Happy Birthday Abe & George!
I’ve set a Presidents Day table in honor of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s February birthdays.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a keen interest in the past. Living in Philadelphia during the Bicentennial, further sparked my fascination with early American history. Then and now, we often visit places like Independence Hall, Valley Forge, Trenton, Mount Vernon, Monticello, Yorktown, and Boston’s Freedom Trail.
Researching colonial ancestors, who were early settlers of Pennsylvania and Maryland, led to more pilgrimages and exploration of places where they lived. Walking in ancestors’ footsteps adds a deeper appreciation of the past and its relevance to the present.
What really added flame to the fire, was discovering an ancestor who served as a spy and courier for General Washington. Peacock (aka the Rebel Bird) was also an officer of three militias and at Cornwallis’ surrender. Peacock was George’s guy and I’m partial to them both!
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Give Me Liberty!
The Presidents Day table is set with Liberty Blue dishes, which I came across while browsing tablescapes on Pinterest. Always dangerous, browsing on Pinterest…
Patriotic Liberty Blue ironstone is a beautiful blue and white pattern. In the center of each dish, are a variety of historical scenes surrounded by a floral, wavy-edge rim.
I like the more modest size of the plates. Many modern, oversize tableware is too wide for the depth of a standard kitchen cabinet. Everything is so big these days!
Although the dishes look vintage, the pattern was actually made from 1975-1981.
Promotional, Now Collectible Dishes
Liberty Blue was a promotional, premium item made to tie in with the 1776-1976 bicentennial celebration. Originally, the dishes were a give-away incentive for a savings andloan in Oregon. Later, they were offered at grocery stores in the Northeast.
Each Liberty Blue piece depicts one of 15 different historical scenes.
Enoch Wedgwood manufactured the dishes in the Staffordshire district of England. They were made in the tradition of 19th century historical blue china.
There’s a detailed book available on Amazon called, Liberty Blue Dinnerware.
Liberty Blue is readily available at Replacements, although at a rather steep price. I purchased mine online via Etsy and eBay. Later, I was fortunate to find more pieces at a local resale shop. Although not expensive online, I lucked into a couple of deals by bundling. Persistence and patience paid off.
Presiding in the center of the table, are a pair of Byers’ Choice figures. Each president sits on a star-shaped mirror. Flanking the figures are pewter candlesticks with colonial blue candles. In the center, is a pewter bud vase holds a single blue hydrangea (silk).
Abe appears to be giving his Gettysburg address, while George is celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
In Search of Abe & George
I’ve had both presidential figures for a number of years. Although I have numerous Byers’ Choice Christmas carolers, my favorites are those for patriotic holidays and Thanksgiving Figures Decorate Home.
I’ve also used Byers’ Choice figures in other centerpieces, including in Cornucopia on Thanksgiving Table and Birds of a Feather Gather.
Fife and drummer figures appear in, Give Me Liberty Blue Tablescape.
Setting a Presidents Day Table
The Presidents Day table has a white and blue color palette. Pewter candlesticks, vase, pitcher, and small tavern cups also decorate the setting. Everyday Oneida Satinique flatware (discontinued), has a brushed finish that goes nicely with the pewter.
There’s also tall, etched pilsner glasses adding to the colonial tavern vibe. They belonged to my mother-in-law, which makes them all the more special.
Round, dark navy placements are layered over a subtle patter sheer white tablecloth.
Serving as a charger is a Mikassa English Countryside (Tuesday Morning) dinner plate. Lattice work, with raised leaves and fruit, decorate the wavy edge rim. Found on super duper clearance, they are my go-to white dishes for styling tablescapes.
Next, is a Liberty Blue dinner plate depicting Independence Hall.
On top of the stack is a luncheon plate showing George Washington at Valley Forge. For some unknown reason, it is by far the most costly plate. Maybe they made fewer of them? Even though Replacements has the exact same quantity of plates, Valley Forge is $10 more than Independence Hall. Go figure.
I had-to-have the plate for my Presidents Day table, because ancestor Peacock was a quartermaster at Valley Forge. If you aren’t as picky as me, there are Liberty Blue plates depicting other historical scenes more reasonably priced. For instance, the bread and butter plate shows another president’s home, Monticello.
