Here is an adorable little demitasse cup and saucer set in the beautiful California Poppy pattern. Almost certainly it was ordered by Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway restaurateur Fred Harvey, who operated hotels and eating establishments along the Santa Fe's route, and more importantly provided dining service aboard their trains. The railroad itself ordered California Poppy dinnerware, but most of it was bottom marked with the AT&SF name.
Size: The cup is approximately 2-1/2 inches tall and 2-1/2 inches across the top. The saucer is 4-1/2 inches across.
Condition is lovely with only light signs of use: There are very fine surface scuffs on the bottom rim of the cup and around the well in the saucer that cannot be seen unless you tilt the piece in bright light. There are absolutely NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs. The cup likely is older than the saucer: the greenery is a slightly paler color than that on the saucer.
The bottom marking on the saucer includes a September 1961 date code and the correct Syracuse China mark ensuring it is not "thinware" household weight. There is no bottom marking on the cup.
California Poppy was so popular with both railroad officials the public that it was ordered from the earliest 1900s until the takeover of passenger service by Amtrak in 1971. It was the standard pattern used by Fred Harvey in his Barstow House for many years. When Syracuse China contracted with the railroad to produce the pattern, they actually grew poppy plants at the factory to ensure the decorations would be as realistic as possible.
IMPORTANT COLLECTOR NOTE: Household weight, "thinware" California Poppy china has no connections with the railroad. "The Official Guide to Railroad Dining Car China" author Doug McIntyre confirms that Syracuse records show that the thinware version was not purchased by either the Santa Fe or Fred Harvey.
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Vintage Santa Fe Fred Harvey California Poppy Railroad China Demitasse Cup and Saucer Set