The Franciscan Desert Rose table setting is a timeless classic. Here’s how to breathe new life into this time-honored piece of tableware.

A Timeless Classic | Franciscan Desert Rose Place Setting

Thrifting with the Gals

It’s the third Thursday of the month, so it’s time for “Thrifting with the Gals.” The occasion when the gals and I all get together to share our favorite monthly thrifted finds along with a few tips and tricks in vintage home decorating.

Thrifting with the Gals Collage

Our guest host this month is Renae from Peacock Ridge Farm. And if you are joining me here for the first time from Renae’s site, welcome! Isn’t Renae’s office fabulous, all decorated with vintage treasures? And be sure to Join the other gals presented at the bottom of this post to see what they are all sharing today, too!

What is Franciscan Desert Rose?

Franciscan Desert Rose Place Setting

This month, for “Thrifting with the Gals,” I’m eager to share one of my biggest thrift store scores: this dinnerware set, Franciscan Desert Rose, in a timeless table setting.

Franciscan Desert Rose is one of the best-selling patterns in the history of American dinnerware.

It was first introduced in 1941 by the Franciscan company and was by far one of the most successful patterns ever designed.

The embossed and raised five-petal desert roses are in an elegant shade of pink with green leaves and olive-green stems that beautifully finesse the edges.

A Timeless Classic | Franciscan Desert Rose Place Setting

In 1964, the sixty millionth piece of Desert Rose was produced, and did you know that the Desert Rose is now on display in the Smithsonian Museum?

And that the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, chose the Franciscan Desert Rose for use in the White House.

Desert Rose was also a favorite of Lucy and Desi for their table setting.

How Much is Franciscan Desert Rose China Worth?

You may learn all about what your Desert Rose china is worth HERE.

It’s really quite fascinating!

The worth of your Desert Rose china is all based on the stamp on the bottom of the china. Check out the Tutuhut diagram to the right to see what your Desert Rose collection is worth.


The two stamps representing my thrifted Desert Rose dinnerware tell me that all of the pieces are vintage, hand painted, and were made in California between 1953 and 1976, respectively. Making them a valuable collection of vintage dinnerware.

Franciscan Desert Rose Complete Set

Any guesses about what I paid for this entire set?

I absolutely got lucky.

I had stopped in at our local Community Service Thrift Shop early one morning, and there they were unpacking not only the Desert Rose pattern but also another popular Franciscan pattern, Apple.

Franciscan Apple Dinnerware

Unfortunately, I passed on the Franciscan Apple pattern, as it only had 4 dinner dishes and quite a few chips. But it was still a prize for the right person.

*Friendly Tip

I have heard and read that the Desert Rose dinnerware may contain lead. I am not an expert in this field, but I have heard both sides of this controversy. Therefore, please do your own research about dining on vintage dinnerware and the possibility of lead in your dishes.

You may also enjoy the Bless Your Table with Irish Royal Tara China post.

Where to Shop for Franciscan Desert Rose

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.”

Today, you can find Desert Rose place settings available on Amazon. Be advised, though, that this is not the same Desert Rose dinnerware made in California and England in the 1900s. The dinnerware is still the Franciscan Desert Rose pattern; however, it is not vintage, hand painted, or raised, and is today made in China.

You can also shop for authentic vintage Franciscan Desert Rose patterns on Replacements, LTD, Etsy, and eBay. And if you get lucky, you may find a set at your local thrift, antique, or consignment shop.

Desert Rose Place Setting on Table

You may also enjoy this Pink Table Setting Thrifted and Charming post with Mother’s Day in mind.

Franciscan Desert Rose Table Setting

You may also enjoy Rachel’s Saint Patrick’s Day Table Setting with Desert Rose and my friend Sara’s Franciscan Desert Rose tablescape from Simply Southern Cottage on Instagram. Sara even hosted a Desert Rose Hashtag Challenge!

My friend Kim of Shiplap and Shells shares her Franciscan Desert Rose table setting, which features fresh blooms overlooking Puget Sound.

Desert Rose Table Setting Ideas

Now, let’s set the table with this timeless and classic dinnerware. It’s summer, after all, perfect for this vintage Desert Rose set to make its debut in our new breakfast nook at our home here in Vermont.


I decided that I first wanted to remove this layered blue and white tablecloth and showcase the Desert Rose dishes against a simple white tablecloth for the backdrop. I felt the white would really allow the pinks and greens in these vintage dishes to pop.

Franciscan Desert Rose Table Setting


I found these pink linen placemats on Amazon, which are so sweet, highlighting Desert Rose’s classic timeless elegance.

You may also enjoy 58+ Old Fashioned Bargains and 3 Summer Vintage Markets post.

