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fouled anchor jolly roger
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Official 1900s-1944 Great White Fleet, WWI, WWII Regulation US Navy Captains Mess Tableware and Dinnerware! Only at The Pirate's Lair will you find Genuine Authentic 1900s-1940s Great White Fleet, WWI and WWII Regulation US Navy-issued Dinnerware Made Specifically for the Captains Cabin and Mess - Great For Navy Retirement Gifts or Navy Promotion Gifts!


navy china for the rank of captain captain silverware, flatware and holloware grouping

us navy captains mess silverplated serving dish bread basket or roll server

eagle clutching arrows for the rank of captain on flatware and holloware eagle clutching arrows for the rank of captain on flatware and holloware

Above photos illustrate WWI and WWII US Navy Regulation China and Silverware and Dinnerware Made Specifically for the Captains Cabin Mess!

Photo illustrating the Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and Olive Branch above the monogram USN is found on all holloware and serving pieces made for the Navy Captains Mess and Cabin. Photo its right bearing the Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows/Olive Branch is found on the silverplated flatware used in the Captains Mess.

The dinnerware and tableware found on this page consists of fine china topmarked with a Capains Commissioning Pennant (or Burgee) with matching silverplated flatware and holloware topmarked with a Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows, all produced under contract by various silversmiths for the US Navy for the Captains Mess and Captains Cabin from the early 1900s to the 1940s and the end of WWII.

This designated regulation Captains Mess dinnerware was identified by a commissioning pennant or burgee flat as the topmark on all of the china pieces while the silverplated flatware consists of a Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and an Olive Branch while the holloware and serving pieces has the Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and Olive branch above the monogrammed initials "USN".

These unique pieces used during the era of The Great White Fleet, WWI and WWII and found here at The Pirates Lair would make perfect Navy Retirement Gifts or Navy Promotion Gifts for even the MOST discerning US Navy Captain!

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Call 540 659 6209 To Order

 
1944 Shenango China Advertisement
US Navy China by Officer Rank Insignia Topmark
 
shenango china company 1944 advertisement of US Navy ChinaClick Photo!
 
Hard Published Evidence of Naval Rank Insignia's used on US Navy China during WWII
Shows USN-WARRANT OFFICERS MESS, Squareknot-JUNIOR OFFICERS MESS, Fouled Anchor-WARDROOM OFFICERS, Burgee Commissioning Pennant-CAPTAIN, 2 Star, 3 Star and 4 Star-ADMIRALS
 
Priceless!

For Evaluation Purposes We classify Holloware into 3 Categories:
Category 1 - Museum Quality/Investment Grade, Excellent Usable Condition, Minimal to No Scratches or Dents.
Category 2 - Perfectly Usable Condition, Very Good to Excellent Condition, Some Minor Scratches/Dents or Discolorations.
Category 3 - Display Only. Not to Be Used To Serve Liquid, Runny or Soft Foods due to Pits/Pitting, Corrosion. Exterior may be in perfect condition but the interior is not.

 
NAVY CAPTAIN - Authentic WWII Dinnerware with Burgee Commissioning Pennant with 4 Stars for China and War Eagle Clutching Arrows for Silverware
Folks, It Doesn't Get Much Rarer and Valued Than This! FANTASTIC Promotion or Retirement Gift for THE CAPTAIN!
 
captain dinnerware grouping
Click Photo
 


Vintage WWII US Navy-issued Plates, Bowls, Cups and Saucers for use in the Captains Mess

Size
 
Price Each
 
Call For Information and to Order
 
Navy Captain
Dinner Plate: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain dinner plate
Click Photo
 
10"
 
$99.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
Navy Captain
Lunch or Fish Plate: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain dinner plate
Click Photo
 
9"
 
$79.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain
Salad plate: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain salad plate
Click Photo
 
6"
 
$49.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
Navy Captain
Soup Bowl: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain soup bowl
Click Photo
 
9"
 
$79.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
Navy Captain
Cereal Bowl: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain cereal bowl
Click Photo
 
6"
 
$59.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
Navy Captain
Celery Dish: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain relish or celery dish
Click Photo
 
8" Oblong
 
$129.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
Navy Captain
Watch Standing Mug: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain watchstanding mug
Click Photo
 
 
$129.
 
Call to Order
540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain
Footed Egg Cup: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain footed cup
Click Photo
 
 
$89.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
Navy Captain
Coffee Cup: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain coffee cup
Click Photo
 
Handle is hidden behind cup!
 
