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Karen Sue

Karen Sue Stabiner

In a May 2018 issue of The New York Times titled Family Dishes, Karen Stabiner writes about the set of dishes that her father Ira ordered from Carr to celebrate her birth.

This is Karen's description of the order: "My dad and his dad owned a small restaurant supply store on Chicago's Skid Row, so he called in a favor at Carr China, one of the lines he carried, and got them to make a special order — two cups, two fruit dishes, two cereal bowls, two lunch plates, one mug, each of them with "Karen Sue" worked into the rose-colored border, under the glaze. That was a big deal, a custom border. Anyone can paint by hand on china. It takes connections to have your name immortalized at the factory in a font that worked well with the flowers and curlicues, as though someone had just opened a coffee shop named Karen Sue's and needed to stock up."


Of course we had to get in touch with Karen. As you'll see from the story, its accompanying illustration gives just enough of a hint of the design that we were curious to match it up to one of Carr's patterns. She graciously shared the photos above, and we. were. stumped.

Not willing to give up without a fight, though, we started going through our archives image-by-image and finally found it, tucked away in the photos we took in 2011 at the West Virginia Museum of the plates from Joy Bachman's house. It's not clear if this pattern was ever ordered other than this set for baby Karen Sue, but it was given a number, #6064. Click here to see Joy's plates.


Underglazed pattern #6064

Click here for more info on this pattern, found only on two plates in the Joy Bachman collection (with Joy's notes) housed in the West Virginia Museum.


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