Franciscan Desert Rose Table Setting


And a classic, timeless table setting wouldn’t be complete without my mother’s sterling silverware.

It really needs good polishing…

Vintage Pink and Green Table Setting

Table Setting Centerpiece

I used an old breadboard in the center of this round breakfast nook table, added a couple of thrifted vintage pink McCoy flower vases, and filled them with simple wildflowers left over from a girl’s weekend.

You may also enjoy the post, 15+ Simple Ways to Display Rustic Breadboards.

Desert Rose Tea Set

The center breadboard also houses three vintage brass candlesticks and the Desert Rose tea set, which I returned to the thrift shop a few days later to collect.

And it was still there!

I sensed that a Desert Rose table setting wouldn’t be complete, knowing that this tea set was available at my local thrift shop for just $25.

Breadboard Centerpiece with Pink and Green Desert Rose china.

You may also enjoy these posts on how to Store, Stack & Display Vintage Dishes in an Antique Cobblers Rack and this Blue and White Asymmetrical Vintage Platter Wall | Design Yours Today, both of which reside in this same breakfast nook.

Vintage Glassware

While I was back at the thrift shop, I also picked up these $2 vintage glasses.

Vintage Glassware on pink and green table setting

Then I found these vintage etched pink glasses on Amazon.

Which do you like better, the pink or clear vintage glasses?

Desert Rose Place Setting with Pink Glasses

I think this Desert Rose dinnerware is going to be our new go-to breakfastware.

It’s cheery, charming, and inviting. Perfect for summer!

Vintage Franciscan Desert Rose Tablescape

I’m also pining to see how this vintage dinnerware will look displayed in our vintage pine china hutch this winter.

But until then, we will enjoy our morning breakfasts in this new breakfast nook with the classic and timeless Desert Rose.

Desert Rose table setting

This breakfast table may feel a bit cluttered right now, but what the heck, we thrifters need to share what we found, right?

You may also enjoy the post, Depression Glass Cherry Blossom Pink Table.

Do you have any Franciscan Desert Rose or Apple patterns on your table?

Round pink and green vintage summer table setting.

Oh, and what did I pay for these vintage dishes?

$100 for the 8-piece dinnerware set and $25 for the tea set:)

Franciscan Desert Rose Table Setting in Hutch

The Franciscan Desert Rose china pattern now sits beautifully in our old pine hutch in the dining room for the winter season.

I’m so glad you dropped by, and if you are new to my blog, welcome! I hope you enjoyed your visit with us here today at our Home in Vermont.

You can see this same Franciscan Desert Rose china used a year later in the post Galentine’s Day Brunch Vintage by Design.

Galentine's Day Brunch Vintage by Design

A Vintage Affair

If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with your friends who are also vintage enthusiasts.

Do you have a flair for all things vintage, too? I would love to see and feature you in our Reader’s Showcase Series. A place for you to share and be recognized for your talents and passion for all things thrifting, vintage, and antique decor-related inspired by your time here with Dabbling & Decorating. Email me at

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A Timeless Classic _ Franciscan Desert Rose Table Setting
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Next up on today’s Thrifting with the Gals is Robyn from Robyn’s French Nest. Robyn is sharing Mantel Styling Ideas for Summer that you won’t want to miss!

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  1. Hi- if I have a multi colorered striped vase for table, should I stick to whit & one other color in vase? Thanks.

  2. My Mom bought this set when married in 1941. We grew up with it for every meal and holiday occasion as there were no formal dishes. Had my first cup of coffee in those cups as no one used mugs til the 70s!
    Mom wanted new different dishes but Dad would only eat off these.
    When they passed I thought I would keep them but she had given most to the Goodwill. They were mostly chipped but I wanted a cup and saucer and a rimmed soup and sugar bowl.
    She would laugh if she saw your wonderful post.
    Thank you for sharing and enjoy. . Yours are a much more vibrant pink, my favorite ❤️

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it all Margy, it’s definitely sparked some memories for so many!

  3. Loved hearing the history of this iconic pattern, Ann! You do find the best things while thrifting with the gals! Love how you styled it on the table too!

    1. Thank you Molly, I learned a lot of about this pattern for sure and just love it!

  4. My grandmother had the apple pattern, so anytime I see it, I think of her. One of her friends had the Desert Rose pattern and gifted it to me! I still pick up extra pieces when I find really good deals. I love it, and I love all of the information you shared in this post! Thank you!

