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!
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
Lettuce and Cabbage Ware Serving Pieces & Accessories
Let us know if you have or want to start a collection of lettuce ware plates and accessories!
Florals and Styling by Christina Brockman and Photography by Brennan Smith.