Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's Dish ~ Earth Day Colors

"It's not that easy being Green.
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves.
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things,
And people tend to pass you over . . . "

Words taken from Kermit's Famous Song IT'S NOT THAT EASY BEING GREEN

No, it's not that easy being green, 

especially in the world of Quimper French pottery. 

The color green is found on many pieces as an accent, 

but for the primary color of this pottery to be green is most unusual.  

This tea set is one of my favorites, 

and I thought them the perfect dishes to share for this week's 

Let's Dish with Cuisine Kathleen.  

Green Hydrangeas and Yoko Ono Green Land Mums

This week's topic is The Good Earth 

in celebration of Earth Day 2012

I shared the story of this tea service 

and how we came to own it in a post several years ago, 

but with many new readers and followers 

I thought it appropriate to share once again.  

Others might have passed this 

coffee/tea service by without much thought, 

but it was love at first sight for "the chef" and me. 

It's a complete service for twelve: 

dessert plates, cups and saucers, 

creamer, sugar, and coffee/tea pot.

A friend contacted me in the summer of 2006. 

She knew of a couple who were downsizing 

and wanted to sell a complete tea/coffee service. 

Jacqueline, who is French and the original owner, 

included a note with the special story of this set.

Soon after WWII, she and her American soldier husband, 

traveled to the United States to begin a life together here. 

In the summer of 1946, on a trip back to France 

to visit her parents, Jacqueline and her mother visited 

Brittany and the atelier of Paul Fouillen. 

It was on this trip that Jacqueline's mother 

purchased this set as a gift for Jacqueline.

There were actually two sets purchased at the time. 

The other very different in color and design 

was enjoyed by Jacqueline's mother during her lifetime. 

Jacqueline's daughter now treasures the set that had been her 

grandmother's, so she didn't need this set. 

Lucky us!

Jacqueline told me that she carefully packed this set in her suitcase 

and carried it with her on the return journey, crossing the Atlantic 

by ship and then traveling by train on to Texas.

Paul Fouillen opened his atelier in the late 1920s. 

He is well known for his unique designs 

with both Celtic and Art Deco influences.  

The wonderful hand crimped handles on each of 

these pieces are glazed with a sponge technique. 

Though each piece includes the concentric bands 

of green color and the green checks, 

there are different designs painted on 

each side of the various pieces.

This magnificent tray 

matches our service!

A very thoughtful friend and 

fellow member in the Quimper Club International 

sent me this tray as a surprise one Christmas.

It was a piece from 

her own collection.

When she learned that I had purchased the dessert service, 

she felt the tray should be reunited with the set.

See, it has the darling dragonfly 

that is on the tea/coffee pot.

I've talked enough. 

Won't you join me for a cup of tea?



How about a 

little something sweet?  

Help yourself to a plate 

and one of these little cake forks.

These beautiful linen napkins were gifts from 

I'd say these are perfect for Earth Day.

"I'm green, and it'll do fine, it's beautiful!"

At times I repurpose the tea service when I want to serve a glass of ice tea.  I fill the teapot with flowers, and use the creamer to hold spoons.  Don't you agree that the colors and motifs of flowers and dragonflies are the perfect compliment to celebrate The Earth?

Happy Earth Day 2012



The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. How pretty and unusual, Sarah! Love the story! That makes the set extra special! I'd say it found its way to the perfcet home! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

  2. Sarah, I've NEVER seen Quimper in green before, tho I loved Quimper. Just gorgeous. And what a lovely tea you set. Have enjoyed our chat & time together.

    Have a beautiful day
    TTFN ~

  3. interesting story and some great pics, that little chocolate bite is driving me wild!

  4. Sarah, these dishes are beautiful and the story makes them extra special. I have never seen green quimper, or if I did I certainly did not know what it was. It is wonderful that you were able to complete the set with the tray. You have very thoughtful friends! I am so glad you shared these dishes again as I missed the previous post from long ago. The "Green" song is our family song! Happy Earth Day! Linda

  5. What a delightful story and WONDERFUL tea set!

    It truly is a treasure.

    Your The Good Earth post is very well done, indeed!

