Lenox Rutledge: Something Old, Something New

Lenox Rutledge
How many hours of my childhood were spent drying dishes?  
In our house it was the chore from which we were never excused ~~ the dishwasher served only as a storage place for assorted containers.
I usually detested that chore, which had to be done after the three meals each day, and then twice a year when all the already spotless and dustless dishes came out of the cupboards to be washed for spring and fall cleaning.  
 
Lenox Rutledge
       
But twice a year and during assorted holidays my dishtowel (it had to be fresh and dry) lovingly and patiently caressed ~~ yes, that is accurate ~~ the dishes I thought must be the most beautiful ever created.  
 
my mother’s wedding china
~ Lenox Rutledge ~
january 14, 1956
 
 
Lenox Rutledge
Lenox calls this a springtime pattern because of the floral design, but when I hold it I hear my dad calling from the den, “Franny, come and see this.” Marching band music from the television plays in the background as the Thanksgiving Day parade floats by.
 
The china is the trademark Lenox ivory, almost white but softer, the color of my wedding dress.  (Do you remember when the fashion world flirted with this bridal look for a short time in 1980?)  The fluted edges of all the pieces are hand painted with tiny flowers in a process Lenox calls “jewelling,” and these highly polished petals are the result.
 
 
Lenox Rutledge
 
I know my mom stored these beautiful dishes in a hope chest, and purchased them by working hard after school and then full time, in factories and at those old-fashioned department store counters selling makeup and candy, where her mad men era bosses chased the girls around trying for kisses or a pinch.  Yes!  True stories and my kids are amazed.
 
 
 
Lenox Rutledge
By the time I found Mr. Fun and chose my wedding china, I of course wanted something different.  Lenox was no longer giving these lovely tiny swans to brides, and I chose a pattern from Minton.
 
Lenox Rutledge / beaumaris
 (you can see it here).
  
 
 
Lenox Rutledge
Now my daughter is getting married and my mom mentioned that she was planning to give this exquisite china to her!!  I must admit that I was more than a tad envious.  Of course, Charlotte is looking at her own totally different patterns, as every bride has, and should have, her own style, reflective of her own experiences and generation.
 
 
Lenox Rutledge
 
I do, however, think that true beauty is timeless, and these dishes are perfect examples of that.  I have set a table with these classic dishes and modern touches that I think will please both a grandmother and her modern, young bride granddaughter.
 
 
        
Lenox Rutledge

 

post wedding brunch 
 just the bride and groom 
 newly Mr. and Mrs. 
 
Lenox Rutledge
 
Somewhere far from the madding guest reception crowd ~~ none of this new thing where everyone stays in the same inn and a huge brunch starts the first day of the marriage.  No, no ~~ just quiet, just two, who cares what food is served, and who even knows.  The minister has said “I now pronounce you,” the toasts have been raised.  God is in his heaven.  All is right with the world.
 
 
Lenox Rutledge
 
This Lenox pattern, created in 1920, easily mixes with mason jar vases ~~
 
 
Lenox Rutledge
which are filled with flowers from my yard.
Lenox Rutledge
 
****
 
 
Lenox Rutledge
The modern rusted metal urn gives a nod to classical style in its shape
and holds delicate flowers on the table under my pink tree.
 
 
Lenox Rutledge
 
Ribbons in the color of the jewel-like flower petals on the dishes flow from the urn and can tie together the flatware,
 
 
Lenox Rutledge
 
or lend a more casual and modern look to the delicate vintage sherry glasses, perfect for a morning toast.  
 
Lenox Rutledge
 
Did you know that flowing ribbons are making a return to bridal bouquets?  A welcome (imo) change from the rigid tightly bound inflexible look popular now.
 

 

Lenox Rutledge
 
Speaking of weddings and flowers, I know it’s not all about me (I chant this to myself before bed), but I think every bridal bouquet needs a sprig of lily of the valley to add a delicate and sweet scent.  I have so much growing in my yard in May and June, but where can I find it in January??
 
