When Franciscan tableware premiered in 1934, it was practically an overnight success. The glamour of the emerging film industry increased interest in all things California. The state’s climate seemed exotic to Midwesterners and those living on the East Coast, so the “Golden State” became a very popular tourist destination. And Franciscan’s bright-colored, less expensive “earthenware” grew in popularity as American consumers began to recover from the Great Depression.
Desert Rose was one of four patterns in the company’s now legendary line of hand-painted, raised-pattern designs, that included Apple, Fresh Fruit, and Ivy. The inspiration for “Desert Rose” has been attributed to Annette Honeywell, a California freelance artist. Based on Honeywell’s designs, Franciscan artist Mary Winans modeled the beautifully shaped “Desert Rose” pattern that would go on to be touted at the time as “the most popular pattern ever made in America.” The pattern features a hand-painted underglaze floral design with a palette of natural pinks, yellows, and greens. The bold earthenware bodies of each piece are accented with serpentine vines that perfectly complement the green leaves and elegant rose blossoms that cascade across each piece. The flower that the Desert Rose blossom is modeled after, the Rosa Rugosa, is an ornamental plant native to Asia. Rosa Rugosa is a hardy plant that thrives in sandy, coastal areas, although in the U.S. it is found most commonly in the Midwest and northeastern regions. The pattern was named Desert Rose in keeping with Franciscan’s desire to be identified with California and the American West.
This month, we offer a special 34-piece Desert Rose set that includes 8 dinner plates, 8 square salad plates, 8 bread & butter plates, and 8 grandmugs, along with 1 oval serving platter (14 1/4 inches), and 1 round vegetable bowl (8 1/2 inches). (Sets contain manufacturer’s imperfect pieces offered at significant savings; we have hand-inspected these pieces and satisfaction is assured.)
Desert Rose is a classic pattern, and this set is an outstanding value!