$69.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
Navy Captain
Bouillon Cup: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain double handle bouillon cup
Click Photo
 
 
$89.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
Navy Captain
Coffee or Tea Saucer: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain coffee or tea saucer
Click Photo
 
 
$39.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
Navy Captain
Demitasse Cup: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain demitasse coffee cup
Click Photo
 
 
$55.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
Navy Captain
Demitasse Saucer: Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain demitasse saucer
Click Photo
 
 
$25.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
Navy Captain 3pc Demitasse Set
Demitasse Coffee Cup, Saucer and Spoon w/ War Eagle insignia Combination!
 
captain demitasse 3 piece set
Click Photo
 
Set
 
$115.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain
Large Serving Bowl (Shenango): Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain large serving bowl
Click Photo
 
10"
 
$375.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
Navy Captain
Serving Bowl (Tepco) Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars
 
captain large serving bowl
Click Photo
 
10"
 
$275.
 
Click for More Info and to Order
 
US Navy Captain
RARE Sugar Bowl, China Porcelain w/ Commissioning Pennant w/ 4 Stars. This was a limited production piece.
 
us navy captain sugar bowl
Click Photo
 
5" across
 
$495.
 
Call to Order
540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Silverware
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows
 
captain silverware grouping
Click Photo
 
Grouping
 
Very RARE
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Captains Carving or Cutlery Knife, Kings Design
Great White Fleet, WWI and WWII Carving Knife with Captains Eagle Clutching Arrows, 13" overall length, falchion clipped tip blade is 7" with
 
kings design us navy cutlery carving knife captains great white fleet wwi vintage
 
13" Long. Museum Quality, Investment Grade Condition.
 
$250.
Sold!
 
Call to Order
 
Captains Carving or Cutlery Fork, Kings Design
Great White Fleet thru WWII. Carving Fork with Captains Eagle Clutching Arrows, 10" overall length, super sharp tines, flip out stopper or stay to help steady the meat being carved. Beautiful gun metal gray tines indicating the high nickel content used back in the day to produced hard stainless steel.
 
kings design us navy cutlery carving fork captains great white fleet wwi vintage
 
10" Long. Museum Quality, Investment Grade Condition.
 
$250.
Sold!
 
Call to Order
 
Cutlery Set, Kings Design, Captains Mess
Great Whtie Fleet, WWI and WWII Carving Fork AND Carving Knife both with Eagle Clutching Arrow insignia and monogram USN on the top handles. Both fork and knife each have that sought after gun metal gray patina from the high nickel content used back in the day to produce stainless steel.
 
kings design us navy cutlery carving set great white fleet wwi vintage
 
Fork and Knife Have Eagle Clutching Arrows for Captains Mess. Museum Quality Investment Grade Condition.
 
$475.
Sold!
 
Call to Order
 
Cutlery Set, Kings Design
Carving Fork, Carving Knife, Knife Sharpener and Skewer
 
kings design us navy cutlery carving set great white fleet wwi vintage
 
Fork has 2 Stars for Rear Admiral; Knife and Sharpener/Skewer both have Fouled Anchors in the Great White Fleet, WWI (Pre-WWII) Design
 
$500.
SOLD
 
Call to Order
 
Navy Captain Cheese Scoop
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows
 
captain cheese scoop
Click Photo
 
9"
 
$275.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Mustard Spoon or Condiment Spoon
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows
 
captain mustard or condiment spoon
Click Photo!
 
5"
 
$225.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Demitasse Spoon
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows
 
captain demitasse spoon
Click Photo
 
4"
 
$55.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Dessert or Bouillon Spoon
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows
 
captain dessert or bouillon spoon
Click Photo
 
4"
 
$65.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Dinner Fork
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows
 
captain dinner fork
Click Photo
 
8"
 
$85.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Lunch or Fish Fork
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows
 
captain lunch or fish fork
Click Photo
 
7.5"
 
$95.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Cocktail or Pastry Fork
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows. Extremely Rare, Museum Quality Condition!
 
captain cocktail or pastry fork
Click Photo
 
6"
 
$65.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Dinner Knife
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows
 
captain dinner knife
Click Photo
 
8"
 
$85.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Lunch or Butter Knife
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows
 
captain lunch or butter knife
Click Photo
 
7.5"
 