More Revolutionary Rebels at the Table
In the upper left corner of the Presidents Day table, you might have noticed the small dessert, fruit bowl depicting Betsy Ross. I’ve set them on little white cupcake stands (Tuesday Morning).And, even though it’s suppose to be a birthday, there’s a tea party going on at one side of the table.
That covered vegetable server is my single, favorite piece of Liberty Blue. I love the details in the Boston Tea Party scene.
I also frequently display Liberty Blue dishes in a little vignette on the kitchen counter. Since its February, there’s a little potted geranium for a splash of Valentine’s Day red.
Not seen on the Presidents Day table, is the platter depicting Washington Crossing the Delaware. Peacock was likely there too, scouting out the enemy position that Christmas as part of Pennsylvania Flying Camp.
There’s also a small creamer where Paul Revere is warning the colonists that the British are coming.
Do you have any Revolutionary War or colonial era ancestors?
For more ways to commemorate the holiday, see Fun & Easy Ways to Celebrate Presidents Day.
Hug an Engineer this Week?
With this Presidents Day table, I’m also honoring all the engineers in my family. President Washington is considered the nation’s first engineer, notably for his survey work. So, the week that encompasses George’s birthday is when Engineers Day falls in the U.S. Engineers Day is celebrated around the world, but on different days.
The purpose of National Engineers Week is to call attention to the contributions that engineers make. It is also a time to emphasize the importance of learning math, science, and technical skills.
Do you have an engineer in your family?
For my husband, the best way to honor engineers is by serving cherry pie — his favorite. I’m good with that. Let them eat pie I say!
I regularly participate in: Metamorphous Monday, Turn About Tuesday, Centerpiece Wednesday, Whimsical Home Projects, In Link Party, Share Your Style, Tablescape Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Crafty Creators, Fabulous Friday, Saturday Sparks, Happiness is Homemade, and Love Your Creativity.
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Using our two greatest presidents and colonial themed plates are a great idea for a February table! Pewter is a perfect accompaniment – I love its warmth.
Sandra, I’m glad you like it! Pewter is great because it doesn’t tarnish either.
I so enjoyed this tablescape. What a great idea for President’s Day! You have a wonderful collection of the dishes and I really like the pattern. I think the pewter was a perfect choice for this and of course I really like the two Presidential figurines!
Liz, finally! Thanks for helping me resolve the spam blocking issue with your moderation tip. MUCH appreciated! I doubt most people would have gone to the trouble.
Oh, my gosh… I remember wanting this very pattern when my 1st husband and I were setting up our registry!!! I let my sister talk me out of it, but I never forgot about it! It’s cool to see it again so much later down the pike! Nicely done! My friend/fellow blogger, Liz, told me to hop over here and check out your tablescape. I’m glad I did! Have a restful long weekend! (P.S. – my (current) husband wanted to be a engineer but went the med school route instead. To this day, notwithstanding the fact that he’s a gifted, insightful, and caring practitioner, he wistfully laments his decision. I always said I could never marry a doctor, but turns out they’re not so bad!?)
Alycia, I can’t believe you actually liked the pattern enough to want to register for it! Maybe you could pick up just a few pieces, like dessert or salad plates to coordinate with other dishes? Even if he isn’t an engineer, give your husband a hug on Presidents Day!
This is very pretty and so fitting for the holiday. Thank you for sharing with us at Celebrate Your Story and have a great weekend.
Sandra, I really enjoy the link party and seeing so much creativity and talent.
First time I’ve seen your blog and tablescapes! ! WOW! Love the blues! Also, love the historical aspect very much. Yes, a few of my ancestors are acknowledged as fighting or contributing to the Rev. War and yes all of my ancestors were “here” in Colonial times. We visit as many founder’s homes as we can but, since we are much older, it gets harder and harder to do so. About 2 yrs ago we went to see Madison’s home – loved it, and of course he happens to be a favorite of mine – well, maybe his wife is – since she is a Payne from NC – so am I – just not her branch. Back to your beautiful table – I’ve seen many tablescapes on line, however, yours I believe will be my favorite! Sorry this is so long.
