Friday, October 24, 2008

Vintage souvenir plates

I've been collecting old souvenir plates for many years, so I thought I'd share a few here.
I especially love the look of the old transferware plates. They're really wonderful--I think.

Does anyone else collect them? They're an item you find all over the place in thrift shops and garage sales, and of course some are way better than others. Here are a few I have in my collection. (I've also put some up for sale in my shop if you're interested.)

This polychrome plate from the Grand Canyon is unmarked, but judging from the design and the rim, it's probably from the 1940s.

I love this green transferware plate. Even the edges are fabulous.

Brown transferware is a special love of mine. I live in the North Woods of Michigan, so the pine cone and pine needle rim caught my eye.

This is from the 1940 Golden Gate Expo in San Francisco. I love the deco look of this plate and I was thrilled when I found it at a garage sale. It'll be in my collection for a long time!

This is a closeup of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Love these Deco buildings and the purple elephants!

I especially look for plates from Vernon Kilns or Jonroth. Jonroth plates are the oldest, and were made in England for the US trade. Here's one:

This blue transferware is a smaller 8 inch plate. The others are the size of dinner plates.

This mauve and pastel transferware Luray Caverns plate is rare, I think (Or as rare as mass-produced souvenir plates can be.) I've never seen another one with colors like these.

I've written an article on English transferware here If you have any info to add to it, leave a comment there. I'm always happy to learn more about the things I love.

And if you have plates you would like to show here, I'm always happy to see them.


  1. i love that delaware water gap plate...i've driven through it many times and it is beautiful!

  2. I've never been there, but it looks beautiful. I have to admit that I'd never even heard of it until I came across that plate! I've never been to the 13 colonies, but there's always hope. I'm not in a wheelchair yet!

    Thanks for looking in--and commenting.

  3. Old souvenir plates are the best... my mother has a few...
    Great collection..

  4. great blog! I don't have a collection but I do have someone else's that i'm supposed to sell for her. i tried it at my garage sale and none sold. so they've been sitting in a box...waiting. I'll check for your favorite makers!

  5. Hi Sarah and Vyeshi; Glad to find others who love souvenir plates.

    Vyeshi, if you have pictures, send them on to me if you like, and I'll either try and identify them or post them here for others to identify. I love playing detective!

  6. Sorry it took me so long to reply. I checked out my souvenir plates and they have NO markings on the back. Most are cream colored with decorative gold on the rim...then feature the state and pictures in the middle...
    Probably fairly inexpensive initially..

  7. Hi Shannon, not all souvenir plates were marked, but sometimes the location or design are enough to make them desirable. You could put them up a few at a time and see what happens.

  8. wow, i am slow at responding. thanks, that's good to know about plates and batch of pictures i'll be sure to take some.

  9. Hi Shannon, it's a drag when there are no markings on the backs but it's important to still take pictures of both sides. Sometimes the way a plate is made tells us something about where it came from and how old it is. Thanks for commenting. Mona

  10. what is the value of the 1940 golden gate plate

  11. Sorry, I have no idea. I don't plan on selling it so I haven't looked it up. It might come up by Googling it, though.