About that vintage Fiesta butter dish…(Updated to include suspected fake photo)

No other line of dinnerware has been as everlastingly popular as Fiesta, except perhaps Blue Willow.

Fiesta Trivia: The people at Homer Laughlin hated the term "Fiestaware."

Fiesta Trivia: The people at Homer Laughlin hated the term “Fiestaware.”

Fiesta was originally sold as “The dinnerware that turns your table into a celebration,” and has done so for many generations. In fact, the Homer Laughlin China Company of West Virginia still makes genuine Fiesta in a wide variety of colors and styles. Most people, however, prefer to collect and enjoy the quality and authenticity of the original Fiesta line of dinnerware.

But there never was a butter dish.
According to a Homer Laughlin report:
“If you do find the butter dish in Fiesta, it will necessarily be a copy, because this certainly was one of the items that was never produced in this line…There is a covered butter dish in the Harlequin and Riviera patterns, but one labeled Fiesta cannot be authentic.”
-From the Collectors Encyclopedia of Fiesta with Current Values, 5th Edition, Sharon and Bobb Huxford

In the meantime, this “big picture” overview will help you evaluate what’s out there, as well as items you may already have. Keeping track of color changes can be tricky, but I’ve tried as best I can to simplify things.

Fiesta’s distinguishing features:
-The concentric circles get closer together, with the widest spacing near the rims.

The lines on the vintage Harlequin double egg cup are uniform. Fiesta lines become closer together as they hear the bottom or center of a piece.

The lines on the vintage Harlequin double egg cup are uniform. Fiesta lines become closer together as they near the bottom or center of a piece.

-Some Fiesta pieces may be confused with Harlequin, which is collectible in its own right. Harlequin’s rings usually begin farther from the rim, and some angles are sharper.

The original Fiesta colors.

Chart of Fiesta colors, 1936-1973

Chart of Fiesta colors, 1936-1973

The original Fiesta marks:
Genuine vintage Fiesta has four distinctive marks, or “backstamps,” although some items (usually those with small bases) were not marked at all.
IN ALL CASES, the “F” is capitalized on Fiesta made in the 1980s.

Original Fiesta logos

Original Fiesta logos. “Genuine” was added in the 1940s

The original pieces:
There are too many to include here, since Homer Laughlin introduced and discontinued items throughout production. They’re listed in the
Huxford encyclopedia.

UPDATE:I found three rose colored Fiesta bowls in the attic, and was getting ready to put them up for sale in my Etsy shop. The color was inconsistent with anything I’ve seen online, but it’s the logo that sealed it for me: It’s close, but something about it is “off.” I think they’re fakes. If anyone knows differently, I’d appreciate a comment!

Notice the difference in this logo and the ones above. If this is a fake (and I suspect it is), it proves how careful you must be as a collector!

Notice the difference in this logo and the ones above. If this is a fake (and I suspect it is), it proves how careful you must be as a collector!

Enjoy the hunt – and watch out for that butter dish!!

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About sarathurston

I'm a marketing communications writer who also loves antiques and collectibles. You can find my shop on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/JanvierRoad
This entry was posted in Antiques, Collectibles, Etsy, Porcelain, Real or Fake? and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to About that vintage Fiesta butter dish…(Updated to include suspected fake photo)

  1. cinnamontoastgirl says:

    Hello, I think the marking is genuine. Here is an antiques roadshow entry showing the same marking. I have two ivory bowls with the same marking; my research so far is that they are not only genuine, but early HLC. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/archive/199807A34.html

  2. I like your information which is very useful for me. Thanks.

    fiesta ware

  3. Pingback: The Investment that Never Loses Value: Second in a Three-Part Series “Why Buy Antiques?” | Janvier Road: Where old becomes exciting and new

  4. Pingback: The Investment that Never Loses Value: Third in a Three-Part Series “Why Buy Antiques?” | Janvier Road: Where old becomes exciting and new

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