Our First Mid-Century Collectible

A repost from East Nashville Atomic

Originally posted May 3, 2008

About six months ago Jason and I were browsing around at Southern Thrift. The left side wall is lined with junky vases, mugs, plates, picture frames etc. We picked up a platter with a starburst design. Amidst all the kitschy forgettables it didn’t look like much. It had some wax or something crusted on the front and a chip out of the underside. It was only $2 but we debated back and forth for a while, not wanting to pay even $2 for something if it was just going to clutter our house. (We’re pretty minimalist. And cheap.) Eventually we decided it was cool enough to bring home.

One Saturday morning maybe two months ago, we were watching Good Eats on the food network. I don’t remember what food he had made but Alton Brown carefully placed it right onto a plate like our thrift-store find. We both looked at each other, thinking the same thing. I flipped over the plate and inspected the seal on the bottom.

“FRANCISCAN” “Made in California U.S.A” “Gladding, McBean & Co.” I googled away. Much to our surprise and delight, our $2 thrift-store treasure was a famous design from Gladding, McBean & Co. The Starburst design was released in 1954, [one year after] our house was built. We’re pretty sure our find is the “oval serving platter” worth about $50 today, in good condition. Of course, we’re not interested in selling it. It’s our first Mid-Century Collectible!

2 Responses to Our First Mid-Century Collectible

  1. Roaxana says:

    I found a whole set very similar to this piece while visiting my uncle in Nashville a couple of weeks ago. It was at Pre to Post Modern at 2110 8th Ave. I didn’t have much time but I found so many wonderful things there that would have cost so much more at the same type of modern store here in Houston. To get lucky like that, I usually have to go to an unsuspecting thrift store (as I know you do) or a reasonably priced estate sale here and there. I think Nashville is a great place to find wonderful modern pieces and I can’t wait to go back for Christmas.
    Thanks for having this blog. I really enjoy reading all about your finds!

    • mahlbrandt says:

      Thanks for your comment Roaxana! Yes, Pre to Post Modern has great prices considering it’s a specialty vintage store. Check out Wonders on Woodland when you come back. Their prices aren’t as low but it’s a beautiful store with lots of designer mid-century furniture and housewares.

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