Few patterns captivate the imagination and evoke nostalgia as much as Liberty Blue china. Made by Enoch Wedgwood & Co, the pieces in this collection take you on a journey through early American history with detailed depictions of important scenes and national landmarks. In this post, we explore the history of this iconic collection, describe the specific scenes across the various pieces of dinnerware and shed light on the enduring popularity of Liberty Blue.
A glimpse into Liberty Blue china’s history
Benjamin Franklin Federal Savings and Loan: 1975 - 1976
Liberty Blue was first created in the mid-1970s to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Benjamin Franklin Federal Savings and Loan Bank. The bank commissioned Enoch Wedgwood & Co, a Staffordshire-based manufacturer renowned for high-quality ceramics, to create an exclusive set for their marketing purposes. Specifically, they wanted to use the dinnerware to incentivize new bank deposits.
Here's how it worked: In exchange for a $50 deposit, customers were rewarded with a 4 piece place setting. For a $1,000 deposit, customers were entitled to an extensive 45-piece place setting, with additional pieces available for purchase. In 1977 they offered an extra special 20” turkey platter to new customers that deposited $5,000 or more.
The bank’s marketing promotion coincided with the 1976 American Bicentennial. As you might imagine, the patriotic dishes, depicting consequential scenes in American history, were very well received.
Liberty Blue in grocery stores: Mid-1980s
This striking blue and white ironstone dinnerware set was available exclusively through the Benjamin Franklin Federal Savings and Loan until 1977, when the bank ended the promotion.
To meet ongoing demand for the coveted patterns, grocery stores in various parts of the U.S. began to sell it. Stores typically carried various pieces from the Liberty Blue collection, allowing shoppers to purchase individual pieces to start their collections or expand their existing sets.
Liberty Blue print advertisement printed in the supermarket chain’s newsletter flier
– ℅ Chicago Tribune Sept 2, 1976 (archives)
Liberty Blue china collection: Pattern illustrations
Each piece of china in the Liberty Blue collection showcases a moment from early American history. Below, you'll find concise descriptions of the historical events featured:
Mount Vernon | Cereal bowl
This pattern depicts the tranquil surroundings of Washington's home, providing a glimpse into the life of the Founding Father and the legacy he left behind.
Washington leaving Christ Church | Salad plate
This plate depicts an image of George Washington leaving Christ Church in Philadelphia, a historic church that played a significant role during the American Revolution. It captures reverence for Washington's contributions to the nation.
Valley Forge | Luncheon plate
The luncheon plate depicts the historical events at Valley Forge, where General George Washington's Continental Army encamped during the harsh winter of 1777-1778. The plate serves as a tribute to the soldiers' resilience and sacrifice during this critical period in American history.
Independence Hall | Dinner plate
This pattern transports us to the heart of Philadelphia, where the Second Continental Congress convened and adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The stately Independence Hall, with its distinctive clock tower, stands as an enduring symbol of American freedom and democracy.
Paul Revere’s ride | Creamer & teacup
These pieces capture the essence of Paul Revere's daring midnight ride through the night to warn colonial militias about British troop movements, a pivotal moment in history when the call for liberty rang out.
Betsy Ross | Sugar bowl & berry/fruit bowl
The pattern depicted on the berry bowl is of the legendary Betsy Ross seated at a sewing table, stitching the first American flag. While the historical accuracy of this event is debated, Betsy Ross has become an emblematic figure of patriotism, craftsmanship, and the birth of the American flag.
Old North Church | Soup bowl, pitcher & small plate
This pattern pays homage to the historic Old North Church in Boston, famous for its role in Paul Revere's Ride. The church's towering steeple became a signal for Revere's message, forever linking it to the story of the American Revolution.
Governor’s House | 12” oval platter
Depicts the Pennsylvania Governor's House (also known as the Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were both debated and adopted.
Washington Crossing the Delaware | Platter
This pattern symbolizes General George Washington's bold and successful crossing of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War. It was a key moment that rekindled patriot morale and marked a turning point in the conflict. This image stands as an enduring emblem of American determination, leadership, and the enduring struggle for independence.
Minute Men | Teapot & oval serving bowl
The Minute Men pattern captures the spirit of citizen soldiers who were ready to defend their land at a moment's notice. These ordinary individuals played a crucial role in the early days of the Revolutionary War, embodying the spirit of American independence and self-sufficiency.
Lafayette Landing | Gravy boat
The pattern on the gravy boat commemorates the Marquis de Lafayette's invaluable support to the American cause. It depicts Lafayette's arrival at West Point, symbolizing the enduring friendship between France and the United States and highlighting Lafayette's role in the Revolutionary War.
Monticello | Bread plate & Coffee mug
This design showcases Monticello, Jefferson's neoclassical plantation home and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Monticello reflects Jefferson's ideals of democracy and intellectual pursuit.
Teacup candle made from Liberty blue china
Craftsmanship and Collectibility of Liberty Blue China
The craftsmanship behind Liberty Blue china is a testament to the artistry and dedication of its creators. Produced by renowned Staffordshire pottery manufacturers, this china embodies the meticulous attention to detail and skilled artistry that have made English pottery famous worldwide.
For collectors and enthusiasts, the pursuit of Liberty Blue china can be compared to a treasure hunt. The excitement of discovering rare pieces, the thrill of completing a set, and the joy of preserving a piece of history all contribute to the cache of this nostalgic collection of patterns.
The Brooklyn Teacup’s Courtly Snack Stand featuring a Liberty Blue teacup and saucer
Liberty Blue isn't just another china design; it's a piece of our history and heritage. Whether it graces your table during special occasions or adorns your wall as part of your decor, Liberty Blue stands as a symbol of beauty and legacy that continues to endure.
Looking to add Liberty Blue china to your collection?
Classic 3-Tier Serving Tray: A timeless serving tray that gives an elegant vibe to any food display. Ideal for serving all kinds of desserts, bite-sized appetizers and baked goods.
Liberty Blue Teacup Candle: A matching cup and saucer set features the classic Liberty Blue china pattern, currently available in Blue Spruce scent - a combination of cypress and bayberry.
Courtly Snack Stand: The Courtly Snack Stand is a stylish way to display small desserts and snack - a classic blue and white teacup and saucer set that gives a sophisticated touch to any rustic chic tea party or dessert spread.