This small size handled cream pitcher is a very hard piece to find with a Santa Fe Dining Service bottom marking -- and it has a fine one! At only 3 inches tall, it is just adorable.
On the bottom in green, is MADE EXPRESSLY FOR SANTA FE DINING CAR SERVICE, identifying it as having been ordered specifically by the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway for use in its dining cars riding the rails.
The pattern is California Poppy, used by both the AT&SF and railroad restaurateur Fred Harvey in his hotels and eating houses along the railroad route as well as in dining cars on special trains where Harvey service was provided. A brilliantly orange full blown flower amid moss green foliage graces the "front" (the side facing the user when held with the right hand) and a bud is on the back. Only Syracuse China made this pattern. There is an impressed Syracuse number under the green bottom mark, but we aren't sure what it stands for - likely a plant number.
Size is a mere 3 inches tall -- it fits wonderfully into the palm of one's hand.
CONDITION : Wonderful except for an unfortunate hairline crack (SEE OUR LAST TWO PICTURES) This is hard to see, and it is on the "back" bud side. This would be a terrific piece that will fill a gap in many collections until one in better condition comes along (and you likely will have to wait a while). Otherwise it's great with NO other cracks, chips, flakes or repairs. The spout is perfect. There are a couple of hard to see, tiny dark spots on the rim but nothing worse.
Please note that this piece is documented authentic, because "Poppy" was an "exclusive" pattern -- Syracuse China alone contracted with the AT&SF Railroad and Fred Harvey to produce and sell them the Poppy dinnerware. While some Santa Fe pieces were marked, most were not, nor was Harvey-ordered china marked.
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