Colonial by Homer Laughlin
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maintained by Mark Gonzalez. Copyright © 2009-.
The Colonial shape was introduced around 1900. It was one of Homer Laughlin's most extensive lines of dinnerware with over 100 pieces. Some were pickup pieces such as the Alaska ice cream and the Geisha tea set and jugs. Golden Gate teacups and coffee cups along with their corresponding saucers were used with Colonial. Rococo versions were used as well even though that particular shape had been discontinued. The plain round Ovide cup and saucer was also part of the Colonial assortment.

By 1903, there were 285 treatments available on the Colonial shape - more than any other shape of the early 20th Century. The number of treatments began to decline the next year and continued until 1909 when there were just over fifty. The following year, treatments were no longer offered on Colonial as focus had shifted to The Angelus and Hudson. This resulted in a ten year life span for the Colonial shape.

Colonial flow blue plate, 30s covered sugar, pattern 711, and a 24s covered sugar, pattern 4570.

Many retailers carried Colonial. Montgomery Ward's carried the shape with decals and in plain, undecorated white. Sears offered HLC's Colonial shape with decals for several years. One of Sears' advertisements gave this description of the line:

The decoration consists of neat floral spays of dainty azalias, so delicately shaded and so applied by the new decalcomania process, which produces a much more perfect decoration than if double glaze, and a decoration of this sort will wear a lifetime and never fade, and is a much stronger ware an account of the extra length of time required in the firing. This set is made of a very find quality semi-porcelain, made by the famous Homer Laughlin China Co., America's best potters, and is fully guaranteed in every respect. The shape used in the set is known as the new Colonial pattern, which is the most artistic shape made. The ware is exceedingly thin and light and resembles the finest French china. Every piece is artistically embossed with a beautiful scroll, which forms a complete border. All plates, saucers, platters, etc., have scalloped festoon edges and are branded on the back by the famous makers' trade mark.
As the advert above mentioned, Colonial is a round, scallop shape with light scroll work embossing. The hollowware is easily identified by its segmented handles. Finials on the lidded pieces tend to resemble sea horses' heads. There should never be any confusion between Colonial and other HLC shapes since most pieces were marked with one of the backstamp shown which include's the shape name. The two with the eagle over lion logo are the oldest.

Here is a comparison of handles of some HLC shapes of the early 1900s. This may help in distinguishing the hollowware on sight without having to look at the backstamp.

American Beauty


Two thorns

The Angelus

Niagara and Genesee

One thron

Colonial treatments offered towards the end of its run in 1909.

Just a few of the many patterns offered on Colonial. Shop samples courtesy The Fiesta® Tableware Company.

Colonial plate. From the collection of Bill and Donna Gray.

Colonial teapot, pattern 701

Colonial teacup and demitasse cup with saucers

Colonial casserole with pattern 4793

Colonial medium jug and gravy

Colonial covered dish with pattern 6015

Colonial covered dish with pattern 4570

Detail of pattern 4570

First style gravy boats with pronounced feet

Second style gravy boats with flat feet

Covered butter dishes: Hudson (back left), The Angelus (back right), Cable (center), Colonial (front left), and Golden Gate (front right)

Colonial 7" plate

Colonial 6" child's plate

Colonial 9" plate

Colonial 9" plate

Colonial pickle

Colonial pickle, pattern 702

Colonial baker with chrysanthemums, pattern 4570

Colonial oval platter

Colonial sauceboats, sugar, and creamer

Two sizes of Colonial jugs. On the left is pattern 4570.

Seneca (left) and Colonial (right) jugs decorated for Christmas.

Colonial Tureen with ladle

"Azalia" pattern on the Colonial shape.

Colonial shapes from a 1907 Homer Laughlin catalog
  1. Ind. Sugar
  2. Ind. Teapot
  3. Ind. Cream
  4. AD Cup and saucer
  5. Sugar
  6. Teapot
  7. Cream
  8. Jug
  9. Sauceboat
  10. Pickle
  11. Coupe Soup
  12. Fruit
  13. Ind. Butter
  14. Egg Cup
  15. Spooner
  16. Geisha Sugar
  17. Geisha Teapot
  18. Geisha Cream
  19. Geisha Jug
  20. Nappie
  1. Baker
  2. Oatmeal
  3. Golden Gate Tea
  4. Ovide Tea
  5. Rococo Tea
  6. Colonial Coffee
  7. Colonial Tea
  8. Bouillon and liner
  9. 36s Bowl
  10. Covered Butter
  11. Alaska Ice Cream
  12. Cake Plate
  13. Dish (platter)
  14. Plate
  15. Deep Plate
  16. Newport
  17. Oyster Tureen
  18. Casserole
  19. Sauce Tureen
  20. Covered Dish
  21. Soup Tureen

Copies of advertisments featuring the Colonial shape. The thrid on comes from a 1906 Sears catalog.

Three patterns featured on Colonial and sold by Sears in 1909.

Early style Colonial covered sauce dish, treatment number 4051, pink and gold tracings

Copyright © 2009-