Apple Blossoms in the Dead of Winter

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This set of dishes, collected by my mom over her lifetime (there are many pieces not shown in this photo), always comes out at Christmas time. The set is called “Blossom Time” and reminds me of my roots (the Annapolis Valley, N.S.). As well, seeing those apple blossoms lifts my spirits in the cold, dark Yukon winter.

Here’s the story of how this pattern was developed, according to the Kings County Museum in Kentville, Nova Scotia:

On a spring morning in 1933, G. R. Palmeter left a meeting of the Apple Blossom Committee at the Cornwallis Inn to purchase china from a representative of the Royal Albert China of England. While there, he asked the salesman about creating a pattern called “Blossom Time”, to tie in with the Annapolis Valley’s Apple Blossom Festival. A design was submitted and the factory got to work on it.

The design is an actual picture of the Ralph Eaton farm, in the Annapolis Valley – the apple trees were at the height of bloom, and this worked out ideally, from the factory standpoint.

The result was “BLOSSOM TIME CHINA”, which is still in great demand all over the world, even as far as Japan – this over a period of sixty years.

The original shape of the plate was square. The factory later tried a round one but it was not well received. The mugs have changed shape and the bowl and milk pitcher have been discontinued. Other pieces i.e. a trivet have recently been added.

The Royal Albert Company discontinued making the Blossom Time china in 2001. In 1933 when the china was first produced you could buy a cup and saucer for 90 cents; the teapot sold for $4. When it was discontinued in 2001 the cup and saucer sold for $56, and the teapot cost $210.

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