Bewitched by Salem Tricorne Streamline

A belated tip of the hat to Vintage Love Saturday – Vintage China, Southern Lady’s Vintage blog’s generous shout out for others to join in the fun on her fab blog! When she invited me to participate, I knew I had plenty to dish about, and decided to lay it all out on the table…My name is Susabella and I am an addict.

I’ve been addicted to china for many years; it’s a genetic affliction, a disease, really, passed down through the maternal lines of my family, and although I fought against becoming a collector like my mother, I was doomed. My passion grew and ebbed, and finally coalesced into a deep need to gather Art Deco ceramic earthenware pottery from the Ohio River Valley, namely, Salem Tricorne & Streamline dinnerware…maybe it has something to do with all those ancestors who settled in that area of the country? I haven’t uncovered any potters in the family tree yet, but plan to make a trip to do some research next year. Or, it could just be that Salem created just the coolest shapes ever!


Mom…and Salem Streamline Demitasse Cup in Mandarin Orange

Formed by a quartet of East Liverpool guys (nope, not those guys) in 1898, the Salem China Company produced some of the most iconic art deco dinnerware shapes and patterns. A former Limoges China Company executive, Frank Sebring, Jr., ran the company from 1919–1934, the period during which Salem, in answer to the Art Moderne craze that was wafting over from Europe, created Tricorne and then Streamline. Boldly innovative, both lines* have been featured in museum collections around the world.

Salem China Co Employee Decorating Creamer

Salem employee glazing a creamer, courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society

Don Schreckengost, younger brother of famed Limoges China designer Viktor Schreckengost (who later joined the Salem design team and created many of their memorable mid-century lines), was one of the designers responsible for the creation of this line: he & Frank Sebring patented the triangular plate design in 1935 (U.S. Patent D. 94245 “Design for a Plate”), while Vincent Broomhall & Herbert A. Smith patented the “Sugarbowl or Similar Article” (U.S. Patent D. 96445) and the conical “Cup” (U.S. Patent D. 96722).

ScreenHunter_01 Oct. 31 01.17

Excerpt from US Patent # D.96445

Tricorne featured triangular-shaped plates with a circular center, with a rimmed border of either contrasting solid color (orange, yellow, blue, or green) or metallic decoration (platinum streamlines, gold filigree, etc). The center of the plates was either left blank, as with the solid border colors, or filled with a decal design, like the Sailing Ships, Petit Point Dutch Couple or very art deco Polo Pony with Rider.

Streamline originally featured conical drink ware (regular & demitasse cups, coffeepots, creamers & sugar bowls) with pointy angular “7” shaped handles, and later included the more traditional round plates, as in their “Century” line.


Mandarin Orange


Sailing Ships


Solid Blue & Green


Streamlines in Platinum


Polo Pony & Rider


Petit Point Dutch Couple


Mandarin Orange Coffee or Tea Set

ScreenHunter_03 Sep. 23 00.28
Here’s a lovely floral Streamline set from SnapDragonTacoma on Etsy

Now, these elegant dishes came out right after the worst of the Depression era. Most folks were broke and out of work (sound familiar?) but of those economically difficult times came a brilliant marketing idea, “Dish Night” giveaways at the movie theaters. Salem China jumped on the “one free to each lady” bandwagon with a vengeance, and arranged for Hollywood stars to be photographed using Tricorne dishes. They even got Tricorne/Streamline featured in a scene in the 1934 Warner Brothers film, “Gentlemen are Born”! **

ScreenHunter_02 Oct. 31 01.59
Commemorative Pitcher by the Homer Laughlin China Collector’s Assn

The first Salem piece I owned was the ubiquitous “Mandarin Orange” design, the most common of the Tricorne / Streamline colors, which ranges from a bright tangerine to a deeper reddish orange, depending on the glaze lot. I poked around and realized it was available in other designs, and dove right in. My collection has grown to include the following:

  • Solid borders: Yellow, Green, Blue, & Mandarin Orange
  • Streamlines: Gold, Platinum, Warranted Platinum Gold Alloy, Harlem Moon in Black & Platinum, Orange & Platinum, & Aqua
  • Decal designs: Sailing Ships in red, gray & platinum; Polo Pony & Rider; Petit Point Dutch Couple; Latin Dancers; art deco Floral arrangements
  • Custom designs: Playing Card suits for Donahoe’s Cafeteria

but I ran out of space, and my cottage needs a new foundation, so many of these are available for purchase in the Atomic Salem China section of my shop on


I’ve collected this dinnerware from all over the world, and sustained my share of heartbreak when pieces have arrived damaged in transit; I’ll soon post about proper packing techniques for fragile pretties like these!