$85.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Rare! Navy Captain Fish Server
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows. Extremely Rare, Museum Quality Condition!
 
captain fish server
Click Photo
 
10"
 
$185.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Rare! Navy Captain Hot Meat Server
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows. Extremely Rare, Museum Quality Condition!
 
captain hot meat server
Click Photo
 
10"
 
$225.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Rare On of a Kind! Navy Captain Salt Spoon
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows. Extremely Rare, Museum Quality Condition!
 
us navy captain salt spoon
Click Photo
 
4"
 
$375.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Mustard Spoon or Condiment Spoon
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows. Extremely Rare, Museum Quality Condition!
 
captain mustard spoon or condiment spoon
Click Photo
 
5"
 
$225.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Serving Spoon
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows. Extremely Rare, Museum Quality Condition!
 
captain serving spoon
Click Photo
 
8.5"
 
$165.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Tablespoon
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows
 
captain tablespoon
Click Photo
 
8"
 
$95.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain Sugar Tongs
Engraved US War Eagle Clutching Arrows. Extremely Rare, Museum Quality Condition!
 
captain sugar tongs
Click Photo
 
5"
 
$225.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
WWI-WWII Silverplated CAPTAINS MESS 12" Serving Dish w/ Handles
Serving Dish 12" with Handles, War Eagle and USN topmark, rope along top rim. Excellent Condition. Gorham, Silver Soldered, p/n 010091 - Category 1
 
1942 US Navy Captains Mess Serving Dish with Handles, War Eagle and USN topmark
 
12"L x 8.25"W x 2"H
Category 1
 
$295.
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
Rarest of the RARE! One-of-a-Kind. Early 1900s Great White Fleet to WWI era Silverplated CAPTAINS MESS Chafing Dish
For the most discerning collector of Naval Dinnerware! Complete with Dish or Pan with Wood Serving Handle, Lid with Rope Edging and Captains Topmark, Burner and Stand. Complete and fully functional! Made for the Captains Mess in absolute perfect condition. Produced by the Renowned Manning, Bowman & Co Pat'd Febn 15, 1898 - June 19, 1901. - Category 1
 
Early 1900s US Navy captains mess chafing dish complete, lid with handle, dish, stand and burner
 
10"W x 11"H
Category 1
 
$695.
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
RARE! Dated 1941 Silverplated for Navy Captains Mess Desktop MATCHBOX HOLDER
US War Eagle Clutching Arrows with USN Monogram below. Extremely Rare, Museum Quality/Investor Grade Condition! Perfect as a Desktop Matchbox or Letter Holder! International Silver Co, Silver Soldered, p/n 01135 dated 1941
 
captain matchbox holder
Click Photo
 
5"H x 3.5"W
Category 1
 
$295.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209
 
RARE! Dated 1941 Silverplated Navy Captains Mess Desktop ASHTRAY
Museum Quality/Investment Grade Piece. Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN Monogrammed Insignia. International Silver Co, Silver Soldered, p/n 01135, 1941 Date Code
 
1941 US Navy Captains Mess Desktop Ashtray with Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN topmark insignia
 
3.25"W x 1.5"H
Category 1
 
$295.
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
RARE! Dated 1941 Silverplated Navy Captains Mess Desktop CIGARETTE HOLDER
Museum Quality/Investment Grade Piece. Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN Monogrammed Insignia. International Silver Co, Silver Soldered, p/n 01135, 1941 Date Code
 
1941 US Navy Captains Mess Desktop Cigarette Holder with Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN topmark insignia
 
2.5"W x 2.5"H
Category 1
 
$295.
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
RARE! Stunning pre-WWII Navy Captains Mess PERSONAL TEA POT
Museum Quality/Investment Grade Condition and Perfect for Todays Use. "Gorham, Silver Soldered, EP, Shield with Anchor, p/n 015718, 1 Pint, 191"
 
early 1900's US Navy Teapot for the Captains Mess
CLICK PHOTO!
 
5.5" high x 9" long
Category 1
 
$325.
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
RARE! Stunning WWII Dated 1940 US Navy CAPTAINS MESS Teapot
In Museum Quality/Investment Grade Condition and Perfect for Todays Use and for the MOST Discerning Navy Captain! "Reed & Barton, Silver Soldered, p/n 0121-B, 40" Category 1
 
Dated 1940 WWII US Navy Teapot for the Captains Mess
CLICK PHOTO!
 
