An exquisite tureen handcrafted by Dodie Thayer, the extraordinary Lettuce Ware artisan.
I have mentioned that I do two monthly posts for the Randolph Street Market one on fashion the other on collecting/collectibles…Sally Schwartz, Founder of RSM has given me permission to repost when I feel they would fit into my blog. The following is one of my recent favorites….hope you enjoy it.
COLLECTIBLES EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE RANDOLPH STREET MARKET
LETTUCE WARE COLLECTIBLES (AND OTHER VEGETABLE
Happy Spring and the earth’s rebirth. I was originally thinking I would do an Easter post…you know wonderful little bunnies, perfectly dyed eggs, tulips, wonderful tablescapes and the bounty of the Spring holiday feasts…but how cliché. Yes, I know we all love these signs of renewal but since these posts are about collectibles let’s go a bit outside the box and talk about an area of collecting many of us don’t normally think about….Lettuce Ware and other vegetable ware collectibles.
We can, of course, relate to collecting fabulous pieces of Majolica in the form of vegetables but I am concentrating this account on more modern collectibles…we will save Majolica for another time.
Dodie Thayer (who passed away at age 91 in 2018) cast her life-like pieces, each vein shaped by hand, in her home in Jupiter, Florida. During the 1960’s through the 1980’s the pieces were in demand by Palm Beach Society. C.Z. Guest was a major collector and her collection was sold in 2015 at Sotheby’s for $35,000, original valuation, $3,000.
Dodie Thayer looking very Mid-Century Modern with a display of her wares.
Some of the C. Z. Guest collection.
From one of my favorite blogs The Glam Pad, a C. Z. Guest table setting
A bit about CZ Guest’s Collection in this fabulous book.
You would have found these charming pieces in the homes of Brooke Astor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the Duchess of Windsor among many others.
From the Tory Burch Collection in this cheerful table setting.
Having purchased a huge collection from renowned interior designer and collector, Todd Romano, Designer and Lifestyle guru, Tory Burch, became a friend of Thayer that friendship led to a collaboration and Dodie authorized reproductions for the first time. We love when these things happen. Now we can find the beauty of this artisan at non-auction prices. To me this is the perfect subject when you are collecting (of course, at RANDOLPH STREET MARKET), lucky you will be to find an original piece but now you can find the continuation of the work of a true innovator in a 21st century line, which is also now collectible….everything old is indeed new again!!!
More from the Tory Burch Collection.
Let’s look at a few more pieces and display ideas….from Thayer….
A collectors dream…..
Now let’s look at a couple of Majolica pieces…yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to do Majolica but couldn’t resist….sorry (not sorry!)
Other veggies…these from Boston porcelain artist, Katherine Houston, glorious…
Let’s look for something from her at RSM….
From my own collection, this charming Katherine Houston pea pod (4”) signed and dated 1997, a Christmas gift that year from a dear friend, Martin Gapshis, miss him terribly….great taste and style!!!
Another gift from Martin this cauliflower small covered bowl (long before the popularity of the veg!) late 1990’s from Vietri, Italian Majolica.
Oh, alright, a couple of bunnies……enjoy Spring!!!!!
For more information check the comprehensive article in the Wall Street Journal on Collecting Lettuce Ware by Alexa Brazilian July 19, 2013.
- LETTUCE SOUP FOUND ON EPICURIOUS.COM
- Wouldn’t that be glorious served in a Lettuce Ware bowl…I say yes!
- Makes 4 servings
- ACTIVE TIME
- 25 min
- TOTAL TIME
- 35 min
- 1 cup chopped onions, scallions, and/or shallots
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup diced (1/3 inch) peeled potato
- 8 cups coarsely chopped lettuce leaves including ribs (3/4 lb)
- 3 cups water
- Cook onion mixture and garlic in 2 tablespoons butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add coriander, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in potato, lettuce, and water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potato is very tender, about 10 minutes.
- Purée soup in batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) and transfer to a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Bring soup to a simmer, then whisk in remaining tablespoon butter and salt and pepper to taste.
All photos, with the exception of the two pieces from my collection, from Pinterest photo credits unknown.
I see this stuff all the time at Randolph and never knew it was “a thing” or that it was called Lettuceware or that anyone collected it! See what I know??!! These pieces look smashing together!
I’m here to help you dear Sally….and that is what collecting is all about the excitement of finding something new or adding to what you have. And RSM offers all of us endless possibilities. By the way, I can see a Lettuce Ware Collection in your wonderful kitchen….just saying.
Love, love all these pieces and your blog too especially since they are in green, my favorite color along with blue and white. Oh dear Nena I guess I will have to start collecting again although I have no more room to store!!!
My favorite color as well. I know, collecting is a thing with me as well but since I live in a tiny home I have to limit myself to Victorian jewelry! And I just inherited a huge cache of Imari and it is glorious, what to do!!!!!
An especially wonderful blog today! Brings back fond memories of pieces my mother had which are long gone.
Thank you so much. Memories are THE best.