Dishes to die for.

I only went to one thrift store while I was in Arkansas — the Savers in North Little Rock. I’ve found a few great things there but, in general, I think their prices are too high. This visit, I found THE most perfectly 1950s set of dishes I have ever come across. The second I saw them I absolutely HAD to have them!

It’s Impromptu by Iroquois, a Ben Seibel design called Jardiniere and manufactured in 1956. I got nine dinner plates, nine salad plates, seven bread plates, two platters, two serving bowls, seven cups and saucers, a divided vegetable bowl, a gravy boat with saucer, sugar bowl and creamer, and salt and pepper.

Yeah, I don’t know if the photos can possibly convey the sheer adorableness of this pattern. And the shapes! The oblong bowls! The fluted coffee cups! The curves and clean lines!

(Weirdly, there was not a single bowl on the shelf (other than the serving bowls). Now I’m obsessing about whether or not there was a stack of bowls in the back they just hadn’t brought out yet.)

There’s just something so delicate about the artwork. I SWOONED for these dishes. The sad part is they were all priced individually — from $3.99 for each serving piece, $2.99 for the dinner plates, $1.99 for the bread plates…you get the picture. All told, I think I paid about $115 for the set, which is UNHEARD of for me. I have never paid that much for anything in a thrift store, including furniture. But the price tag indicated they had JUST been put out on the shelves and I could not leave them there. They match nothing in my kitchen and I already have a set of dishes I like…but practicalities just fly out the window when I see something that I connect so strongly with. That’s why my house looks like it does! So here I am, trying to figure out where I’m going to shoehorn a 50-piece set of dishes into my house.

Then I look at them again, and I don’t mind that ¬†problem so much. Dude, they are just that¬†sweet.

January 2, 2010 - 5:03 pm

janie hightower These dishes photos turned out great — they really are pretty dishes. Your booth looks so cute in the pictures, too, especially those little baby vases. seriously.

January 4, 2010 - 11:06 am

Leilani Ah yes, I had the dish bug when I moved to Chicago… I think I own at least 5 sets of dishes (and several half sets… uh oh). I’ve had to cut back as I share a 2-bedroom apartment and ran out of room a while ago.

You found a really great set and I think it was worth the price. You definitely showed restraint only going to one thrift store!! I went to the ones in Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers and my mom and I took a special road trip to Ft. Smith just to go thrifting!!

January 4, 2010 - 8:01 pm

Lara Jo Well, thanks, it makes me feel better to have a fellow thrifter say that I didn’t pay too much. I just love them so much. I’ve got to figure out a way to display them so they don’t just hide away in the cupboard.

Did you find a lot of good stuff at the thrift stores? The entire time I was in Fayetteville was consumed with stocking the booth, so I didn’t go to a single store (other than All My Treasures) while I was there, and Little Rock is surprisingly skimpy when it comes to thrift stores. Savers was the biggest one, and now they’ve moved out to North Little Rock. There are a couple of Goodwills but I’ve never had any luck at them. It seems strange to me that they don’t have a more thriving thrift community there. I’m curious how the Ft. Smith stores were — I haven’t been to Ft. Smith in ages!

November 16, 2011 - 6:35 pm

stephanie I would have done the exact same thing. I have never spent that much but totally would have on the spot!!! I just pinned one of the pics on my Pinterest as I have a Ben Seibel love category.

November 16, 2011 - 7:45 pm

Lara Jo Oh, yay, validation! And thanks for pinning me. I love these dishes as much as I did when I bought them…but I have yet to serve anything on them! They’re just eye candy in the china cabinet. Someday I will have a marvelous dinner party that they will be the star of.

Is there any way you can send me a link so I can see your Ben Seibel pins? I still don’t know enough about Pinterest to know if that’s possible but I would love to see them. When I bought these I had a hard time finding info on the internet about them.

Thanks so much for reading!

May 16, 2014 - 11:06 pm

Ken Bravo for you! This is one of my FAVORITE patterns. So delicate and humorous. And rather rare! Congratulations!!!

June 3, 2014 - 9:36 am

Lara Jo Hey, Ken, thank you! I LOVE These dishes. I have them in a china cabinet right now but wish I had a way of displaying them so they showed a bit more. I feel really lucky to have found them. Thanks so much for visiting the blog and taking the time to comment — I appreciate it!