5.5" high x 9" long
 
$325.
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
RARE! Early 1900s-1940s Silverplated Navy Captains Mess Wood Handled Tabletop Steward SERVING TEA OR COFFEE POT
Quadrooms festooned, rope throughout, rope around top edge, stewards serving handle, with Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN Monogrammed Insignia. Beautiful exterior shine with few small dents, interior has pitting and as such this piece is for display only. The Captains personal mess steward would serve coffee tableside using the long wooden handle. Wilcox Silver Plate Co, Silver Soldered, p/n 01260
 
1941 US Navy Captains Mess Tabletop Coffee or Tea Server and Handle with Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN topmark insignia
 
7"W x 7"H
Handle 5.5"
Category 3
 
$125.
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
RARE! WWII Dated 1941 Silverplated Navy Captains Mess MUSTARD POT, JAM/JELLY, and CONDIMENT POT
Museum Quality/Investment Grade Piece with Fouled Anchor and USN Monogrammed Insignia. Glass insert and Mustard Spoon not included. Wilcox Silver Plate Co, Silver Soldered, p/n 01325, 1941
 
Early 1900's to 1940's Mustard Pot, Jam or Jelly Pot with Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN topmark insignia
 
4"H x 3"W
Category 1
 
$325.
 
CALL TO ORDER! 540 659 6209
 
RARE! Dated 1917 Silverplated Filigree Navy Captains Mess HARD CANDY DISH or RECEIVING DISH
Museum Quality Piece with Eagle clutching Wheat and Arrows Topmark Insignia on Base. International Silver Co, Silver Soldered, p/n 01495, 1917 Hallmark Date.
 
early 1917 WWI US Navy Candy Dish Silverplate Filigree for Captain's Mess
 
3"H X 7"W
Category 1
 
$495.
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
RARE! Dated 1942 Silverplated Filigree Navy Captains Mess HARD CANDY DISH or RECEIVING DISH
Museum Quality Piece with Eagle clutching Wheat and Arrows Topmark Insignia. Reed and Barton, Silver Soldered, p/n 2900, "V" (1942) hallmark.
 
early 1900's US Navy Candy Dish Silverplate Filigree for Captain's Mess and Wardroom
 
3"H X 7"W
Category 1
 
$395.
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
RARE! Early 1900's to 1940's Silverplated Filigree Captains Mess ROLL AND BREAD BASKET
Museum Quality/Investment Grade Piece with War Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN Monogrammed Insignia. Has very minor discolored spot and pits on bottom of basket, but does not detract and perfectly usuable. Matching Piece to the Hard Candy Dishes and Cruet. Wilcox Silver Plate Co, Silver Soldered, p/n 01250
 
early 1900's to 1940's US Navy Captains Cabin Mess Silverplated Filigree Bread Basket with Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN Monogram topmark insignia
 
3"H, 12.5"L
Category 1
 
$295.
Sold!
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
RARE! Dated 1917 Silverplated Captains Mess BREAD/ROLL OR FOOD SERVER
Museum Quality/Investment Grade Piece with Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN Monogrammed Insignia. Stunningly Beautiful! A Must See and Part of Any Serious Collection.
 
Dated 1917 US Navy Captains Mess Bread Basket Serving Dish with Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN topmark insignia
 
3"H, 13"L
Category 1
 
$495.
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
Silverplated Casserole Serving Bowl w/ War Eagle and USN Monogram for CAPTAINS MESS
Two Handled 8" Wide x 3" high with the rarely found ring which fits over a glass bowl that sits in the server. Clear and crisp insignia of the War Eagle above monogram Initials "USN" on the side of the server with rope along the top edge and quadroons all along the side. Beautiful period piece with some very slight utensil marks, otherwise excellent condition as can be seen. Backstamped: Gorham over the shielded anchor, EP, Silver Soldered, p/n 015719. Category 1
 
WWI to WWII US Navy Casserole Serving Bowl Silverplate Captains Mess
CLICK PHOTO!
 
3"H X 8"W
Category 1
 
$325.
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
RARE! Early 1900s-1940s Silverplated Captains Mess 4-Position Oil Vinegar Salt Pepper CONDIMENT CRUET
Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN Monogrammed Insignia. Some Pitting on the Bottom from the Salt and Vinegar but Does Not Detract From Use. Wilcox Silver Plate Co, Silver Solderec, p/n 01205
 
Early 1900s to 1940s US Navy Captains Mess Oil Vinegar Salt Pepper Cruet Server with Federal Eagle Clutching Arrows and USN topmark insignia
 
4"W x 10.5"L
Category 2
 
$195.
 
