Lost Lavender China Lives – a Tablescape

While visiting an antique mall last December, the owner directed me to her room in the back.  It was filled with sets of dishes and china that she bought from antique dealers closing their doors.  She and her husband bought the entire store for a flat fee.

As I entered the room stacked full of dishes, she made me a deal I couldn’t refuse.  She said, “$25 for any set you choose.”


Tabletop View

I ask you, could you have walked away with nothing?  My hostess went to a corner and pulled out this set of china.  I came across the room and looked at these lovely dishes rimmed with blue lavender blooms.

Place Setting

Love!!  An incomplete set, but I didn’t care.  These Sheffield by Salem dishes were packed into the box of treasures I collected that day.

Cup and Saucer

I took a salad plate with me to my parents’ house on my next visit.  Painter Artist Mom (PAM) and I were sitting at the kitchen table talking, when Handy Builder Dad (HBD) walked through the room.  He paused at the kitchen counter, where the plate was sitting, and commented, “Oh, you’ve got Grandmomma’s china.”

Grandmomma was our name for HBD’s mom, who died 20 years ago.

“What, Dad?  Are you sure?”

Dessert Bowl

Maybe I subliminally chose this china because I remembered it from childhood…

Yes, he thought it was her pattern but suggested I ask Auntie D, his sister.  I quickly snapped a picture of the salad/bread plate and emailed it to Auntie D.

Her email reply was that yes, this was Grandmomma’s china pattern.  Even in blue.  She said you see it most often in purple, but the rare blue was hers.  She said to notice the center emblem is not aligned perfectly with the rimmed blooms.

She’s right – see how the bloom spray on the rim above the center isn’t exact?

Dinner Plate

Much of my grandmother’s set was stolen in the 50’s – before I was born.

Center View of Table

You get what I’m saying here?  I never ate off of this china at my grandparents’ home.

Battenburg Lace

There was never a china cabinet display, a table setting, or even a hint that it ever existed.

Lavender Sachet in Jelly Jar

My aunt reported that she found one lone plate stashed in a kitchen cabinet while readying my grandparents’ home for sale.  She kept it and hung her lone plate (in pretty bad shape) on a wall in her home.

Beaded Wreath Affect

Auntie D said Grandmomma’s china was taken to Montgomery Bell State Park in the 50’s inside a picnic basket.

Centerpiece Vase

The basket was stolen, so Grandmomma must have parted with the remaining partial set – all except one dinner plate.

Yard Clippings in Votive Holder

I am still amazed that I bought this china set.

Votive Inside Vase

How did I know?          I didn’t.

Table Center Piece

The thought has crossed my mind that this could actually be the stolen set, but why would it include a serving platter?

Lost China Lives - a Tablescape

A gift arrived from Auntie D, some silverware pieces that match the china – from my grandmother’s collection.  Thank you, Auntie D!!!

Matching Silverware

I feel my grandmother’s lavender bloom china, in a sense, has returned “home”.  Amazing, isn’t it?

I am thankful for this gift that God gave me that day in the antique store.  No One but my Father in Heaven could have orchestrated such!

Have you had a similar experience?  Maybe not with china, but with some other item?

I’m sharing this post with the following link parties.  Click the title to join the fun!

Tablescape Thursday

What to do Weekends

 Thank you for visiting! ~ I’d like to invite you to follow me through RSS feed, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram,  or Hometalk.  Also, I’d love it if you shared Curtain Queen Creates with all your sweet friends.

You might also like:

High Cotton Dining Table

High Cotton Tablescape

All About the Blues Tablescape

All About The Blues Tablescape

Simplicity of Black and White

Basic Black and White Tablescape


  1. Elaine says

    I think upon learning the history of the china pattern in your family is such a great treasure and maybe how much like your grandmother you are.

    • Kim says

      Elaine, I’ve been told I’m very much like my maternal grandmother, but aren’t we all a mixture? Both grandmothers impacted my life greatly. That is as it should be. I hope to remember that when I am a grandmother myself some day. 🙂

  2. says

    Oh, Kim, isn’t it wonderful that our God cares even about the little things. Lovely table setting! I especially love your punch bowl! 🙂
    Cindy recently posted…Canned LightsMy Profile

    • Kim says

      Thank you, Cindy. I glued my maternal grandmother’s punch bowl back together. It was broken in the 50’s. Hmm…seems like many things happened in the 50’s.

