Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Welcome Fall: Mottahedeh Chelsea Bird Tablescape

Welcome to my blog, Panoply. I'm so glad you're here! Ready to welcome fall, y'all? Please join me today, as I host a group of table styling enthusiasts to bring you eighteen unique perspectives on fall tablescaping, with direct links readily available for you further in this post.

My fall table inspiration came to me last November, when Amy Montgomery Home (AMH) posted a snapshot of her 2022 Thanksgiving table using Mottahedeh Chelsea Bird china. This pattern is so versatile, it could be used in any season, just by varying the surrounding elements. The AMH fall look was so inspiring, I made it my mission to find some of the vintage elements she put into service. 
I mentioned in a post earlier this year I had found a set of Mottahedeh Chelsea Bird dinner plates (and for a fabulous price) at a local estate. However, that was after I spent a good bit of time and money scoping out eBay for the salad plates used in my tablescape today.
A little history on Mottahedeh Chelsea Bird**: Mottahedeh, Inc. (New Jersey), is a fine dinnerware company, originally founded by Rafi and Mildred Mottahedeh over 90 years ago. Their company focus is in producing fine faience and porcelain china reproductions, with patterns based on early Chinese Exports for the West as well as Early European and Chinese designs. (more history in the ** note at the end of this post).
Instead of coupling my Chelsea Bird dinner plate with the salad for a match place setting, I kept with Amy Montgomery Home's inspiration and sourced Fitz & Floyd's 1978 Dynasty Imperial dinner plates.
Most other elements used for this Welcome Fall tablescape are items I already had in my inventory for tablescaping. The tablecloth carries the aviary theme, and the rattan chargers, the twig flatware, and the oak leaf & acorn napkin rings all hint toward the season coming.
I wanted my centerpiece to be reflective of colors that usher in a fall look and mood. I accomplished this by shopping the reduced floral section at the grocery store, and added a few more clippings from my garden. I arranged this with floral foam in a container I had on hand.
The beaded table runner and florals helped evoke the feeling of fall with their jewel tones, as did the napkins. The ceramic pomegranates hint at the first harvesting of this fall fruit, grown in the Southwestern US, Middle Eastern, Asian and Mediterranean regions. Soft votive lighting furthers the sense of warmth of fall imagery.
Soft pink glassware marries the hues in the salad plates, as well as the deeper hues of the florals and napkins, to complete the table setting.
In keeping with my style of tablescaping documentation, I try to always provide my source list. This is in case any reader should want to go down a similar rabbit hole as I did in scouring for similar elements. πŸ˜‰
Source List for Welcome Fall: Mottahedeh Chelsea Bird Tablescape
Mottahedeh Chelsea Bird salad plates, Fitz& Floyd Dynasty Imperial dinner plates - eBay
Tablecloth (Lenox Chirp), Deep Red Napkins, Pink Glassware, Ceramic pomegranates - Vintage Finds
Burgundy Napkins - Amazon
Beaded Centerpiece Runner - MacKenzie-Childs
Longchamps wine glasses - Mr. P's vintage ware
Napkin Rings - Belk's Biltmore Collection
Rattan Chargers, Twig Flatware - Pier 1
Rose Mercury Votives - Afloral
Florals - Grocery and Garden
Links to all the participating stylists in this Welcome Fall Blog Hop follow, readily available for you to directly and continuously go from one beautiful table to the next. It's a true harvest of beauty within each one. Enjoy!
Everyday Living - Autumn is My Favorite Color
Home Is Where the Boat Is - Sunflowers and Pumpkins
Life and Linda - A Fall Wine Dinner
The Bookish Dilettante - Falling Leaves Tablescape
The Little Yellow Corner Store - A Gathering of Mushroom Joy
Me and My Captain - Goodbye Summer Hello Fall
Red Cottage Chronicles - Autumn Brunch Table Setting
Thrifting Wonderland - Savor the Moment...Fall Tablescape
Belle Bleu Interiors - Anticipating Autumn's Arrival
Corner of Plaid and Paisley - Fall is Time for Football
The Painted Apron - Celebrating Fall

Thank you so much for joining me today. Tablescaping is a creative outlet - a hobby - for me. It has become a staple in decorating my home seasonally. I keep a table set and, of course, use my table settings in real life when we have company. I hope you've enjoyed this, and go through the list of those who've joined me today. I welcome your comments and questions, and I always try to respond directly by email. 