Call To Order 540 659 6209
 
VERY RARE! Late 1880's to Early 1900's Pre-WWI Silverplated Captains Mess CERAMIC LINED ICE WATER DECANTER
Museum Quality/Investment Grade, Fantastic and RARE Piece with Eagle clutching Wheat and Arrows topmark insignia in use during the Spanish American War and Great White Fleet Era.
 
Late 1890's to early 1900's US Navy Ice Water Decanter or Pitcher for Captains Mess
CLICK PHOTO!
 
14" high, 7" wide, 4lbs
Category 1
 
$1895.
 
540 659 6209
 
Navy Captain 3pc Demitasse Coffee Set
Demitasse Coffee Cup, Saucer and Spoon w/ War Eagle insignia Combination!
 
captain demitasse 3 piece set
Click Photo
 
Set
 
$115.
 
Call to Order 540 659 6209

U.S. Navy-issued China was used for both everyday dining as well as the more formal military "dining-in" ceremonies, and is a handsome vintage and antique nautical dinnerware, incredibly unique as part of our American Military heritage. Best of all it can be used everyday and is the perfect promotion or retirement gift for any active or retired Chief Petty Officer, Warrant Officer, Junior Grade Officer, Captain or Admiral!

It is available for sale now ... and it can be yours by contacting The Pirate's Lair!

Of Special Note: This 60+ year old vintage Navy china tableware was hand crafted, hand glazed, hand dipped, hand stenciled, and they just don't make it like they used to! The perfect nautical gift idea for women.

While rare, some pottery workers even etched personal affectations and notes onto the chinaware! Inscribed on the bottom of some plates and dishes we have found a V for Victory, VE for Victory Europe, VJ for Victory Japan! Along with the geographic location of where the clay was mined, consistency of the clay slip, the type of kiln and pottery firing techniques used at the time, all result in slight character defects and flaws make this type of chinaware even more valuable and sought after than what can be found in the mass-produced markets of today.

Naval chinaware is a handsome masculine yet very elegant industrial-grade antique china dinnerware durable enough to be used as everyday dinnerware yet elegant enough for formal military Navy dining-in occasions! It has a beautiful snow white finish, almost a transluscent glaze, highlighted with rich dark blue stripes and Naval insignia (or "top marks"), such as the traditional Navy fouled anchor, Captain's pennant, Admiral's flag with stars, and the nautical theme square-knot.

Brief History of U.S. Navy China Tableware

From the late 1800's through mid 1900's the United States Navy commissioned various makers of fine china such as Homer Laughlin, Tepco, Buffalo, Sterling, Mayer, Jackson, Walker, Syracuse, and Shenango to produce complete "soup to nuts" tableware for the U.S. Navy's Officer Corps. This "Navy China" was used extensively during WW1, WW2, Korea and Vietnam in officer wardrooms, galleys and mess halls aboard all sizes and class of ship, submarine, and shore facility.

The U.S. Navy has traditionally taken good care of its Officer Corps! For sailing the high seas at any time can be a hard and treacherous undertaking as the ocean can be cruel and unforgiving, leaving little margin for error. However going to war aboard a ship, whether large or small, can be a particularly hazardous venture. In recognition of their service, the US Navy provided a certain level of comfort for its sailors, while also preserving traditional military decorum and separation of rank.

This fine Navy China was also used as the official and formal dinnerware of Captains, Admirals, Department and Secretary of the Navy civilian leadership. Most of the Naval China currently available was produced during WW1 and WW2 for use aboard our aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, submarines and large support vessels. When these various Navy warships were sent into decommission at the end of WW1 and WW2 many of the officers took home with them the very plates, bowls, cups and dishes which they themselves used while aboard their warship. This Naval China "memorabilia" or Navy Surplus ultimately found its way into attics and cellars safely stored away in boxes and chests until they were re-found, typically in an estate sale. Imagine having a piece of this valuable American history which in all likelihood saw combat action somewhere on the seven seas, and now to be used and celebrated in your home!

