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Martha by Mail ~ Danish Fern China

The Danish Fern earthenware that was made & sold exclusively for Martha by Mail in 2002, has quickly become a much-coveted pattern among collectors.  Each cream-colored piece of dinnerware from the collection has a distinctive pattern of exquisite brown ferns along the rims, while some carry that motif throughout the vessel.  

Sourced from Martha Stewart’s private collection of 19th century transferware, Burgess, Dorling & Leigh was able to locate the original designs from their archives, and at her request, Danish Fern was produced for the former catalog.  Using a copperplate engraving & transferring process that has been around for centuries, a group of 12 artisans from the Stoke-on-Trent earthenware company created this wonderful china.

There are several pieces that make up this beautiful dinnerware service, including plates, cups, tureens & platters.  It’s good to know what they are and what to look for if you plan on collecting the pattern from auction sites and antique shops.

Exquisite Transferware

I know a few people who have this china in their homes and I can tell you without a doubt, that they cherish Danish Fern immensely.  Some say they only take it out during the Fall & Winter holidays, but I truly feel that it can be used throughout the year for any occasion.  Take out your best linens, silverware and glassware for a special celebration and set a table with your Danish Fern china.  Your guests will take note of the unique details found on each piece.  

“The warm brown botanical motif of this cream-glazed earthenware is as delightful today as it was when it was first produced more than 140 years ago.” ~ Martha by Mail

My friend, Alan, who is passionately collecting Danish Fern sent me a few photographs of his beautiful collection from Scotland.  

Thank You Alan!

Martha Stewart/Burleigh Stamp

Ewer (12” high) & Basin (15 3/4” diameter)

Etruscan Jug (8” high); from Alan's private collection.

Soup Tureen (13”L x 4” W) & Ladle (11”L)

Rim Soup Bowls (9”) & Dinner Plates (10”); from Alan's private collection.

Salad Plates (8”)

Breakfast Cup & Saucer (12 oz. cup, 6” saucer) & Bread & Butter Plates (7”)

Candlesticks (8”H); not pictured.

Oval Danish Fern Turkey Platter (17 1/2” L x 14 3/4” W)

“This elegant transferware platter is brought to us by the Burleigh pottery manufacturers in Staffordshire, England, a company long renowned for the quality and beauty of its ceramics.  Printed with a 19th century pattern that looks hand-painted, the platter is made using traditional copperplate etching methods.  The oversize serving plate provides ample room for a 16lb. turkey." ~ Martha by Mail

Danish Fern 5 piece place setting.

Happy Collecting & Entertaining!


  1. Beautiful post! I wish I had some of this!

  2. Thank you for this lovely post David. I have these wonderful dishes and start using them in the early fall and am always a little sad when I put them away and start using Christmas dishes. Something really special about them and nothing so wonderful as curling up with one of the over-sized tea cups full of spiced tea, milk and sugar on a fall day.

  3. Joy,

    I immediately thought of you when I was working on this piece. I KNOW how much you love your Danish Fern china. It's a shame I never bought this pattern!


  4. This is my new obsession, so glad to discover you did an article about it!

  5. Bernie, I love this pattern too. It's a shame I didn't buy it when it was available.

    Perhaps I should begin collecting it! :D

  6. I have six side plates six dinner plates and six soup bowls in this pattern for sale if you know of anyone who would be interested all in immaculate condition.

  7. Jacqulyne, email me and let me know your pricing. Don't put it here in the comments section.



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