 
Lenox Rutledge
Romance is already in the air with this pretty wedding china in daylight,
 
 
Lenox Rutledge
but a touch of candlelight adds another romantic touch.
Lenox Rutledge
 
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Lenox Rutledge
 
Instead of the silver candlesticks my mother used I’ve added more jars with beeswax candles, casting a soft glow over an evening table for the bride and groom.

 

Lenox Rutledge
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Lenox Rutledge
 
Of course by evening the new couple will be winging their way 
to a wonderful honeymoon.
 
Lenox Rutledge
(the blue hour came on just as I snapped these shots!)
Lenox Rutledge
 
Mr. Fun and I will be here, exhausted, jubilant. 
 
Lenox Rutledge
 
I think that a table set for my daughter’s wedding breakfast with my mother’s wedding china
will be the perfect place for us to sit and recover!
 
 
something old, something new
~~ perfection ~~
 
Lenox Rutledge
 
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Lenox Rutledge
 
****
 
Lenox Rutledge
 
p.s.  The dishes are dishwasher safe.  They say so right on the backstamp.  But I’m sure I’ll be hand drying them the next day, with help from my own groom.
xoxoxoxo
Linda 🙂
please join me at
 

31 thoughts on “Lenox Rutledge: Something Old, Something New

  1. Eclectic is my favorite style so I love your table. BTW, I had dish drying duty, too, and there was no leaving the dishes to drain and dry themselves!

  2. Hi there Linda…..where have you been?
    Great news about your daughter, and that China is beautiful!
    The lily of the valley adds some romance for sure♥️
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

  3. OH MY! That china is absolutely exquisite. Makes me want to get me some! It truly is just the kind of china that makes my heart beat faster….so beautiful. and your photography is so wonderful…I always love the blue hour photos and yours are great…
    so well done!
    Love, Mona

  4. Beautifully done! I loved the stories that tell me a bit about you, and the Lenox is a great pattern. The evening shots on the porch are spectacular. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  5. Oh my, what a gorgeous pattern that now your own daughter will have! Isn’t it the most beautiful design with all those pretty flowers. I love how you’ve captured that theme with the the mason jars filled with happy bouquets. Your blue hour photos are so romantic and dreamy and perfect for reminiscing after the big day that will be here before you know it. And yes, Linda, I’ve dried so many dishes in my lifetime, too. My Mom still uses her dishwasher for storage!!!

  6. I had so much that I wanted to say about this lovely table, but then you blew me completely out of the water with the blue hour photos. Those were just plain stunning!!

    I loved that pattern. It’s one of my favorites that I’ve seen tonight. I also love the bouquets in the jars. What a perfect touch.

    And… you say that flowing ribbons are coming back? Well… woooohoooo! I have never been a fan of the stark and tight ones either.

  7. That china has stolen my heart as it did yours. It is so sweet and delicate. I love how you mixed it with the loose bouquets and mason jars. The photos are just beautiful too. Dianne

  8. SWOON Linda! I’ve been scrolling back and forth up and down your photos…*sigh*… I’m totally in love those jewelled flowers on those beautiful Lenox plates. I love how you married it with your Ball Jar Bouquets, delicate etched stems, bee flatware and the rustic finish of the table… total perfection! The blooms on the trees, urn and blue hour shots along with your story takes it over the top! Happy Wedding Planning for you & Miss Charlotte ♥

  9. I am in love with this Lenox pattern too. Beautiful. The table is a perfect blend of old and new. The stemware is perfect and the mason jars add the perfect rustic touch.

  10. I am always drawn to the Rutledge pattern, whenever I spot it! I love the colors, the fluted rim, everything about it. Southern Lady magazine included a “modern” table set with Rutledge a few issues ago, and your version is equally gorgeous!

  11. A great story told about your mother, daughter and you! The china is fabulous and I love the pattern by Lenox with the enameled flowers. Your idea of the after the ceremony breakfast is a wonderful idea and the jars are the perfect addition. My first Minton pattern is Aragon with the wonderful gold and green rim which I bought in Waco, Tx at the closing of their U.S. warehouse sale. My father heard about it on the radio and my father, mother and husband and I all went! We all bought a lot of china that day! What a great way to begin and continue memories with this beautiful Lenox pattern!

