Friday, March 4, 2016

Tiny Victorian Treasures. . . . . . . . . .

Sharing another small collection which always brings a smile and makes
 me happy. . . . . probably because they are smaller pieces which are
 easy to display when space is limited. These I can tuck in between my
larger stacks of antique and vintage dishes on the Welsh dresser.

Made for holding individual servings, butter pats became popular during the Victorian era.  As part of a complete set of fine china, they were crafted with great attention to detail. They were usually round, often decorated with attractive floral motifs making them miniature works of art. As Victorian formality disappeared, so did the butter pat dish, and by the 1950s it was replaced by the six-inch bread-and-butter plate. 
Butter pats continued to be made throughout the late 20th century but are not often seen in use today except in exclusive restaurants, at state dinners. . . . . . and certainly on the table at Downton Abbey. Are you ready for the two hour finale this Sunday on PBS? How sad it will be to see this amazing story end - I think perhaps we'll say "cheerio" in a style becoming to the Downton family by lighting what may be the last fire of the season, and popping the cork of a nice bottle of bubbly!
Anyway, easy to collect, the small size of butter pats makes them a joy to display and although exceptional pieces sell for big prices, many are quite affordable at $10 or even less. I plan to look for more when 'treasure hunting' in the warmer weather come Spring.

Are you familiar with butter pats? Do you collect old china but like me are often
 short on space to display or store? 
If I can ever become a minimalist I suppose I'll have to dispose of these pretties!


  1. I adore your collection of butter pats. I am really going to miss Downton Abbey when it ends. I have season 2 and 3 on DVD and will probably buy the rest, so I can revisit it down the road.

  2. Yes, have butter pats too. Love your green ones. Didn't know DA was to be 2 hours so I am looking forward to that. Wish I had a wonderful piece of bread and butter right now. You can't find good bread where I live.

  3. Your dishes are oh so lovely. Perfect for teatime! I especially love the ones with the blue pattern. I hope to find some of these treasures once we relocate at the end of summer. ;)

  4. You have a nice collection of butter pats and I especially like the green and gold trimmed ones. I have one small dish in the tea leaf pattern that I believe is a butter pat but that is all. I hope you have a lovely weekend Mary. xx Pam

  5. I've often thought of starting a butter pat collection, but haven't for some reason. Your collection is beautiful! They are the absolute perfect size for a collection, aren't they?


  6. Those butter pats are so pretty. I like a crusty bread with a chewy inside. And real butter is necessary. :-) Good idea to celebrate Downton Abbey or maybe Julian Fellowes. He's done a superb job of entertaining so many people with charming characters for Six Years. Amazing! I hate to see it end.

  7. I've never heard of butter pats, Mary. They are sweet little dishes and perfect, as you've said, for collecting. Downton Abbey - oh how we will miss the shenanigans upstairs and down. I heard Lady Carnavaron speaking on CBC this morning (she hosted a DA tea in Vancouver today and I never knew about it!) and she said there just might be a movie made. Wouldn't that be lovely?

  8. My grandfather's china, which sits in my china cupboard, does have butter pat dishes. I just love them. What a sweet collection.

  9. Well yes I will hate to see Downton Abbey go too. Love the scenery, clothes and hat in particular. I know what butter pats are but did not know about the specific dish. You have such a wonderful way of grouping your beauties together.

  10. Hi, Mary - I love your butter pats!! And what a coincidence because I just found two sets at an antiques shop. Mine are the plain white ironstone. Are you ready for spring?
    PS - So sad about Downton's finale. I will miss those fancy frocks

  11. Such sweet little butter pats. I buy them whenever I find them at very reasonable prices. I like to use them for family dinners - and they are often the perfect size for my dolls. I have some in the Desert Rose pattern - I have most every piece made in Desert Rose (I received the main pieces as an inheritance from my granny years ago). I've also found modern ones that are quite cute too. I see in the background some china handled spreaders - I'd never seen them before - and now today this is the second blog I've seen them on - and I must have some now. There always seems to be something pretty that I'm pursuing. Have a happy week my friend.

  12. They are so sweet to collect. Beautiful to look at and they take up little space. I remember as a child being taken to 'fancy' restaurants and being served a tiny plate with a pat of butter. Boy, you knew you were in for a good meal then. lol Deb

  13. Butter pats are so sweet...I have a few mismatched ones that I enjoy, but have never actually used for their intended purpose. It might work well for portion control. I hope that your DA celebration was very cozy and enjoyable. Julian Fellowes says that he is not finished with this story so perhaps we shall see them again.

  14. I am amazed that I've never heard of butter pats but of course, on occasion, I've had them at various settings. your are indeed absolutely beautiful, Mary. How special. You didn't mention how you came to own these. Were they treasure hunt finds as you hope to find more of this summer or inherited or what?

    So, how is that Marie Kondo style working out for you? ")


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