Now that you’re full of inspiration for this year’s Thanksgiving menu, it’s time to talk about setting your table! We have a few ideas.
Using design elements of the 18th century and fusing them with the current “farmhouse kitchen” style, WILLIASMBURG licensee Park Designs created a modern collection of tableware that is sleek, interesting and on-trend. This Thanksgiving feast was served on Park Designs’ Levingston ceramics and Anderson flatware from the Tarpley Collection, named after James Tarpley, an 18th-century merchant on Duke of Gloucester Street. Your meal will truly shine on this simple yet refined collection containing off-white ceramic dishware, pewter-finished flatware, and gold linens.
What we love about the Tarpley Collection is the direction Park Designs took with its inspiration. After culling through the Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums and archaeological archives, the designers noted several aesthetic details they wanted to revive and revamp for the 21st century, and used them in surprising new ways. The silverware, for example, is not a replica of colonial flatware.
The unique twist (literally) in the design was taken from an 18th-century iron pot stand. Painted and raised elements on delft, stoneware and redware antiques and excavated shards from America’s first kitchens provided the decorative motifs for the Levingston pieces. Decorative details include a rosette from a cup used when Jamestown and Plymouth were fledgling New World colonies, a leaf motif from a commemorative plate, and a border from a delft plate excavated from Wetherburn’s Tavern. The salt and pepper shakers are derived from a stoneware caster made in Staffordshire, England, about 1750, designed to hold pepper or sugar.
As for table linens, you can dab your lips on Tayloe napkins, also part of the Tarpley Collection. The import boycotts of 1764, 1765 and 1769 made it every patriot’s duty to wear cloth of American manufacture. Virginia cloth (any textile made in the colonies regardless of fiber content) was applauded as “preferable…to foreign frippery and non-sense” and as a “Badge and Distinction of Respect, & true Patriotism.”
The neutral tones of the fabric, flatware and dinnerware underscore the rich colors of your favorite fall dishes, like cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, sliced ham, and pumpkin pie. The texture of each piece, subtle but striking, is what pulls the look together. Finally, this dining set is not meant to be used on only the finest of occasions. Microwave- and dishwasher-safe, everything that you see here is ideal for the everyday as well. Whatever your kitchen style, the Tarpley Collection has something to offer.
For more information about the products shown and mentioned here, visit shopcolonialwilliamsburg.com and look for new additions to the collection next March.
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GUEST BLOGGER: Alex Stewart
Alex Stewart is the social media, public relations, and copywriting girl for the WILLIAMSBURG brand. A Colonial Williamsburg rookie, she loves walking, mouth agape, down DoG Street to gather inspiration from 18th-century interior designs. She also goes there for the dog-watching. Alex grew up in Raleigh, NC, studied journalism at the University of Missouri, then spent four months backpacking through South America before starting work in the Revolutionary City. Her entire family thinks she dresses in colonial garb for this new job that clearly takes place in a modern office setting.