    Pam

  12. Wonderful stories! Oh, that china is so special and you have chosen to set your table for such a special event! The photographs are beautiful and the blue hour ones deserve to be in a magazine! Beautiful post!!

  13. What a gorgeous china pattern! Your photos are exquisite, Linda!

    PS: You should take a trip down this summer to visit Brooklyn Heights and see the new Brooklyn Bridge Park! Take the “A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza tour or their Brooklyn tour! It’s fun!

  14. This is a perfect example of how to create a table setting that has a more casual feel to it using china. Wonderful! The fact that you chose those Mason jars as floral vessels is really, really, really great. It just WORKS!!!! It really does work! You picked up on the flowers in the design and gave them a light, jaunty feel with the Mason jar. Genius! I really like the napkin ring you chose, too. The colors are spot on!

    You can get lily of the valley out of season in your area from a florist, but you’ll pay a pretty penny for it. I hope you’re able to find some for the bouquet!

    Times change, tastes change, people change…somehow, though, the memories involved with wedding china never fade or are upstaged. Beautiful.

  15. Linda, I love the way you weave a beautiful story into your posts. This was delightful! The china is exquisite with its handpainted flowers. Your daughter is fortunate to be gifted this set of china. She can select her own wedding china and enjoy this family heirloom too. It sets a beautiful table both casual and formal. I love the touch of the mason jars, and the blue hour shot is amazing.

  16. Perfection sums it up. Your styling and sentiment is charming and delightful. I love your photographs and how you mixed the old with the new. I love your beautiful china on the aged table outside such a lush backdrop for your tablescape. How pretty your flowers are and how great the green mason jar looks with flowers and candles. Your story unfolds delightfully with much interest. I enjoyed learning the term, jewelling and that Lenox gave
    swans. Not sure how I missed that.
    Blue hour photos are gorgeous. I am pinning your post. It is amazing.

  17. Your mother’s china is exquisite!! I love how you’ve told a beautiful story of these precious heirlooms, from your memories to your daughter’s wedding. It makes these gorgeous dishes even more special. Wasn’t this a fun challenge?!

  18. Hi Linda,
    Loved your post and your Mom’s china is truly gorgeous and versatile too. Hope your daughter is thrilled about
    receiving it, if not now maybe later down the road. Also thought your china is lovely too, and worked so well
    with that Winter snow theme. Very lovely………..just enjoyed the whole story………..and all the lovely table
    vignettes, and that does look like the perfect place for you and hubby to collapse the morning after the Wedding. Good Thinking!! lol
    Have a great weekend, and thanks for coming by and leaving your sweet comments.
    Blessings, Nellie

  19. Oh Linda, Your mother’s fine china is indeed a stunning pattern! What a lucky girl your daughter is to be gifted her grandmother’s wedding china. The lovely spring flowers are so lovely for this table setting. Your mother’s china will be perfect for a family celebration! Looking forward to all the wedding news…………

  20. I don’t know how I missed this post, Linda, but this table is beautiful! Your daughter is so lucky to be inheriting this china. Even if her taste is completely different now, she will at some point be really grateful to have this fabulous memory of her grandmother. I am so glad that softer, flowing bouquets are coming back in style. I’ve never gotten into the rigid bouquets you see nowadays; they seem akward to me. My own bouquet was a cascade of gardenias and stephanotis. I wish I had thought to include some lily of the valley. I’ve learned to really love that little flower. I wonder if your florist could fly it in from somewhere . . .

  21. My bride picked out the Rutledge pattern in 1975. At the time I couldn’t really appreciate it when all my hippie generation friends were buying dark, heavy pottery. The china has grown on me over the years and we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary soon. It is hard to believe this pattern came out in the 1930’s. It truly is timeless. And it has lasted well since it is a heavy china. Only broke one dish when my sister in law dropped it on our kitchen floor. I’m surprised it broke since we have a cushioned vinyl on the floor. But three kids growing up didn’t seem to hurt it and we used it often. Now I have had fun finding less expensive filler pieces hear and there on-line, which is how I found your blog. It was quite touching.

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