  6. Seeing this gorgeous set and hearing the story is so special. Thank you for sharing this with us on Let's Dish Earth Day. I love dragonflies and so this makes this especially attractive to me. Hugs, Linda

  7. Sarah, what a beautiful set and yes, I would like something sweet.

  8. Sarah, this is a lovely Quimper desert set. Green certainly makes this set special, and the pattern. I love the dragonfly, and how nice you now have the beautiful tray with the matching dragonfly. It is even more special to know the history of the set. Thanks for sharing the story.

    The French Hutch

  9. The tea set is exquisite! Absolutely wonderful for Earth Day or any other day, Sarah.

  10. Beautiful story. A very unique set. Very pretty too.

  11. I LOVE this story of how you got that beautiful pattern of Quimper! I think it's my VERY FAVORITE! So unique and the colors are GORGEOUS! They seem to blend so with SO MANY settings you could dream up! AND Look at how sweet those napkins are with them! Actually "I think it's easy being green", it melts into EVERYTHING we do!!!
    Have a wonderful week Sarah,
    Big Hugs to you,

  12. What a lovely story, Sarah, and such a beautiful tea set.

  13. Sarah, this set is splendid and the dragonflies are so sweet. To know it's provenance which is quite enchanting is even better. be blessed, olive

  14. What a beautiful story for a beautiful tea set! I would be happy to join you for tea and cake!

    Thank You for sharing and have a wonderful evening!

    Aledia @ Plum Perfect

  15. Sarah~ I adore this set with the dragonfly! I remember seeing it when you shared it before, the history and story is so special~ lucky you indeed! I love your beautiful napkins with the embroidered flowers & butterflies :)

  16. Sarah, this set is so very beautiful. The colors work well for my home, and I love dragon flies. Such an interesting story, and how nice that the tray is now residing in your home as well, xo

  17. Sarah, I don't know if i love the Quimper pieces or the story more. How precious this service must be to you. I really really love the colors of the pieces. Absolutely beautiful post. xo marlis

  18. Marlis saiad almost the exact words that sprang to my mind: I don't know if I like the pottery or the story behind it more! It is so great when you KNOW the history of vintage items. It just makes you appreciate it that much more each time you use it. This is so pretty and the dragonfly (?) on it makes it look absolutely contemporary/vintage which is hard to achieve! Perfect setting for the theme!!!!

  19. Oh, what a special story, this makes your pieces priceless, Marlis. Thanks for sharing this story and your wonderful images with us. The tablescape is beautiful.

  20. Sarah, Your tea/coffee set is very unusual and beautiful. I love the story of its origins.
    Hugs, Sherry

  21. What beautiful things! I have never seen anything quite like this. The napkin made my heart go pitty-pat!

    And the chocolate made me hungry...

  22. This set is just PERFECT for Earth Day & Kathleen's party, Sarah! Beautiful pieces that came to the right owner to appreciate them, for sure.

    Why have I never thought of using one of my MANY teapots as a vase? Duh??? It is a wonderful way of getting more mileage out of them, especially in the hotter summer months. Thanks for the idea!!


  23. Sarah,
    Love your Earth day post!!! I love dragonflies and the green and white tea service is so pretty and special...I've not seen another like it! Beautiful post!
    Miss Bloomers

  24. Sarah, What a perfect story and the Quimper set is so unusual for the colors and dragonflies is so unexpected. I absolutely love the colors and am so glad you repeated the posting for I wasn't aware of the set. The shape and detail make this set a beauty with each piece so different. Thanks for sharing. Pam

  25. The Quimper set is so beautiful and so unusual, Sarah. But most of all, it is priceless, knowing the story behind it. How wonderful for you to receive the tray too...Christine

  26. What a great story and wonderful set. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog :)

  27. Sarah, the flowers and dragonflies are just perfect for an Earth day celebration. I'll be right over :-)
    A wonderful story, and to think I had never heard of Quimper until you shared it with us.

  28. It is always such a pleasure to have the most delightful settings for tables.
    Perfect Earth Day celebration.

  29. What a lovely tea set, and I loved the story too! The tray was a wonderful gift, I know you treasure it!
    Happy Earth Day, Sarah! Take time to smell what ever is blooming there!
    Thank's for linking to Let's Dish!

  30. Great story and the green is just gorgeous! I love the way you have your tea table set up too! Pretty.

  31. I love Kermit's melancholy song! And I love this tea set. I've never seen Quimper in green, and it's more my thing. You have some very good friends! But I know what a great friend YOU are! I'm glad you told the story again. Happy Earth Day!

