One of the most beautiful railroad china plates is this incredibly detailed portrait of a Missouri Pacific Railroad steam locomotive, surrounded by cameo-like depictions of flowers that on-board passengers would likely see traveling in the 11 U.S. states served by the MoPac Lines. Reproduced from an original painting of "The Sunshine Special" by William Harnden Foster, the four-color locomotive artwork is glorious and incredibly realistic. You can even read the engine number 6615 on its nose.
The official pattern name is "State Flowers - Service." Only these large plates - a full 10-1/4 inches across - were produced. The manufacturer was Syracuse China. There are two variations: One (including this individual plate) in which "Missouri" appears at the very top position; and a second in which "Texas" is at 12 o'clock.
DATE: There is no date code in the "catchall" bottom marking by Onondaga Pottery/Syracuse China. HOWEVER, this plate dates from the later 1920s, per our collector guides which suggest that the plates with the Missouri flower at the top position were ordered earlier than the Texas version. The last order of any reportedly was made in the 1940s. The traveling public enjoyed their beauty so much that the railway sold plates to passengers, in addition to gracing dining car tables with them.
CONDITION: Extremely fine with little or no signs of use. You will find a very very few lightest surface marks, but you must tilt the plate in bright to find any. Absolutely NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs. The artwork is gorgeously bright and appealing, with NO glaze runs or off colors.
No good collection of transportation china is complete without one of these.
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