Pam’s Pictorama Post: This plate is the single piece of Felix china I own. Sometimes I fantasize that if I was very wealthy our daily dishes would be a full set of Felix china – perhaps switching off occasionally for Mickey on special occasions. The appealing image of drinking my coffee out of a Felix mug comes to me periodically and I have considered purchasing one for this purpose alone. However, we are a bit hard on the things we use daily around here – cats always leaping and knocking things over, stuffed cabinets where things collide, daily dishwasher wear and tear. Although admittedly the actual destruction of household dishware here is fairly low, the idea of worrying about it is more than I can deal with. Sadly, in such a small apartment, we have little room for displaying china as well so I remain reticent about investing in it. That is too bad because there is a wealth of it available and the charm for me is seeing it in large quantity and with all the small variations.
My plate is unmarked and I have some question about its origin. I believe I have landed on Wellsville China of Wellsville, Ohio as the maker. Wellsville China was founded in 1902 was in business until 1959. I believe it was then sold and was in existence in one form or another until the demolition of the building in 2004. Frankly though, the history of the company is a bit hard to piece together. A competitor in the Felix dishware race seems to have been Baltimore’s Bennett China – although the design very similar those dishes seem to be distinguished by an apricot colored edge to their plates whereas mine still has traces of gold around the edges. The Felix images and sayings seem to come from the postcard series – which is huge and I believe British in origin.
A very desirable variation is the Royal Rudolstadt design. I pulled this one off the internet – for sale on Rubylane’s site as I write this – as an example. (Maybe I need to buy this as a birthday gift to myself…but I digress.) I like this Felix design – squarely between the earliest bony-looking Felix and the later rounded one.
The reality is that we actually do eat off of historic plates – heavy blue and white wear sectioned plates, made in Britain – hard even for us to break. I love them. They came to me through my mother’s family. My great-grandfather owned a bar at the Jersey shore throughout my mother’s childhood and those plates were used to serve the daily blue plate special. Oddly, our other dishes are decorated with a series of New Yorker cartoons and fell into our hands via my father who purchased them, in the box, for under five dollars – his purchase limit on most things. And the tradition of novelty china continues.