Vintage Johnson Brothers Friendly Village Dinner Plates - The School House & The Old Mill
There's nothing more nostalgic than a picturesque country village steeped in snow and rural charm. A popular pattern, first introduced in 1953, the Friendly Village by Johnson Brothers made ideal holiday dishware thanks to their festive storytelling and detailed landscapes. Made in England, this was such a popular pattern it was in production for 50 years and came complete with an extensive amount of serving pieces and accessories.
This pair features two iconic buildings - the schoolhouse and the old mill - both featuring red-painted clapboard buildings and exquisite details. It is snowing in the schoolhouse scene and evening is settling. Lights from the schoolhouse windows warm the setting, other village buildings peek out from behind the trees, and rolling mountains complete the idyllic view.
Equally captivating The Old Mill plate carries its own splendid bit of magic. The mill sits over a glassy lake and under the branches of old-growth trees. There are feathery pond grasses, lush canopies of trees, and cloudy skies. Each plate is rimmed with feathery details, big green leaves white flowers, and pinecones galore. It's no wonder this dish pattern was so popular. The artwork is gorgeous.
As one of the most successful English potteries, in business from 1890-2015, Johnson Brothers, who specialized in exporting to the American market, were exceptionally good at tapping into the American mindset. Unlike other English potteries that catered to English sensibilities, Johnson Brothers followed the buying trends and styles of American consumers and they understood the power of nostalgia when it came to celebrating big American holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Two times of the year when the Friendly Village pattern saw major use.
Whether you are adding to your existing collection or new to this pattern completely, these two plates offer plenty of styling opportunities on your table that will take you beautifully through the Autumn and Winter seasons.
- Set of two featuring two different scenes (the Old Mill and the Schoolhouse)
- Stamped on back with the maker's mark, pattern name and provenance
- Colors include army green red, pastel blue, butter yellow, and grey
In lovely vintage condition. There are no chips or cracks but there is one stress fracture on the back of the schoolhouse plate. The fracture does not leed through to the front as in no danger of breaking or making the plate unusable. Both plates are very shiny and silky smooth to the touch and the imagery is very clear and bright. Please see photos.
Each plate measures 10.5" inches in diameter