"America" the dinnerware was produced by The Pfaltzgraff Co. in York, Pennsylvania from 1983 until 1989. The America collection was designed mainly by David Walsh in cooperation with the then Musuem of American Folk Art (now the American Folk Art Museum) in New York City. The designs are licensed from the Museum's Bird of Paradise quilt top (c.1858 - 1863). "The quilt top is considered one of the great masterpieces of American needlework art" states the back imprint on many America charger pieces. All the pieces in the America line have different designs on a base of yellow ware glaze, some with stenciled designs and others sponged.
The Ivory Black charger plate (1985) was the last item designed by David Walsh as well as the last charger made which had gone as high as $500 on eBay in years' past. The other six charger plates are of a dog, ostrich, patridge, rooster (all issued in 1983), peacock and an Elephant (1984). The four dinner plates have a pieced quilt tree motif, a basket of flowers, vase of tuilips and an Ohio Star stencil along with a blue sponged plate rim atop the yellow ware glaze.
David Walsh, together with the late Dr. Robert Bishop of MAFA decided upon using the Bird of Paradise quilt top together. Mattie Lou O'Kelley, a famous southern folk art painter completed a painting commissioned by The Pfaltzgraff Co. entitled "Thanksgiving." This print shows the "America" pattern in a cozy older scene. Prints were made from this painting and given away with a set of 4 piece place settings of America. The original oil painting resides in the corporate offices in York, Pennsylvania.
Although the America pattern was retired many years ago, those that love the pattern have continued to collect pieces through many sources such as eBay and Replacements, Ltd. Some collectors were original purchasers of the dinnerware in the 1980's while others have just recently discovered the America pattern. Harry L. Rinker had "America" listed in the top 50 most popular dinnerware patterns in his book Dinnerware of the 20th Century: The Top 500 Patterns. Replacements, Ltd. has called it their top selling pattern since their company's initial existence.
The Pfaltzgraff Co. brought back the America pattern for just two years with their "By Request" program in 2004 and 2005. With this program the company took orders and then made their production runs based upon those orders. After October 2005, Pfaltzgraff pottery was no longer made in the US since the close of the Thomasville, Pennsylvania plant and is now manufactured in China.
Check out: Pfaltzgraff America