Franciscan Apple

That was a big pot of Meat Soup I made a few days ago, so no surprise there are leftovers. But the real reason I am posting this soup again is the response and expressed curiosity in our family history. I am amazed and touched by your interest.
Franciscan Earthenware was a wedding gift to my father and his first wife. My mother “inherited” this china when she married him. She has been enjoying her home-cooked meals on this same china for well over a half century. She still has most of the pieces, a few are chipped, but overall a fine collection in great condition. This china has proven to be very durable. Ma even puts it in the dishwasher now!
Franciscan Apple is one of the most popular raised-relief hand-painted patterns from Gladding, McBean & Co., which began production of Franciscan dinnerware in 1934 at their plant in Glendale, California. This pattern first appeared in 1940. Ma graciously has lent me several pieces from her collection. As you may have read earlier, I am addicted to dinnerware.
The name Franciscan is an allusion to Franciscan Friars and reflected the simple, informal style of Mexican folk pottery. The Franciscan Apple pattern has become a darling of collectors with its branches, beautiful green leaves and red harvest apples painted on cream-colored porcelain reminiscent of days gone by.
American production of Franciscan Ware ceased in 1984, following the announcement to relocate all Franciscan production to England. Franciscan Apple pattern is still made today under the Wedgwood Group. It is slightly different now and many pieces are larger than the originals, but still charming as ever.

Good Morning: Coffee & Labneh with Yuzu Marmalade
Read more about Franciscan Apple here. 

18 thoughts on “Franciscan Apple”

  1. I spent last week with my parents and our last night together we were talking about the china (or as my dad calls it – pottery) passed down from his grandmother. I’m so excited to be able to continue to pass it down through our family.

  2. My grandmother has hand painted pottery that she made. It is just beautiful. I already have some pieces and I love it. Makes you appreciate your family…

  3. How very interesting as I have always loved this type of earthenware, but never knew anything about it. A friend when I was younger had either this pattern or something very similar and I always loved it, so it’s interesting to know something about it. Thanks.

  4. I could give you a hug of thanks, Lori Lynn. Before my grandmother’s death, she gave me a set of the original Franciscan Desert Rose. A few pieces were broken during household moves, so I packed it away. I forgot all about it until now. They made an ivy pattern, too. Such pretty designs and quality crafting.

  5. My Mother left me her Franciscan Apple pattern. I was delighted. I grew up having every holiday and special event dinner on these plates. I have continued the tradition with my family. We have no children to leave them to. Our Nephews as well as most young people have no interest in using dishes that won’t go in the dishwasher (I have been told the modern version is dishwasher. Mine were purchased in the 1940-1950s I’m hoping they will marry women who appreciate the Family. history and beauty of these dishes.

    1. Hi Claudia – believe it or not, my mom put the old version in the dishwasher after all those years. They were her everyday dinnerware. And they are still awesome. So neat that you continue the tradition. Thanks for sharing your experience. We have such wonderful memories in a china pattern. Isn’t that cool?
      P.S. Since she put it in the dishwasher, I did too, and it was just fine.

      1. Yes, my every-day-of-the-year dishes are a mix of all three incarnations of the Franciscan. I have put them in the dishwasher for last 25 years with no discernable damage.

        1. Hi Kerry – how neat that your have all three incarnations! Lucky you! Amazing they really do so well in dishwasher. Invented way before dishwashers were born too.
          Bon Appétit, LL

  6. Can the original Apple pattern Franciscan dinnerware be placed in the microwave, or only the newer version made in England?

    1. Hi Carolyn – The newer versions of the apple pattern are marked “microwave safe.” The vintage dishes, probably contain high amounts of lead, which can leach when put into the microwave, so that would not be recommended.

  7. When were the coffee Mugs first made?
    I saw the husband drinking from the mug on “Why Women Kill,” and thought it was totally wrong.
    I did not realize that the Apple dishes were being made then!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.