerware. The dishes were downstairs because the plates were too large to fit in my dishwasher, and I thought I could use them as place-setting chargers. Always fighting my weight, I was reminded that plate size relates to portion control eating. So my better sense demanded I toss that dinner set, but I did keep a couple of plates as plant saucers
Buffet with the white and gray wedding china and a few pieces of very old blue and white English Castles and the Dansk set coffee mugs!
I did find a few odds and ends of a pretty grape pattern Pfaltzgraff set. Pfaltzgraff is a glazed stoneware. Originally the company was located in Germany, but the family immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1811 and started a business. The father Johann died in 1873, and two of his sons, George & Henry, started a company in Yorke, Pa in 1889, which eventually became the Pfalaltzgraff company. The family sold their ceramics in local shops. Initially, the company made jugs. They began to make dinnerware in the 1930s. Demand for their ceramics grew, and by 1970, the company began to sell from its 100 pattern design to high-end retail stores like Macy’s for the first time.
A lot of people I know collect cermaics and pottery. Ironstone is a much loved collectible. HGTV and Marian Parsons define Ironstone as “Ironstone china is a glaze-covered earthenware that was first patented by Charles James Mason in 1813 and other manufacturers followed suit.: See HERE
While Pfaltzgraff is also an earthenware, it is not the same as ironstone. Pfaltzgraff states Ironstone is much heavier and stronger.. see HERE
Pfaltzgraff dinnerware was popular, and while modestly priced, it was even sought after as “wedding china.” The company continued to operate for many years. However, in 2005, the entire company and its stores were purchased by Lifetime Brands Incorporated. The product is not manufactured in China
A great history of the company from the 1880s until the 1990s can be found HERE. The company wound up in the hands of a granddaughter who married Louis Arpell, who ran it until his death. Under the Arpell stewardship, the company became part of a broadcasting company and grew its dinnerware brand. Over the years, Pfaltzgraff acquired multiple companies itself and continued to grow in popularity and wealth. Eventually, it was worth millions.
However, as competition with Japanese and Chinese dishes companies grew, the company declined and was sold to Lifetimes Brands in 2005. The Pfaltzgraff company continues to make many of the original dinnerware patterns, although some are discontinued. However, the factory is now in China, and there are some differences in the brand. So if you are a vintage collector, you must look for specifics to ensure your piece is the original product made in the USA.
Early pieces are marked “Pfaltzgraff Stoneware Co. LTD York Penna.” In the 1930s, a large “P” and “YORK” were used. In the 1960s, a keystone of the Pfaltzgraff family castle is embossed on the back of the company’s pieces. Now the modern pieces are embossed made in China. Beware, if there is just a sticker saying “Phaltzgraff made in China “is a fake. Yes, there are fake ones out there.
See the three castles on the top?
The original pattern is “Heritage.” Heritage is a solid white dinnerware with 12 sided bowls and cups. It is very white and glazed. Yorktown a blue floral on white- gray that is more salt-glazed and not as brilliant perhaps as Heritage. Some of the new issues from the company are not a white or have a slight difference in colloration.
Heritage dishes by Pfaltzgraff- the first pattern- originally introduced in 1960s..an open pattern still made by the company
This pattern is Yorketown – Pfaltzgraff started as a crock and mug set but produced as dinnerware since 1967- a most loved pattern still in production
The important date to remember is 2005- that is when the product manufacturing changed to China. As stated above, there are various makers marks as the company evolved which are significant for collectors.
You can look up individual patterns to find the date it was initially introduced. One of the primary collectors’ designs is called Yorktowne. Gourmet Oven Ware and Provincial Gourmet appeared in the 1940s and ’50s. Heritage, the oldest pattern of dinnerware still in production, was introduced in 1963. The Yorktowne pattern began production in 1967. See HERE.
Winterberry was the much-loved Christmas edition of the collection. A beautiful white with green vine-like holly leaves with mistletoe leaves and berries. I would be very tempted to start collecting these for the holidays!! You can buy old sets or pieces on eBay, Etsy, from others, the website “Replacement. LTD, and you can buy it new from Platzgraff. I think the pattern might be slightly different, but from what I can see, very similar.
Winterberry- a much loved Pfaltzgraff pattern they still make- noted as favorite for Christmas Tables 1991 pattern
I have the pattern “grapevine” . Again similar to the winterberry – white with green grape vines and a purple-blue grapes.
I found a website that gives a description and introduction date for the various patterns. I do not know how accurate the information is but the original pattern dates are not readily found. This site allows you to buy the dishes by forwarding you to another purchase site. I will put the link here, but I am not recommending its use. According to this website, my pattern was introduced in 1990. see HERE
Grapevine- my stoneware pattern
The company made all sorts of pottery and ceramics. It even made metalware for a while. There is a book which has a great history concerning this pottery and its products. Titled Pfaltzgraff Americans Potter buy Here
The directions say you can use the dinnerware in the microwave, oven-safe, but there are caveats, dishwater safe. I found they got hot quickly, and I personally did not put them in the microwave without food on them and then for a short period. I rarely put them I the oven to warm. I did put them in the dishwasher.
I stopped using it because I was not happy with the gray marks that appear. I’m now informed the marks are from the stainless steel and another metal utensils depositing metal onto the glaze. All I know is they did not come off in the dishwasher. But now I am told there is a cleaner made by the company and also Mr. Clean’s white cleaning pads remove the marks. I am going to try that.
I’ll let you know how the cleaning goes
Anyway still using Pfaltzgraff?? How do you clean it?
Take care guys