It all started at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire ( largest open-air antique faire in Northern California with 800+ dealer booths) when we stumbled upon a dealer selling sets of Franciscan Starburst dinnerware and knew the moment had come to add this explosively beautiful pattern to our collection. We had admired the Starburst design for some time as those starbursts just scream atomic era to us, but the moment wasn’t quite right to start our collection until today, and getting to hold the dishes and see the pattern in person was fantastic.
The Starburst pattern was introduced in 1954 and only produced through 1957 by Franciscan Ware. The Atomic Starburst design was futuristic for the time and complemented the chrome appliances and kitchens of the era. The Starburst pattern still oozes that mid-century modern atomic chic and is a standout on our dining table today and I can’t help but sing the famous Frank Sinatra song Fly Me to Moon as I set our table!!
I love the saying “Life is too short not to use the good china” and I couldn’t agree more with that. We use most of the vintage items we collect and that goes for our Starburst dinnerware. I love setting our table and taking a moment to think about the families that had the dinnerware set before us and if they only brought out the dishes for holidays and special occasions or if it might have been their everyday dishes. I try to take great care not to chip any of the dishes especially when hand washing them after meals. I especially love how well made these dishes are and they have a very nice weight to them. I also like how well designed the pieces are with function in mind as they have indentations for your fingers to grasp the salt and pepper shakers and lids on the covered bowls and sugar and creamer set, they fit very nicely in your hand.
Prices for the Franciscan Starburst pattern are currently reasonable but they are going up every year and as with all collectibles, condition really is everything and serving pieces generally are more expensive. You can generally expect to pay-
- $50 for a dinner plate
- $75 relish divided dish
- $25-$35 coffee/tea cup and saucer
- $45-$100 salt and pepper shakers (2 sizes were made)
- $25-$30 salad plate
- $150 covered vegetable/casserole dish
- $150 serving platter
There are still several pieces we need to add to complete our set but we are off to a good start. Prices are definitely on the rise for the Franciscan Starburst pattern as it has become quite collectible in the last couple of years. We do believe in the saying that “It’s so much cheaper to buy good quality vintage things then low quality new things”, and you just can’t find new pieces with the style and charm of the mid 1950s Atomic era!!