Manufacturers: Mayer China, Sterling China, Homer Laughlin
User: Christiana Campbell's Tavern – Colonial Williamsburg, Virgina
Date of examples: circa 1970s – 1980s
Notes: A replica of Christiana Campbell's Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia, was built by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and opened on April 16, 1956. The Tavern is still open today (2023) and is a very popular restaurant in Colonial Williamsburg.
From Wikipedia: "Christiana Burdett Campbell (ca. 1723–March 25, 1792) was a colonial innkeeper from Williamsburg, Virginia. She started the business herself in an era where it was unusual for women to do so in the colony.
"During this time Williamsburg served as the capitol of the Colony of Virginia and as such, her tavern was often frequented by important political figures of the day. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were both patrons of the establishment and many members of the House of Burgesses stayed in Campbell's tavern while the General Assembly was in session. Women visited taverns infrequently as these locations were considered inappropriate for ladies. However, innkeeping was seen as an acceptable vocation for women during this time period.
"Campbell's business suffered after the state capital was moved to Richmond in April 1780. Nonetheless, the innkeeper chose to remain in Williamsburg. She retired from the innkeeping profession by 1783 and unsuccessfully attempted four years later to sell her real estate in Williamsburg. Soon thereafter she moved to Fredericksburg to be close to her youngest daughter. Campbell's tavern burned down around 1859."
The china shown above is used in the dining room at the Tavern (though it is not known if it's manufactured by Homer Laughlin or some other [ostensibly] foreign manufacturer) and at one time was sold in the gift shop. From the restaurant's website circa 2019: "This charming blue and white pattern, incorporating a squirrel with grapevine, is based on fragments of a delft plate discovered in Williamsburg. This Christiana Campbell's Tavern dinnerware is a variation of a familiar Chinese pattern, indicating the fascination with Oriental motifs in England and the colonies during the eighteenth century." Keywords: squirrel, snail, cat, fox
Plate, cup, and grouping photos: Ed Babcock
Creamer photos: Mark Taylor
Teapot photo: Sherri Harris
Author: Ed Phillips