1941 Desert Rose by Franciscan Pottery

Collectin' The 1940's

In 1940 and 1941, Gladding, McBean & Company introduced a line of dinnerware sold as Franciscan Pottery.  The raised relief handpainted patterns were hugely popular and remain so today as the highly collectable Apple pattern (1940) and Desert Rose (1941).

'You've come a long way, Baby' would be an understatement for the company whose beginnings in 1875, produced sewer tile for the expanding American West.  The company expanded through the 1930's with production of roof tiles, garden pottery, art pottery and informal dinnerware.

Franciscan Desert Rose and Franciscan Apple are the only continuously produced Franciscan patterns that remain in production today.  Desert Rose has become the most sold American Dinnerware of all time.

Collecting Desert Rose today can be a challenge.  The original 1941 pieces are hard to find and pricey.  Over the decades, the production of this pattern has moved from California to England to China where it is today part of 'Wedgewood Waterford Royal Doulton' - The Luxury Lifestyle Group.   

My Desert Rose Collection consists of  place settings for four with accessory pieces of sugar and creamer, serving bowls, a pitcher and a rare egg cup.  I was lucky, an estate sale of the original 1941 edition made my day and completed my Desert Rose Collection.

1941 Desert Rose by Franciscan Pottery written in support of the
1940 US Census Community Project

Upon it's release, the 1940 Census Community Project, a joint initiative between Archives.com, Family Search, findmypast.com and other leading genealogy organizations, will coordinate efforts to provide quick access to these digital images and immediately start indexing these records to make them searchable online with free and open access.
You, too, can support the 1940 US Census Community Project
by volunteering as a 1940 US Census Indexer.
Click on Badge and Get Started Today!

Linking to


  1. So lovely. I have a few pieces that I received from a dear friend of my grandparents. Talk about your sweet family memories. Thanks for the lovely reminder on this sweet Pink Saturday.

  2. Such lovely china! I love collecting china too. Can a girl have too much? Thank you for sharing your pretty pinks and enjoy your Pink Saturday weekend.


  3. Hi Sue, for a change I have time to visit on a PS. Yay!!! I love those lovely dishes so much. Keep looking, you will find these dishes a piece at a time and sometimes more. You have a good start. Good luck collecting. The fun is in the 'hunt.'

    Happy Pink Saturday and Happy Spring.
    Love, Jeanne

  4. My daughter's future mother-in-law collects this pattern. It's very hard to find up here, and very expensive. I love to find an odd piece for her - at Christmas it was a sugar bowl, with no lid. I made a wee Christmas arrangement in it and gave it to her as a hostess gift.

  5. Anonymous3/24/2012

    Hi Sue! I just adore this pattern and have quite a few pieces. I have to admit, I've got olden pieces and the newer ones. The newer ones aren't as pretty in my view, but they helped me finish out my service. I still need a tea pot! ;)
    be a sweetie,
    shelia ;)

  6. This is a pattern that has been around awhile, but still in demand. I have a friend that has it and all the extra pieces.

  7. I have a few pieces of this pattern but have never been lucky enough to find a good set at a good price. It is such a beautiful pattern and OI keep my fingers crossed! Hugs, Linda

  8. I love this set of china. I like when we have tea at your house and get to use part of your collection.

  9. I lucked upon a complete set for 6 from one of hubby's coworkers. It included sherbert dishes, platters and lots of pitchers and a teapot (plus other extras) for FREE! They had been her grandmothers, seldom used, and only hand washed. She didn't like them, and gave them to us. Woohoo! I love them. My MIL has at least 12 place setting in her set.

  10. Oo, those are gorgeous! This spring my eye is going to pink and green. Those colors are so beautiful together.


  11. So glad your set is complete. They are very pretty Sue!~Ames

  12. Jason Barnhill9/08/2012

    Is there a way to tell between the original 1940's dishes which have higher value vs those today or in recent years?

    Jason Barnhill

  13. My MIL has a large set of these dishes. I lucked into a set of 6 place settings, from a lady hubby works with that didn't like her grandmothers set and was going to throw it out. Check out this post of mine (2nd picture) and see what treasure I found at a thrift store last year. The best of both worlds.

  14. I have service for 12 & odd plates. Have mugs, extra small bowls, cereal bowls, serving bowls, platters, salt & pepper, sugar w/lid & creamer, and etc. Want to sell all of it. Need to count each piece & see what they are.

  15. I inherited a whole set of these beautiful dishes from my dear mom , she just loved them!

  16. I collect this pattern as well. Also Currier&Ives (blue) and Moss Rose.
    Desert Rose has to be my favorite!


Thanks for your visit & comment. I'd love to return the visit...please leave your LINK or click on over and comment on Where Bluebonnets Grow.