This railroad china tea pot is the long-loved Santa Fe California Poppy pattern used by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway and Fred Harvey, the enterprising restaurateur whose Harvey House operations were inextricably tied in with the Santa Fe. This pot would have graced a table for two. It holds about 18 ounces (three standard 6-ounce cups).
Cheery, colorful poppy flowers brighten sides and the lid on striking not-quite-white base ware. The low-slung shape is perfect for a table being bumped and jostled during over-the-rails traveling. The lid is designed with an angle to tuck under the front rim, helping prevent its being dropped.
The pot is in absolutely lovely condition with NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs -- even the spout has no damage! It is correctly bottom marked by Syracuse China. 99-D is the date code for April, 1970.
IMPORTANT: This piece is absolutely authentic, although it has no railroad markings. This is correct because "Poppy" was an "exclusive" pattern -- Syracuse China contracted with the AT&SF Railroad and Fred Harvey to produce and sell Poppy china to no one else**. Some Poppy pieces were railroad marked, clearly for use aboard the Santa Fe, but most were not. According to at least one collector book author, most of the unmarked pieces went to Fred Harvey, who used it serving meals aboard Santa Fe trains and in his Harvey House operations. California Poppy china without a railroad (or Harvey) mark is absolutely authentic as long as it is the heavy, commercial ware.
** An important distinction: Syracuse China records show that the company made and sold the same California Poppy floral pattern in "thinware" -- lighter, household weight dinnerware. This was never sold to the railroad or Fred Harvey. Instead, it was sold through through their retail and wholesale outlets for home use. Railroad collectors agree it is perfect to actually use, while genuine railroad pieces stay safely in the display cabinet!
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Vintage California Poppy Railroad China Tea Pot Santa Fe / Fred Harvey Railway