Welcome Gale! Oh, I have ancestor envy…all your ancestors here in Colonial times?! How wonderful to be able to know and visit their homes. I didn’t have anyone here that early, it’s all on my husband’s side. We’ve never been to Madison’s home, so I’ll have to add it to our list of to do’s! Thanks for sharing.
addendum to my comment: I can hardly believe it. Explanation: my previous house was all blue/beige/and red – in every room. Got rid of quite a bit of the blue stuff, BUT couldn’t quite give everything away. I just discovered today, that I actually have 3 of the Liberty Blue pottery pieces – had no idea that’s what they were – they were gifts from 3 different people many years ago. Platter – showing Governor’s palace Williamsburg; large plate showing Liberty Hall, and a small plate, assuming it to be a bread/butter plate, having Monticello . Think I”ll take better care of them – they’ve only been used for display. (love Williamsburg stuff).
Gale, that’s great! Setting the trio of plates up on stands would make for a nice little vignette.
Such a thoughtful and lovely detailed tablescape for celebrating Presidents’ Day! I am sharing it in my tablescape Facebook group! George and Abe are adorable, I like them much better than the carolers! I’d love to have you join the FB Group..https://www.facebook.com/groups/1821422588143694/
Hi Chloe, I’ve long admired your tables and very much appreciate your kind compliment. Thanks for sharing on Facebook and the invite. It’s the first group I’ve joined.
Wow, those plates are beautiful! I really like all of the details in them. Last week was Shadow a Student Day at my son’s middle school and we watched a video celebrating engineers! My husband is a software engineer so I’ll be sure and I hugged him this morning when he left for work. I’m here from the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Link Party.
Welcome to the Buzz, thanks for visiting Brenda. My engineer just retired but will still bee expecting cherry pie on George’s actual birthday. I retired a year ago after decades being the marketing executive among software engineers, mostly from Carnegie Mellon. Miss them, not to mention having all that tech support easily at hand now that I’m my own website developer.
I have the coffee cup Paul Revere’s Ride from Straffordshire, but I didn’t know the history of Liberty Blue. The cup was one of the stars in my Vintage Winter Beverage Station. http://lovemylittlecottage.com/beverage-station/ Loved the post, AND the tablescape. #goals!
I visited your post — so cute and cozy! Blue and white transferware is timeless, and when I saw historical scenes on Pinterest, I was a goner!
As soon as I saw the words Liberty Blue on the blog site, I KNEW it was you. What a lovely tablescape. Pewter and the brushed silverware are perfect with it. Makes me want to get my Royal Mail out and use it! I used to buy LB for a friend who collected it; one year at a yard sale, I got 8 dinner plates for .50 each!That gift was a HIT at Christmas!
Wish I was on your Christmas gift list too Kathy, LOL! Glad you liked the table. It’s one of my personal favs.
What a fun and patriotic tablescape! Love those blue and white dishes. xo Kathleen
I first saw those Liberty Blue dishes on Pinterest and had to have ’em! Love that they were made to celebrate the bicentennial.
Bravo! I love your patriotic table, Debbie! I have plates and a few other pieces in Liberty Blue. Fun series of dishes! Happy Presidents Day!
Always nice to have an occasion to use those dishes! One day, I may make the splurge to buy the large Signing of the Declaration of Independence platter.
I’m such a victim of Blue and White anything….great post—and you don’t need a Presidents day to celebrate with your wonderful collection of dishes! Grins, Sandi
Sandi, you’re like my friend who loves and collects all things blue and white. I like how she mixes patterns and styles for a stunning look. You’re right of course, it’s always a good day to use Liberty Blue (but it means I have to dig it in and out of storage, LOL!).
Your patriotic tablescape and vignette are gorgeous! The patriotic figures are the perfect addition to your table. I have always like Byers’ Choice figures. Visiting from Best of the Month.
Thanks for stopping by Allyson, and so glad you enjoyed the Prez Day table!
What an incredible table – of course, blue is my favorite color! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s.
Didn’t know that about the color blue and you Ann! When I saw those dishes on Pinterest I just had to have them! Do you have a blue dish pattern?
This is just spectacular. The attention to detail, wow! This may be the best representation of a Presidents Day table I’ve ever seen. Thank you so much for sharing this inspirational post!!
Thanks so much — your generous remarks made my day!
Another wonderful table setting!
Ah thanks Cara! I love any occasion to use my Liberty Blue dishes. Most times it’s for July 4th, and once I even worked them into a Thanksgiving setting in, Liberty Blue Thanksgiving Table & Turkey Napkins.