    1. It’s such a pretty pattern I just love it too. Thanks so much for stopping by Susan!

  5. Ann, I love your new collection! You set your table perfectly. Nothing like a pretty table!

  6. Ellen Shook says:

    I inherited my mother’s, and one of my elderly relatives also had an enormous quantity of it. Hers was extremely chipped, though, so I didn’t want any of it. Some of my mother’s friends had it, too, which is probably why she wanted it. I started it for her about the time it was getting discontinued, but she added to it till she had what she wanted. I gave it to the cousin, who then insisted to her son that I have it back.. So now I do. Whenever I go to an estate sale here in Birmingham, Alabama, I often see a ton of it! So — if anyone is looking for some, maybe there could be a road trip in your future if you can’t find it in your area?

    1. Ellen, wow that’s amazing. I rarely see the Desert Rose or the Apple around here. Maybe a tea cup here or there but that’s it. Maybe try selling some of it on Etsy or eBay. I bet you could get quite a bit for it if you don’t want it. And of course there’s always a road trip option from those us up North, haha! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Lorree Mitchell says:

    Thank you for all the good info! I have used this china everyday for 40 years. I never thought about the back stamps, and I’m excited to check mine!

    1. Oh wow that’s awesome. I had fun looking up mine too. Good Luck!

  8. Ann, your tablescape is absolutely gorgeous! I love how you styled all the dishes, and those pink place mats went perfectly with them. What a fresh and pretty way to decorate for summer. I get so many ideas from you!

  9. Ann,
    I have been so fortunate to find all my Desert Rose pieces at thrift stores, and they were all incredibly cheap. I need to pull them out for summer. You’ve inspired me.

    1. I can’t believe how much I love them and how lucky I got. I loved your St. Patrick’s Day table. Yes bring them out! LOL

  10. Mildred Hoppe says:

    Ann, my mom collected the Desert Rose pattern. I display it on open shelves in my kitchen during spring and summer months. I have 2 granddaughters who have expressed desire for the dishes when I’m ready to let them go. Fortunately there are enough to divide so each girl will have a complete table setting for 8 and serving pieces to go with the table settings. I can’t of anything that would make my mom happier than to know her great granddaughters are using her dishes.

    1. That’s amazing Mildred and I’m so glad they want them too. I adore having all my mother’s vintage dishes, they’re priceless to me!

  11. Such a beautiful table! I like the pink glasses best but the clear etched ones are beautiful. The pink ones will be great with your depression ware too. You gave me a lovely memory of attending a vintage sale with my mom.Mom had purchased the same Desert Rose set for my brother and his wife in the ’70s and when their marriage failed his wife took the dishes with her which really bugged my mom. She’d always loved those and wanted a set of her own. When she was in her late 80s we were at a vintage sale and there was a full set for an incredible bargain she was drooling over. I had to talk her into buying them, took some convincing. Then I had to pack it all up and get it to the car. On the way back into the building there’s mom toddling toward me, one arm laden with dishes and her other hand holding a white Christmas tree she’d found up in the air like a trophy! It was such a sight. It was truly Christmas for her as she loved shopping and especially thrifting. I was amused by this pun in your post “I’m also pining to see how this vintage dinnerware will look displayed in our vintage pine china hutch this winter.” Pining to display in the Pine hutch. 🙂 Was it intentional?

  12. So beautiful! You have inspired me to set a table with my dessert rise dinnerware. Thanks for the inspiration. Hugs to you.

    1. Oh I’d lover to see it when you do, I bet it will look amazing!

  13. I’ve always loved Desert Rose Dinnerware! Just looking your post makes me happy … and envious. Lol!!! The vintage etched glasses you found for $2 each are fabulous too. What an awesome find!!!

    1. Thank you so much Susan! I feel so lucky to have found it and I’m going to treasure it. I’ve fallen in love, LOL!

  14. Lisa Anderson says:

    Looks amazing Ann! Glad you found placemats that worked:) BTW, I liked the clear glasses better.

    1. Thanks Lisa, I think I like them both equally and I’m loving this pattern for summer! And yes these placemats were worked a little better than those miniatures that we saw, haha.

  15. Cheryl Atkinson says:

    My Dear Aunt Doris had this set. It was always my favorite and she also had pink etched glasses. I would have never known you could buy broken china pieces on Etsy if it wasn’t for you . Thank you!

    1. Doesn’t it bring back so many memories? I just adore it and had so much fun pulling this table all together. I learned so much about the pattern and feel so lucky to have found it. Thanks for stopping by Cheryl!

  16. Ann, my grandmother had this beautiful set for 12. Sadly, I didn’t inherit it. I have some pink depression wine glasses that it would look perfect with. Lol. What a fabulous find!! And your table setting is gorgeous! XO

    1. Thank you so much Cara, I really enjoyed putting this all together and feel so fortunate that I found a set like this one. So grateful!