Happy (almost) Fall, Y'all!
Rita C. at Panoply

** More on history of Chelsea Bird
As part of the 1981 refurbishing of the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, VA, the curator of ceramics worked from a 1770 inventory of the estate of Governor Botetourt, wherein "11 Chelsea China figures" were listed.  As part of the 1989 construction of the Wallace Gallery (the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum), the curator was able to secure a single soup plate from the Mecklenburg-Strelitz service of Buckingham Palace, circa 1762-1763. That service design included the Chelsea Bird. The "disheveled birds" were created by James Giles' workshop in Chelsea (England), after renderings by ornithologist George Edwards' four volumes of plates published from 1743-1751, titled A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, and of Some Other Rare and Undescribed Animals.

Mottahedeh was licensed to produce fine china reproductions of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Chelsea Bird motif in the mid-1990s with dinnerware, which is still an active pattern today.

Several sources were used for my background history of Mottahedeh's Chelsea Bird, which I found to be fascinating. I encourage you to peruse my sources, including the following:


  1. Good Morning Rita, You’re in fine feather with your Mottahedeh Chelsea Bird…what a beautiful table to usher in fall! I love it paired with the F&F Dynasty Imperial plates, twig flatware and Lenox “Chirp” 😊 tablecloth. What beautiful rich colors and textures your MKC beaded leaf runner brings to the table for a nod to fall (my favorite season!), along with your handsome floral arrangement with your mix of grocery store and garden flowers. You always set such a gorgeous and thoughtful table with a mix of masculine, feminine, vintage and new accessories. As a bird lover, I enjoyed reading the interesting history on Chelsea Bird too. Thank you so much for your work and effort in organizing our hops, I so appreciate you! It’s always a treat to have a virtual seat at your table. Happy Tuesday ♥

  2. I have to second everything Mary said about your beautiful table Rita! What interesting info on your Mottahedeh Chelsea Bird story and for me, it would not be the first time I saw interesting dinnerware and sought the same. It is definitely a search and find that takes lots of time and effort, but ends pleasing my soul when my mission is finally accomplished....as I am sure you felt that way too. Excellent narrative and I appreciate your combination of elements that are pleasing to the eye as one would sit at your table to welcome in the Fall. I like that you used Floral "seconds" along with finds from your personal garden....goes to prove that with one's imagination, anything is possible. Thank you for organizing this hop and for your friendship. Have a safe and wonderful week.

  3. Good morning, Rita. I have always admired Mottahedeh china and the Chelsea Bird is a favorite. Paired with Fitz & Floyd Dynasty Imperial dinner plates makes it quite stunning! I love the beaded MKC runner and the Lenox chirp tablecloth. They make the perfect transitional pieces for autumn. The centerpiece is a lovely mix of autumn colors. I know you receive great joy to cut flowers and clippings from your own garden.

    I can visualize the Chelsea Bird pattern for so many different looks and seasons.I hope to see it on your future tables. Thank you for all you do to make the hops successful. Wishing you a most joyous fall season!

  4. Rita, first off, a big thank you for your time and effort organizing this fall hop. You are most appreciated! This table is lovely! I always look forward to your posts. They are full of beauty as well as excellent dialog that offers important details. It's fun to read about Chelsea Bird's history. One of my all time favorite patterns is Sacred Bird and Butterfly, another Mottahedeh historic pattern. I also admire the Fitz& Floyd Dynasty Imperial pattern. It provides the perfect backdrop for the Chelsea Bird salads. Well done on adding these beautiful patterns to your tabletop collection. Looking down on your beautiful setting is sheer delight. Every detail! The linens and flowers are the perfect compliment. Thank you for sharing your talents. I admire you! Happy Fall!

