Collecting vintage china can be fun. Though it was more popular in the past, there seems to be a resurgence of late in this hobby. Sometimes, you just stumble across things and you fall in love with them instantly. It was love at first sight with Liberty Blue vintage china. I was eager to learn more about this classic blue and white pattern. I have decided to collect it for a special reason, which I will get to later on in the post. I hope this guide is helpful to the community of collectors and enthusiasts around the world!
The Making of Liberty Blue – how it all began
The Benjamin Franklin Federal Savings bank, established in 1925, commissioned the Enoch Wedgwood Company to make special dinnerware to commemorate their 50 year anniversary. The result was Liberty Blue, made exclusively for the bank between 1975 & 1976. There are 15 Historic Colonial Scenes of the period which coincided with the American BiCentennial in 1976. New Account holders who made a $50 deposit, were offered a four piece place setting.Additional pieces were available for purchase. In 1977 they offered additionally a special 20” turkey platter free to those who deposited $5,000. This beautiful ironstone blue and white dinnerware set was available exclusively until 1977, when the bank ended the promotion. Liberty Blue was then available at national grocery stores on a limited basis or on order from the Sigma Marketing Company in New Jersey. Customers were also able to buy a few pieces with their regular grocery purchases as part of supermarket promotions.
Imagine you could once pick up some pieces for less than $1 USD ! I was able to find some information on Attraktiv & Preswert (A&P). At some point in the late 1990’s, A&P was brought to Germany. The company then went bankrupt in the US in 2010 and the brand was later discontinued in Germany in 2014. Maybe they should have offered some better promotions ?
Collecting Liberty Blue
If you’re going to start collecting, it’s important to have some knowledge of the pieces made by Wedgwood company in Staffordshire England. Equally, knowing how to identify authentic pieces will also be beneficial to your hunt! I’ve used the list from Robbins Nest – a reputable online and storefront retailer that specialises in replacement china. In particular Homer Laughlin. This is a great resource for any collector.
List of Liberty Blue dinnerware pieces
- Soup Tureen, Minutemen Answering First Call to Arms
- Soup Tureen Lid, Boston Tea Party
- Teapot, Minutemen Answering First Call to Arms
- Covered Vegetable, Boston Tea Party
- Covered Vegetable Lid, Lafayette Landing at West Point
- Pitcher, Old North Church
- Platter 12″, Governor’s House at Williamsburg
- Platter 14″, Washington Crossing the Delaware
- Platter 18″ and 20″, Declaration of Independence
- Vegetable Bowl, Round, Fraunces Tavern, Scene of Washington’s Farewell to the Continental Army
- Vegetable Bowl, oval, Minutemen Answering First Call to Arms
- Gravy Boat, Lafayette Landing at West Point
- Gravy Boat Stand, Governor’s House at Williamsburg
- Salt Pepper Shakers, Paul Revere’s Ride
- Covered Sugar Bowl, Betsy Ross, the Nation’s First Flag.
- Creamer, Paul Revere’s Ride
- Butter Dish, Lafayette Landing at West Point
- Coasters/Ashtrays, Independence Hall, Valley Forge, Old North Church, Fraunces’ Tavern
- Soup Ladle, Solid white
- Place Cards, American Eagle
- Dinner Plate 10″, Independence Hall
- Luncheon Plate 9″, Washington at Valley Forge
- Dessert Plate 7″, Washington Leaving Christ Church
- Bread/Butter Plate 6″, Monticello Thomas Jefferson’s Home
- Cereal Bowl, Mt Vernon, George Washington’s Home
- Soup Bowl, flat rim, Old North Church
- Fruit/Berry Bowl, Betsy Ross, Nations First Flag
- Teacup, Paul Revere
- Saucer, Old North Church
- Coffee Mug, Monticello
The italicised pieces, I’ve already collected. You can see I still have a vast number of pieces to collect. But time is on my side. I am currently collecting Liberty Blue for my daughter, aged 9, as it is her namesake. She found a cup and saucer once and remarked that this was “pretty china”. And so, the hunt began. It’s fitting for her as we have lived in both the United Kingdom and the United States and she first came on July 4, American Independence, when she was only several months old.
People collect for all sorts of reasons. It may be for nostalgia, for fun or perhaps for a special occasion such as a wedding or anniversary dinner. I don’t know if people still collect wedding china for their daughters. I do think it’s a nice touch and I’m sure my daughter will love it. Plus, it will be a lovely little token for her too.
I hope your enjoyed reading about the history of Liberty Blue and that the information is helpful. I’ll be following up with a buying guide, tips / helpful hints for collecting these pieces. Including how to identify genuine items.
Do you collect Liberty Blue china ? Do you collect blue & white china ? Do let me know if your have any tips. I will certainly be writing more about my adventures with Liberty and Liberty Blue china.