Member of Trail Networks:
Virginia Oyster Trail
Professional Distinction: Exhibition
Oyster Plate Collection of 100’s of Vintage Oyster Plates (for sale)
KILMARNOCK ANTIQUE GALLERY
is pleased to be part of the Oyster Trail….
We have one of the largest collections of Oyster Plates in the Country and we invite you to come and see our collection!
Oyster Plates have been around for over 100 years and were even used in the White House starting in 1880 by President Hayes. A brief history as indicated in the Oyster Plate Collector’s Guide by Jeffery B. Snyder goes that on a professional visit to the White House in 1879, to photograph President Rutherford B. Hayes, and his cabinet, Theodore Davis met with First Lady, Lucy Webb Hayes. The discussion turned to White House china and Mr. Davis, noted for nature and wildlife art as well as his affinity for outdoor sports, suggested a motif depicting the native wildlife of the nation. Various creatures and plants would adorn the different tablewares and serving pieces. rendered in striking designs and bright color. By the meetings’ end, Mr. Davis had the commission to produce the Hayes’ White House china for a price of $3,120.00.
Theodore Davis was well regarded as a designer, however he had never designed a pattern for dinnerware, a fact soon evident to the French firm Haviland & Company, white was given the Herculean take of committing Mr. Davis’s complex design and color schemes to porcelain. Before the set was complete, Haviland’s staff had been forced to create new manufacturing methods. The oyster plates alone illustrated the complexity of the design. They featured a scattering of oysters and aquatic plant life around the five wells. The overall clustering of the shells is reminiscent of the turkey, native to the Americas, and the oyster plates with the design are now referred to among collectors as either “Turkey or “Turkey design” oyster plates.
There is much more to this story but there are remakes of this design that sell for as much a plate as the entire White House set!!
Please visit our website at http://www.virginia-antiques.com and click on the “Oyster Plate” tab and see some of our collection. You won’t be disappointed, but plan to make a trip to our gallery and enjoy the entire Oyster Trail!