So, this is what floats my boat, so to speak…what does it for you?

Kudos and thanks to:

Ohio River Pottery

Brenda McNeilly of GhostofHalloweensPast


ScreenHunter_04 Oct. 31 15.16 Notes

* by saying “line” I’m really referring to the particular shape of the dinnerware. “Pattern” refers to the decoration applied to the various shapes.

** see Kathryn Fuller-Seeley’s fascinating essay, “Dish Night at the Movies” in Looking Past the Screen, available in the Amazon box to the right. Also referenced online at

p.s. I’ll be switching to WordPress soon, will send COA!

About susabellabrownstein

I'm a fanatic about elegant old things, love to refurbish and reuse, and once I do all that, will finish the screenplay that's been echoing in my brain for the past several years!
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13 Responses to Bewitched by Salem Tricorne Streamline

  1. What an awesome collection! Very informative blog post! I am thrilled that you could join in! I hope you cast your vote for next week’s Vintage Love Saturday and come back to join in whenever you can!! I enjoyed all of this information!

  2. What an informative post! I love all the china, especially the orange right now!

  3. Karen says:

    Wow! I love this design, too! Thanks so much for all the insight and history you researched out for us. I’ve seen this china around, but never knew it came from Ohio. All your photos are great, but my fave is the Snapdragon pattern. Great job!

  4. Pingback: What is it About Objects of the Past? | SusabellaBrownstein…Collecting Dust

  5. Mary Wulff says:

    Love your blog! I am also the proud “owner” of a Coffee/Teapot set and dishes. They were at a local 2nd hand store. It’s a long story on HOW I acquired them, but I drool over your pictures every time I see them. Keep on collecting!
    Oh, shared your blog on Facebook.

  6. Karie says:

    I’m curious to know if you know anything more about the polo pony and rider design. I recently inherited a plate with the exact same design of the pony and rider surrounded by the “dots”, but the plate is round and has an 1 1/2 inch wide burgundy border laced with gold… any ideas? Do you know who originally designed the “polo pony and rider”? Thanks! I also share your antique dish addiction=)

  7. Hi Karie,
    Yay, a fellow dish fiend! Your plate is probably from Salem China, they produced dishes in a large variety of shapes, and they did love to add lots of gold! I have the Polo pony & rider design on a set of bowls with flat, ribbed rims, also not marked, but obviously Salem…and if you do a search on eBay for Salem Century, you’ll see lots of burgundy borders with gold…

    I don’t know who created the original Polo pony design, but it’s a great question…have you tried the forums? They have a new Art Deco group (I just joined) and it would be interesting to see if anyone there knows…why don’t you try there and upload a photo if you can, I’ll add mine as well and hopefully we’ll bring out the experts 😉

    Thanks for visiting, good luck!

  8. Donna Garrett says:

    I am selling: Art Deco Collection Estate from my husband.
    When: June 13th, 2012
    Where: Heritage Auction Gallery in Dallas 2012 June 13 20th Century Design Signature Auction at Heritage Gallery in Dallas
    web site link –
    Starting with p 8, Items were bought in Deco shows throughout US and France and through Art Deco auctions.
    Lots: Orange/white and blue/white Salem Tricorne dishes, Frankart, Art Deco Fine Art, Rugs, Sculpture, Bakelite, Deco Bar Items, Deco Furniture
    I have 3 other items in a different auction the following day on June 14th at Heritage Auctions
    The 3 other pieces I have are Bergman pieces starting with Lot 66041 2012 June 14 Decorative Arts Signature Auction- Dallas #5100 Regards and I am available if you have questions,
    Donna Garrett Thanks for viewing

  9. Sanay Poland says:

    I was at a auction last nit and I bought the orange set with coffe pot cream and sugar all except the dinner plates,I knew they were special

  10. kathy says:

    i have a beautiful set with the conical patent number which has the (deck of cards)clubs spades,hearts& Diamonds I can’t find any item on the internet like them?????Any help with price ranges?My aunt passed and I am interested in selling but not sure on a price

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