Jon Crispin's Notebook

Shenango China

Posted in Advertising, History by joncrispin on 12/02/2013

This beautiful plate was underneath my little metal teapot at Golden Coffee this morning.  Ever since I lived in central New York State I have turned plates over to look for the Syracuse China mark on the back.  Here’s a link to a previous post.  I was surprised to see the logo on the back of this plate.

To me it looks like a Native American strangling a big dog (Mr. Rorschach anyone?)  When I searched the company name I saw other examples that make it look like a Native American sitting on a blanket hitting a drum.  No definitive answer though.  This is particularly interesting to me since I grew up in Meadville, PA which isn’t far from New Castle.  Sadly, the company is now closed.

9 Responses

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  1. Chelsea Edmonds said, on 12/02/2013 at 11:59 pm

    It is actually a Native American handpainting a large clay vessel. Shanango, like Syracuse China, produced their wares exclusively for the hospitality trade. Therefore the pieces are heavy, hard to break pottery with limited designs.

    • joncrispin said, on 13/02/2013 at 12:09 am

      You are right. My friend Laura just sent me this link.

    • Photobooth Journal said, on 13/02/2013 at 1:01 am

      That makes sense but I think someone “strangling a big dog” is such a wonderfully creative interpretation, it is a shame we have the correct story, which isn’t nearly so much fun. After all Bunnykins has a “naughty” rabbit on the reverse of its earlier ceramic products. It almost could have been true.

  2. DotRot said, on 13/02/2013 at 12:20 am

    Have you seen these images? They show a progression from a very detailed logo to a much more stylistic one.
    http://www.shenangochina.com/

    • joncrispin said, on 13/02/2013 at 12:46 pm

      Dot, Thank you so much for the link. The baseball plates are beautiful and I want a set! I am not sure why I am attracted to objects like this but they really get to me. Cheers, Jon

  3. Mary-Ellen said, on 13/02/2013 at 9:03 am

    I think those plates were used in the navy mess hall if I am not mistaken.

    • joncrispin said, on 13/02/2013 at 12:42 pm

      Mary-Ellen, I figured as much. I just love how these plates are constantly re-purposed and show up in the oddest places.

  4. Chris Murphy said, on 13/02/2013 at 10:05 pm

    I was interested to see this post, as my late aunt, Mary Kline, worked at Shenango China, and I and my daughters still have some of the china that we had acquired from there.

    Sent from my iPad

    • joncrispin said, on 13/02/2013 at 10:50 pm

      Chris, thanks for your comment. I just love hearing from people who have connected with my posts on WordPress. All the best, Jon


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