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Which Came First, The Chicken…Or The Ship?

August 12, 2010

Thanks to everyone for all of the guesses for our question…”what was the first Hadley pattern?”  And a special shout-out to those extra-observant collectors who noticed the Clipper Ship coaster in the photo of Mary Alice in her houseboat galley…we were impressed!

And the answer is….not so fast!  Since its start in 1940, Hadley has always been a brand that is about creating an individual look by mixing and matching different scenes and patterns, so it should be no surprise that the brand was started with several beautiful hand-painted scenes, not just one.  The earliest patterns were (drumroll, please):

  • Blue Horse (now a scene in Hadley’s Western collection)
  • Clipper (now a part of our Nautical collection)
  • Whale (also a Nautical scene)
  • Pear and Grape (not a part of our current collection)


If you own one or more of these initial signature patterns, now you know you’ve got the most classic of our classic Hadley patterns…mix them together on your table and you might just be recreating a table like one Mary Alice herself would have set!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Lesley Orth permalink
    August 29, 2010 1:38 pm

    How about a goat? Goats are such silly looking animals, and I think a Mary Hadley goat would be great as part of the farm collection. I would buy one. The goat would have to be doing something goat-like, maybe like sitting on top of his house.

    Also, how much do you charge for the custom personalized plates, Child-Boy and Child-Girl?

    Thanks so much.

    Lesley Orth

    • October 11, 2010 1:08 pm

      A goat!!! Great suggestion. I agree with you–Mary Alice would have liked that! I will put it on the list of new ideas. Regarding personalization, please call our factory toll free at 866-584-2171 and let us know what you are thinking. Thank you! ~elaine…hadley

  2. Mary Ann Hawkins Strasser permalink
    September 4, 2010 4:03 am

    My parents received a (large) set of green Hadley as a wedding gift for their marriage in 1962. It contains a number of farm patterns as well as the pear and grape. The green seems to be a rarity. Could you tell me something about this set? (My grandmother had an extensive set of blue. I was delighted to inherit the canister set!)

    Mary Ann

    • October 11, 2010 1:07 pm

      Hi Mary Ann! We still produce green pottery, although not to the same extent as our more popular and dramatic blue pieces. As we speak we are working to improve our green. We will definitely keep you posted. Thanks for writing! ~elaine…hadley

  3. Kelly permalink
    September 7, 2010 7:19 am

    I found what I think is an older piece of Blue Horse. It’s a large round pitcher or water jug with a small circle opening on the top of the pour spout. Can you give me any information on this piece as to when it was made and a value for insurance?

    • October 11, 2010 1:03 pm

      Hi, Kelly! It would be great if you could provide an image of the pitcher you have. Mary Alice had several renditions of Blue Horse (one of my personal favorites!). We can then approximate the date of production. Thanks for writing! ~elaine…hadley

  4. Susan Lee permalink
    September 22, 2010 10:02 am

    I recently purchased a set of Hadley dinnerware. I have researched and cannot find the pattern listed. It has an anchor and painted in light green and pink. Is this a new design or an early addition? I have 4 plates, cups, saucers and bowls.
    I have several of the blue/green/pink pieces and my friend has an extensive collection and has never seen my set and I don’t recall seeing it in your factory in Louisville.
    Any information would be appreciated.
    Thank you.
    Susan Lee
    949 Corning Rd
    Knoxville, Tn 37923

    • October 11, 2010 12:58 pm

      Hello, Susan! We would love to see an image of your anchor design. We do have an anchor motif in our current collection, but it is in blue only, so I am anxious to see what you have. Blue, green, and pink pieces like the ones you describe sound like our Pear and Grape pattern, which was one of Mary Alice Hadley’s early designs. Please share your photos of the multi-color pieces and we’ll have one of our experts take a look. Thanks for writing! ~elaine…hadley

  5. Amy Lohr permalink
    November 14, 2010 7:28 am

    My mother purchased The Clipper Ship pattern in the mid 70’s somewhere on Cape Cod.
    She purchased 4 dinner plates, small pitcher, and large bowl. I feel honored to have the collection today..we use it in the summer primarily. I have since added 2 more plates to our collection(found them in a little town near Rochester, NY on the Erie Canal). The bowl cracked last year, and we still have the small pitcher. Nice to know that it is still being made!
    Like the idea of mixing and matching te patterns and starting the next generation on Hadley Ware!

  6. merissa haskin permalink
    October 19, 2011 5:47 pm

    dear folks, hello! i love your pottery and my mother has some and sister also. my grandma alice haskin was close friends with mary alice hadley i think they went to college together. i think my grandma haskin got one of the first set that alice made. so i see them in a store i get excited. because they mean something to me. keep up the good work. i would like to visit some day in the future. from merissa haskin

  7. Sue Ellen Klein permalink
    April 2, 2013 5:20 pm

    My in-laws (father, mother, sister) gave us a set of the grape and pear pattern. I know this pattern is a early design, but I would like to get more pieces to fill out my table setting. How do I order pieces of this pattern and what are the prices? from susie

    • April 3, 2013 7:49 am

      Hi, Susie. Thanks for your comment! Yes, you can still get more pieces in the classic pear and grape pattern. Simply call the factory at 1-866-584-2171 to place an order. They will be happy to make whatever pieces you need! ~Jennifer

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