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Vintage Authentic Santa Fe Railroad China Ancient Mimbreno Tiny Turkey Platter AT&SFRR
A perky turkey peeks adorably out of this sweet little china platter from the Santa Fe Railroad. This American Southwestern design in deep brick red with black trim on pale ivory color base ware is their sought-after "Mimbreno" pattern.
PLEASE IGNORE the light reflections and glare - the glaze is so bright and strong this was very hard to photograph!
SIZE is approximately 5.5 inches wide by 8 inches long.
CONDITION is lovely -- hardly used. You must tilt it in bright light to see any of the few light surface marks. There are NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs. The glaze is strong and colors are bright. The turkey is just too cute with his beady eye, skinny neck, spindly legs under a chubby body and even a beard!
The only thing we can fault is a small dot of blue color under the glaze not far from the turkey's beak - the way it was made.
This plate was made by Syracuse China using their Old Ivory ware. "Mimbreno" was made between 1936 and 1970 but there is no specific date code, unless the Y-2 is a date (it would be February 1944) but it may be a plant production code. Old Ivory was marked differently than standard Syracuse China.
Most importantly, the underside is marked with the "Made Expressly for Santa Fe Dining Car Service" mark beneath an Indian depiction, with "Copyrighted By Santa Fe Railway" guaranteeing it is a genuine railroad-ordered and authentic.
BACKGROUND: Mimbreno china was designed for dining car use aboard the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway’s deluxe, all-Pullman name train “Super Chief,” whose designers had settled on a Native American theme. Architect Elizabeth Coulter, who had designed many of the famous Harvey Houses in the Southwest, was chosen to design the china and flatware. She based her china designs on the depictions of stylized animals and other life forms that decorated pottery crafted by the ancient Mimbres Indians of New Mexico. True to the Indian potters, most of the railroad’s Mimbreno china was produced in black, white and deep red, and some geometric designs were incorporated.
On May 12, 1936, the Super Chief left Dearborn Station in Chicago, Illinois on its maiden run complete with its brand new china and tableware. The Mimbreno china was well loved by the traveling public, and the railroad continued to purchase it until 1970. After discontinuing its passenger use, however, the Santa Fe continued to use Mimbreno aboard business cars.
COLLECTOR NOTE: Mimbreno china has been reproduced - be sure you look for the back mark shown on this piece! The reproductions are clearly marked on the back as such.
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