No, Silly Me isn’t a china pattern. It’s me! I’m still laughing at myself about this and probably will every time I pick up the two pieces of Asiatic Pheasant that I own!
I bought this plate in a thrift store, probably for less than $5, several years ago. I really don’t care for birds on plates, but I do love blue andwhite pottery and thought it would be a nice addition to displays of such. Just to note that Blue Willow is my every day pottery and always will be; I can’t have enough blue andwhite.
I checked the back of the plate for a mark, but only really noticed the pattern name, Asiatic Pheasant, and that it was made by Johnson Bros. who are also prolific manufacturers of Blue Willow. I used it first in a summer display on the mantle and then in other places. I truly thought it was just one of those one-of-a-kind pieces of pottery.
Some time later I was browsing in a thrift store I found on one of my daytrips. It was a little “grimmy” if you know what I mean and not the kind I would visit again, but they did have a lot of dishes and glasses. I walked through the store and then circled back to look at some wine glasses on a top shelf. For some reason I had missed it on my first walk by, but this time an Asiatic Pheasant salad plate caught my eye. It was on a lower shelf and I swooped down on it, forgetting about the glasses!
I happily stood in line at the slow register and paid $6 (!!!!) for this treasure. Imagine, what were the chances of finding another piece of this pottery? And here I was walking out of this thrift store with a piece! I drove home quite pleased with my find of the day.
It found its place on my plate wall and has resided there ever since. It was perfect and I was pleased at my good fortune. Until…..
Recently I was in one of the larger TJ Maxx stores in town and happened into their housewares department and the aisle with dishes and table things. There, much to my surprise, were stacks and stacks of Asiatic Pheasant plates and bowls. New! They were selling them at TJ Maxx! I laughed and still laugh at my “unique” find of the plate and then the thrill of finding the salad plate to match. Imagine my disappointment!
Silly me. Why didn’t I check Replacements and then the Internet to do a little research? If I had I would have found that the Johnson Bros. pattern was made from 2001-2004 and is out of production. I would also have found the fascinating stories of the many productions of Asiatic Pheasant and its wild popularity in the Victorian Age!
I’m still laughing at myself over this, but in a different way. Now I realize that I have two blue and white pieces that fit very well in displays and I have a new research trail to begin. Can’t get any better!