  5. Hello Rita!
    Certainly it cannot be Fall quite yet...although there is a true change in the air.
    Beautiful combination of pieces as well a welcoming Fall tablescape!

  6. Good morning, Rita! You have created such a beautiful tablescape with those sweet Chelsea bird plates. I really enjoyed reading about their history. Your floral centerpiece is gorgeous! All of the jewel tones you have incorporated into your tablescape are so pretty and perfect for autumn. The twig flatware accompanies the pretty bird plates perfectly along with the blush pink glassware. Thank you again for being such a gracious host. Have a wonderful day! Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors

  7. I have been wondering what Mottahedeh was ever since I saw your title, thank you for the background information, the china is quite stunning! The beautiful fall floral arrangement really compliments the things you've chosen to set your Fall table. I love the MC beaded runner and the twig flatware is perfect. Your eye for detail is amazing and I always love the photos you take from above. Thank you so much for all your hard work and keeping us organized, I love these tablescape hops! Happy almost Fall!

  8. The Chelsea birds are beautiful. Such a great way to ease from summer into fall. I cannot believe it is Labor Day weekend approaching already. Have a good week. Hugs. Kris

  9. Oh my goodness, Rita--what a gorgeous table! I LOVE that beautiful pattern and your stunning centerpiece. Every detail is more lovely than the next. Thank you for hosting us and happy almost autumn!

  10. Rita, your dishes are so lovely, both patterns. The contrast between the simplicity of the dinner plate and the lovely bird images of the salad plate creates a striking place setting. The contrast of your tablecloth and runner also provides an interesting focal point. Thank you again for hosting and providing a platform for bloggers to share and readers to receive plenty of inspiration.

  11. I love the beaded runner! So much time to make them!

  12. Your table is beautiful Rita. I love the tablecloth! The beaded runner is so pretty and the plates are gorgeous! What a nice find. The twig flatware is a perfect pairing. Thanks for organizing the blog hop. Enjoy your day. Clara ❤️

  13. Your table is gorgeous, and those plates are works of art!! Love the burgundy napkins for the perfect fall accent!!

  14. Rita, thank you so very much for organizing these seasonal blog hops. Your your Mottahedeh Chelsea Bird plates are gorgeous. They look so elegant with your Fitz & Floyd Dynasty Imperial dinner plates. Love the addition of your burgundy napkins. I can only imagine the time it took to find these beauties. The beaded MKC runner is gorgeous. The rattan chargers and twig flatware provide a wonderful texture to your table. You always provide us with the interesting history. Thank you sharing such a wonderful welcome fall table.

  15. I can see why you looked hard for the Chelsea Bird -- it's beautiful and I appreciated your info on the company and pattern. I love the texture with those and your charger/placemats and the dinner plates. It's a beautiful table, Rita, with wonderful colors. And I'm always so happy when you have a new post!

  16. I was just thinking I wanted to go neutral at the farmhouse for fall since I hadn't done that before. Then I see this gorgeous jewel toned table and now I'm all kinds of conflicted! I love this. Probably one of my fave fall tables of all time. Seriously so pretty. Enjoy it!

  17. I just love it Rita! I wasn't familiar with Mottahedeh dinnerware and the Chelsea Bird plates are perfect for fall. Your floral centerpiece is stunning! What a cozy autumn table! Thank you for all you do to bring our blog hop together!

  18. Rita, your table is stunning! I was so intrigued by the word Mottahedeh in the title and couldn't wait to see what it was all about. It was very interesting to read the commentary and some of the history you provided. The Chelsea Bird salads are beautiful and the F & F Dynasty Imperial dinner plates are gorgeous in and of themselves and provide such an elegant backdrop for the salads. The beaded table topper, linens, and flowers carried out your theme to perfection. I'm glad that you will keep the table set for some time to enjoy. Thank you for hosting and wishing you a wonderful fall season.