Historically, most of the major providers of fine china produced exclusive lines of dinnerware for transcontinental railroads, airlines, passenger ships, major corporations, famous restaurants and hotels, as well as for the United States Navy. This type of fine yet durable china was known in the trade as "restaurantware". Restaurantware in and of itself can be highly collectible as antique china, especially if the producer no longer exists! However Naval China used in the galleys aboard ships by our sailors during times of war is part of our national heritage which makes this type of restaurantware most highly prized. Additionally, restaurantware in general, and certainly Naval China in particular, was made to last for many years, able withstand heavy and harsh industrial use which would normally destroy the glaze and dull the luster of lesser quality and much lighter china that was typically sold to the general public.

Naval China was made to be used by sailors and cooks working in rough and rolling seas in all types of weather. This Naval dinnerware needed to be heavy and durable to withstand the harsh cleansers and environment they were to be used in. This makes them perfect for long and continued home, recreational or industrial use!

A fun anecdotal note regarding the US Navy Tableclothis that when underway aboard a U.S. Navy warship one would find when sitting down to dine that the tablecloth would be slightly damp with sea water! This was a sailor's tradition handed down over the ages from seafarer to seafarer. However as in most traditions at sea it had a practical side as its basis! The "damping of the tablecloth" was to help ensure that the plates, dishes, bowls and cups along with the silverware was kept from "sliding" around the table as the ship pitched and rolled with the waves. The sea salt also helped prevent spilled food and drink from staining the tablecloth! Between the heavy weight of the tableware and the damp tablecloth the seamen could only then be able to eat while underway in moderate to even in heavy seas! This "dampening of the tablecloth" was even practiced at US Navy Shore Installations so as to uphold and continue this unique Naval tradition.

Additionally, the U.S. Navy commissioned various makers of fine linens to produce these exquisite and beautifully designed heavy damask tablecloths and napkins that were made to be heavily used while at sea. The Pirate's Lair now has available these wonderful vintage white damask U.S. Navy tablecloths and antique napkins. They are beautifully embroidered and patterned in a nautical theme with white-on-white designs of eagles, fouled anchors, stars and coiled rope! Click HERE to review these wonderful antique tablecloth and napkin complements to your Naval China and Silverware.

Besides the Naval China, during this same period the Department of the Navy also contracted with leading makers of fine silverware and holloware to produce complete and complimentary placesettings of beautifully designed and engraved silverplated forks, knives, spoons, serving bowls and trays, coffee and tea pots, water pitchers and carving utensils. At The Pirate's Lair we have an extensive line Navy Silverware from the late 1800's to mid 1900's for your review and consideration by clicking here for U.S. Navy Silverware and Naval Flatware, which is the perfect complement to your Naval China!

What the various designs found on the Naval china really signify! Staying within the U.S. Navy's strict officer caste system the Department of the Navy had complete sets of fine china made specifically for the mess hall and officer wardrooms of each officer grade level: a fouled anchor with letters USN for Chief Petty Officers a square knot for Junior Officers, letters USN for Warrant Officers, a streaming pennant with 4 stars for Captains, square flag with 1, 2, 3 or 4 stars for Admirals, and the Navy Seal for the Department of the Navy's civilian and military leadership. Each officer grade was then given this special restaurantware "top mark" or design insignia which was imprinted and made part of the glaze on each piece of china dinnerware.

As an interesting side note, the specific insignia (or top mark), used on the Navy China for each Officer Rank was also used on all of the Naval Silverware and Silverplate eating and serving utensils. Imagine having a complete set of fine nautical themed china dinnerware and silverware matching place settings! Or having each place setting at your table as a different Officer Rank which is available at The Pirate's Lair!

Unfortunately, the U.S. Navy discontinued the time honored tradition of issuing this beautiful antique china in the mid-1960's after the manufacturer's supplies ran out, and it was never replaced, which further makes this fine china a great investment! Currently only small quantities of this fine china can be found. The Pirate's Lair scours the world to obtain the best pieces to be found and makes them available to you.

Ironically, today individual ship commanders and officers of the U.S. Navy now purchase this antique Navy china from The Pirate's Lair for use aboard present-day warships! Sailors today can now use and enjoy the same dinnerware and silverware used by their Naval bretheren of long ago!





The Pirate's Lair
Division of DataCity, Inc.
78 Canterbury Drive
Stafford, Virginia 22554
Phone: 540-659-6209

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Music Credits: Donald Where's Your Trousers/Drunken Sailor medley by The Bards