The Twelve Days of Christmas Plates


Imperial Glass Company

by John Valentine

uring the Middle Ages and on through the mid-nineteenth Century, Christmas was celebrated over twelve days between December 25th and Epiphany, January 6th. Each day had its own special reason for rejoicing and merry-making.

Today, all that survives of the tradition is a carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". This carol originated as a song-fest game played at Twelfth Night parties. After the leader named the gifts each guest was called upon to repeat the gifts in the proper sequence. Those guests who missed had to pay a penalty, much to the delight of the other participants.

The gaiety of this tradition has been recreated and captured forever in glass by the artists of the Imperial Glass Corporation.

This limited - edition, hand-crafted Collectors' set of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" has a unique and beautiful way to carry the joy of the carol through all the year.

The front of each plate depicts the day of rejoicing; Example: A Partridge In A Pear Tree, and the saying of that day ( On the first day of Christmas my True Love sent to me - A Partridge in a Pear Tree). If you look close at the border, there are branches of a Pear tree with all 12 of the days of Christmas pictured. As for the back of the plate, it has the words (The Twelve Days Of Christmas - Partridge In A Pear Tree) you will also find the number of the plate and the date it was made, the Imperial mark and saying it is a limited edition.

Below I have listed all the plates in the series and have included the date and the color of each plate.

#1 - A Partridge In A Pear Tree - 1970 - Aurora Jewels Carnival (cobalt)

#2 - Two Turtle Doves - 1971 - Dark Green Carnival

#3 - Three French Hens - 1972 - Amber Carnival

#4 - Four Colly Birds - 1973 - White Carnival

#5 - Five Golden Rings - 1974 - Verde Green Carnival (olive)

#6 - Six Geese A-Laying - 1975 - Sunburst Yellow Carnival (yellow)

#7 - Seven Swans A-Swimming - 1976 - Ultra Blue Carnival

#8 - Eight Maids A-Milking - 1977 - Nut Brown Carnival

#9 - Nine Drummers Drumming - 1978 - Pink Carnival

#10 - Ten Pipers Piping - 1979 - Horizon Blue Carnival (ice blue)

#11 - Eleven Ladies Dancing - 1980 - Meadow Green Carnival (ice green)

#12 - Twelve Lords A-Leaping - 1981 - Red Carnival

One must bear in mind it took anyone collector 12 years to collect all 12 plates in the series. At the same time this set was made in carnival it was also made in the crystal (not carnival).

12 Days Of Christmas

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