  19. Rita, your table is fabulous. I appreciate your explaining about the Mottahedeh Chelsea Bird pattern. I also like how the other elements in your tablescape complement them, especially your tablecloth! It is stunning! What a fantastic find! I want to thank you for hosting these Blog Hops. They bring me so much joy, and I enjoy seeing all the stylists' beautiful tables.

  20. I like that your table is not too in your face Fall, Rita. The bird plates on top of the dinner plates are so pretty. The beaded runner is stunning and so is your centerpiece. I’m in love with that twiggy flatware…so fun!

  21. Rita, I wouldn't have thought to use the Lenox Chirp tablecloth with the Mottahedeh Chelsea Bird plates, but its twiggy look is spot on. This is a perfect late Summer/early Fall table, especially with your addition of purple.

  22. Rita, I am ooohing and awwwing over your gorgeous beaded runner and your fabulous floral centerpiece!! So pretty!! Your beautiful tablecloth compliments your bird plates wonderfully. You really did a fabulous job putting this all together. And speaking of putting things together, thank you for all the work you do keeping us on track to pull off these fun hops! I hope you have a wonderful fall seasonπŸ§‘πŸ‚πŸ

  23. Rita, your tablescape is the perfect example of classic elegance. I love how you merged these gorgeous plates with the traditional elements you see for Fall. The colors are spectacular and your blend of natural pieces with formal pieces gives the tablescape a beautiful, one-of-the-kind style. Your fresh floral centerpiece brings all of it together with a look of luxury. Such an exquisite Fall tablescape. Happy Fall!

  24. Wow - you outdid yourself this time! This table is perfect for fall, the colors are so rich! The flatware is lovely and your centerpiece is the start of the show. Happy Fall!

  25. Rita, this is absolutely lovely! Each element is wonderful on its own, but combined they present a cohesive welcome to the season. I love the mix of colors and textures on the table, with the delicate dishware holding its own against the dynamic floral arrangement. It really conveys the abundance of treasure that fall has to offer. The beaded runner makes a stunning base. And I love that you hunted items throughout the year to carry out your vision. I could enjoy this for weeks!

  26. Good Afternoon, Rita. I absolutely need to find an estate sale with those beautiful bird plates. I love the combination of colors and the bird image. It gives a sense of movement to the plate. The runner picks-up all the jewel tones and sits on that lovely background. The scattered images on the tablecloth are just enough to pull the colors together. Loved the fullness of the centerpiece. A big thank you, as always for organizing the hop. Hope you have a wonderful Fall.

  27. Rita, I love the way the grape color showed up in the salad plates, the runner and the smaller flowers in the centerpiece. What a unique and elegant shade of purple. In my imagination, it is the color of a 5-tiered, shimmering, blue-pink-amethyst molded "Jello" being carried on a sterling silver platter to a grand dining room by the butler...just as the sun from a big window passes through it.

  28. Just beautiful as always Rita! It never ceases to amaze me how you pull so many different elements together into the perfect design. The overall warmth and richness is just signature "Rita!" Thanks so much for the fall inspiration. Have a wonderful season!

  29. The stacked plates are lovely and a realy treasure. They pair beautifuly with everythng on the table. Thanks for information about the Mottahedeh china, hosting the hop.
    Happy Fall!

  30. I love your Mottahedeh Chelsea Bird salad plates! The birds are gorgeous, along with your tablecloth and the colorful fall table runner. I so enjoy seeing how you always decorate your table.

  31. What a gorgeous table Rita - that overhead shot is just beautiful! I love how your tablecloth pattern works with the place settings to make the whole table feel warm and elegant and welcoming! The Chelsea Bird china is lovely - I've never seen that company before, and I loved your history. China is endlessly fascinating! Thanks for the beautiful inspiration, and for hosting the tour. I can't wait to see what everyone else has done too!

  32. Rita,
    What a beautiful table and your plates are fabulous. So pretty. Congratulations, you are being featured on Thursday Favorite things. https://www.eclecticredbarn.com/2023/09/fall-food-and-crafts-on-thursday.html I hope you stop by.