The History of Collecting Lettuce Ware Plates | Do Say Give

The Tradition of Collecting Lettuce Ware (And Where to Find It!)

Entertaining

lettuce plates

There are some home items that are timeless heirlooms passed down from generation to generation: China, silver, Christmas dishes and decor. If you (or your mother or grandmother) have an interest in beautiful table settings, then you’re likely aware of the timeless trend of lettuce ware. My grandmother, aunt and mom always collected and displayed lettuce ware, also referred to as cabbage ware. So today I wanted to explore the history of this tradition and share some plates in all price points if you want to start a collection of your own! 

lettuce plates

There’s certainly nothing that adds a splash of color, a touch of spring, to a table like a lettuce ware bowl or plate. Both modern and vintage lettuce ware adds a pop of color when layering place settings and is especially festive during the Easter season. 

But what are its origins? We did a little digging, and the history is enough to make you want to start your very own collection! While porcelain dishes shaped as fruits and vegetables were widely produced in 18th and 19th century England, lettuce ware dishes became popular in the United States in 1960s Palm Beach; right at the same time that Lily Pulitzer rose to popularity with her signature, brightly colored dresses and clothing. Artist Dodie Thayer created her lettuce ware pieces entirely by hand — pottery pieces that each took about two weeks to create — for the likes of Jackie Kennedy Onassis and the Duchess of Windsor. And they’ve been a staple in Southern entertaining ever since. 

So if you’re looking for a lovely addition to your springtime tablescape — and one that’s fit for first ladies and British royalty — we’ve found a mix of pieces at approachable and investment-worthy price points below. Estate sales and second hand stores are also good places to look for a collection!

Even the simple addition of lettuce ware bowls or a serving dish adds a just-right punch of glamorous Southern nostalgia, all while inviting guests to make themselves right at home.

Lettuce and Cabbage Ware Plates & Bowls

Southern Living Collection
Dillards has a great selection!
Ceramic Cabbage Plate
Several colors and sizes here.
Bordallo Pinheiro Plates
Replacements Ltd. has so many pretty lettuce ware pieces.
Amazon Plates
Under $30!

Tory Burch Plates
These come in pink and green, too.
Cereal Bowls
Also come in green!
Dodie Thayer Plates
Another great place for vintage finds!
Salad Plates
Great price on these!

Lettuce and Cabbage Ware Serving Pieces & Accessories

Cake Stand
Tea Cup & Saucer
Charger
Candle Holders

Pitcher
Melamine Chip & Dip
Platter
Small Melamine Bowl
 

Salt & Pepper Shakers
Cup & Saucer
Pair of Candlesticks
Melamine Tray
 

Let us know if you have or want to start a collection of lettuce ware plates and accessories!

Sources: 

Placemats | Napkins | Dinner Plate | Napkin Rings (similar) | Candle Holders | Olive Branch Platter (similar) | Eggs

Florals and Styling by Christina Brockman and Photography by Brennan Smith. 

Lee
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