I took a badly chipped Missouri Pacific Railroad State Flowers Service pattern plate and shaped one of the train ornaments on the rim that is interspersed with the state symbols. I then added the tiny black and white porcelain flower, painted by Folklorica Design, and beaded around it very simply with black glass beads. It is a sweet pendant, so light and dainty, that perfectly captures the allure of train travel, especially in its golden age.
The pendant, backed with black Ultrasuede, measures 1 1/2 by 3 inches and hangs from a simple black braided leather necklace. It measures 20 inches with extensions to 22 1/2 inches.
This is truly a one-of-a-kind piece.
Also known as the “steam service plate,” according to Doug McIntyre in his book The Official Guide to Railroad Dining Car China, all backstamped examples made by Syracuse China were made in 1929, when the first order was placed. Doug gives the pattern 3+ out of 6 stars in rarity.
ABOUT THIS JEWELRY: Confession: I love pottery. Anything made of clay.
My husband and I have been collecting heavy restaurant china for half a lifetime, and during that time we’ve also accumulated our fair share of chipped, crazed and cracked pieces that we couldn’t let go of. In the last seven years we’ve taken numerous trips to West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio in search of forgotten potteries, always finding shards at those sites.
And we’ve also nosed around in the Jugtown and Seagroves area of North Carolina, coming home with shards from both closed and active potteries.
And there have been so many shards of pottery from the English Isles, washed up on those beaches, that have found their way across the ocean, too.
And it is from these bits and pieces that I’ve started carving out both cabochons for my bead embroidery as well as unisex pendants. Each one is its own little time traveler, evoking for me the era of railroad journeys, fine hotels, afternoon tea and the companies that manufactured such fine quality ware.
For anyone else who loves restaurant ware, here’s a link to our latest trip with photos of some of the shards we found that might end up one day as jewelry: http://carrchinacompany.com/dig6.html