  3. Sharon Bernstein says

    All I can say, God works in mysterious ways. Blessings that you have either your Grandmom’s or at least the same pattern. You have a gift.

  4. says

    That totally just gave me chills! Wow, Kim…God just steered you right into that store, and the angels put their hands on the shoulders of the owner to guide you to that back room and to that china set!!! Amazing! It crossed my mind, too, that indeed that could be the pilfered set from so many years ago, but as you pointed out…why would there now be a platter with it? Still…amazing!!!

    I’m so happy for you! You now have something that can be treasured as a part of your childhood even though it never really was…sort of.
    Alycia Nichols recently posted…All A’Bloom in Pink for SpringMy Profile

  5. says

    Sometimes things are meant to be. All that brought you to that place, at that point in time, was for you to find this treasured family memory from the past and to bring it back where it was meant to be – in your family with you. This set of dishes might still be your grandmothers china and the platter may have been added by the dealer from another collection.
    Candy S recently posted…A Bunny Breakfast TablescapeMy Profile

  6. says

    What a wonderful story, and what an exquisite table you have set. I LOVE the china and where did you find those beautiful placemats? Everything about your table (crystal, silverware, centerpiece) comes together so well and is a fitting way to honor such an astounding find! Thank you for sharing. Rosie @ The Magic Hutch
    Rosie M. recently posted…A Simple Salute to AprilMy Profile

    • Kim says

      Thank you, Rosie! My crochet place mats were a gift from a dear friend many years ago. A friend of hers made them, and they are washable and extremely durable. I’ve come to realize what a treasure they are. 🙂

  7. FABBY says

    Wow, what a story, which I loved and while Reading I couldn’t imagine but that this was ‘FATE’ at it’s best!
    You were meant to have this gorgeous set of dishes and in your grandma’s honour in a way. I bet she send you in that direction! Your table is stunning with the pretty place mats, and mostly, it’ll be always a special china which carry a family story. I’m very excited for you my friend.

  8. Marcia @A Table Named Love says

    This is DIVINE, and $25 for the set, irresistible.
    MUST look through your post one more time. 🙂

    • Kim says

      Thank you, Barbara. God knows best in all things, doesn’t He? Even the stuff that seems small but He knows it is huge to us! 🙂

  9. says

    Oh my I love this story! I do believe you were definitely guided to purchase this set! Isn’t that awful that someone stole their basket along with her dishes. You’ve been given a chance to experience what would have been a hand me down from your Grandmomma!

  10. says

    What a wonderous and amazing thing!! I can’t imagine a God that would love us down to finding your grandparents’ china. That is such a beautiful story Kim. The china and tablescape are beautiful too but how beautiful that God handed you down your grandmother’s china without you even knowing it.

    Thanks for visiting today and your story.

  11. says

    Love Love Love this story and this sweet dinnerware set! Kim I am so happy for you. I’d like to think it was your Grandmomma’s set that someone added to with the platter and thus it has returned home.

    By the way….I take my Longaberger dishes on picnics all the time. I hate how paper plates blow around. I use cloth napkins too.

    And….I love your new blog look. Sorry to be so long in popping over. I am sooo behind. [hugs]
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day recently posted…Celebrate Your JoysMy Profile

  12. says

    You are so blessed to have the wonderful china back in your family! So God or Grandmomma was pointing you in the right direction! Your love for the china and your family grows with the addition of the silverware from Auntie D, a generous person. The pattern is lovely and your table is beautiful so enjoy each time you sit down with family and friends. I am blessed to have china bought by my mother for my family and blessed that she is still alive at 91. Have a great weekend!

    Pam recently posted…Tip your hat to St. Paddy’s DayMy Profile

  13. says

    What a neat story! How amazing would that be if really was your Grandmother’s set! Neat to think about! At any rate, it probably has a wonderful story all of it’s own. Thanks so much for stopping by chapter37 and for your kind comment!
    Abby recently posted…Something to think aboutMy Profile

    • Kim says

      Thank you, Abby. I agree! If we only knew the history of every china set. 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

    • Kim says

      Thank you, Kathleen! There are many goat wagon examples on Pinterest. Maybe I should write a post with some links. 🙂 I’m so happy you stopped by for a visit.