  32. Gorgeous!I loved hearing about the origin. So lovely!

  33. Sweet story. Hope you and the chef are well.

  34. What a gorgeous set, Sarah, and even more special with its wonderful history. It has been and still is well loved.

    A perfect setting for Earth Day. I am so glad you shared it with us.

  35. What a great story and a beautiful set!

    - The Tablescaper

  36. Hi Sarah! Oh, what a lovely tea set and story to go along with it! :) Love the little dragonflies too! How sweet you have the tray now too.
    I'll have two lumps of sugar and a bit of cream, please! ;)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  37. What a gorgeous tea table! I love the flowers in the the tea pot!

  38. I'm speechless....and that never happens. This is truly a treasure. Thank you for sharing it with us. Cherry Kay

  39. What an absolutely fab teaset! I LOVE it! And thanks so much for sharing the story behind it as well! I also love the frog cookie jar? I assume that's what it is, my daughter in law loves frogs.

  40. Sarah, I find myself here, a bit teary from this story. It is such a gorgeous set, so unique and special. The fact that you actually know its history makes it even more special. The fact that it found its way to you, someone who would cherish it like you do makes it over the top. Thank you for sharing this treasure. I will remember this table.

  41. What a treasure this set is and so detailed. It looks like something you could buy today (for mucho bucks!). Isn't it funny how some designs are timeless? Thanks for sharing the story. I would love to put these pieces in my china cabinet when they aren't being used. They are really "art"!

    Robin Flies South

  42. Your set is exquisite! I love hand painted pottery too. Just beautiful!

  43. Hi Sarah...A beautiful tea set and a wonderful story. What a treasure and such a good friend to send you the matching tray. Loved all your photos as well. Happy VTT and Earth Day....Sue

  44. What a lovely unique set and it comes with some great history. That is very special. Have a wonderful weekend.

  45. Exquiite and unique... but forget that.. pass the chocolate... that looks divine!!!

  46. A great assortment of greens. I have no trouble being green in so many things.

  47. What a beautiful table. Your dishes are just lovely and such a treasure. I just love the ruffled edge. No table today as we just got back from Spring Break! But I missed doing it.

  48. What a sweet story as you always have to share. Love the table setting..those dishes are so pretty.

  49. I do agree - any way that you use this set, it is exquisite.
    I don't know what is more beautiful - the set or the story. Both are lovely.

  50. Gorgeous dishes, just perfect for Earth Day! I'm loving the story and the frog cookie jar is also just the right touch for this lovely tablescape. Thank you for your wonderful comments, I so appreciate it.

  51. This is so lovely. Love your eye to detail in table setting!

  52. So lovely! Perfect for Earth Day :)
    Visiting from Show and Tell Friday
    Greetings from Australia♥

  53. I love the frog! Think how lucky that your friend had heard about the couple. Thank you for sharing this story again because I am one of your followers who have not read it. Wonderful pottery. I wish you a wonderful weekend! Zinnia

  54. Your set is awesome! I love the story that goes with it and the fact that the tray came your way too! What a wonderful history! I love the design and color of it. What a treasure!

  55. What a beautiful set...those shades of green are just so pretty. It was wonderful of your friend to gift you the matching tray.

  56. This is the most gorgeous set. What a lovely surprise you got. I am in love with the colours. What an inspiring post! I would love it if you would share this post at our WIW linky party. I hope you can join us.


  57. Hello Sarah, this is a fabulous set! Perfect in its detail! Love the linen napkins - so gorgeous. I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  58. What a great and treasured set! Love the WWII story, and that it was passed down to you for safe keeping. Clearly you use it and cherish it as it was intended to be regarded. Also, love the green hydrangeas - such a beautiful flower, and exactly right with this set. Happy Earth Day to you. ~CJ

  59. I, too, have never seen Quimper that looks like this. I adore these pieces and the rich history that comes along with them. Also, did I spy a "Cherry Blossom" sardine (?) fork in the blog. I collect that pattern. Beautiful post!

  60. Your set is gorgeous! And the whole table is so pretty. I really like using that square glass container for ice. It all looks so perfect Sarah!

  61. Sarah,
    This tea set is gorgeous!! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!


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