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.
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!
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