The Colonial shape was introduced around 1900. It was one of Homer Laughlin's most extensive line of dinnerware with over 100 pieces. Some were pickup pieces such as the Alaska ice cream and the Geisha tea set and jugs. Golden Gate teacups and coffee cups along with their corresponding saucers were used with Colonial. Rococo versions were used as well even though that particular shape had been discontinued. The plain round Ovide cup and saucer was also part of the Colonial assortment.
By 1903, there were 285 treatments available on the Colonial shape - more than any other shape of the early 20th Century. The number of treatments began to decline the next year and continued until 1909 when there were just over fifty. The following year, treatments were no longer offered on Colonial as focus had shifted to The Angelus and Hudson. This resulted in a ten year life span for the Colonial shape.
Many retailers carried Colonial. Montgomery Ward's carried the shape with decals and in plain, undecorated white. Sears offered HLC's Colonial shape with decals for several years. One of Sears' advertisements gave this description of the line:
The decoration consists of neat floral spays of dainty azalias, so delicately shaded and so applied by the new decalcomania process, which produces a much more perfect decoration than if double glaze, and a decoration of this sort will wear a lifetime and never fade, and is a much stronger ware an account of the extra length of time required in the firing. This set is made of a very find quality semi-porcelain, made by the famous Homer Laughlin China Co., America's best potters, and is fully guaranteed in every respect. The shape used in the set is known as the new Colonial pattern, which is the most artistic shape made. The ware is exceedingly thin and light and resembles the finest French china. Every piece is artistically embossed with a beautiful scroll, which forms a complete border. All plates, saucers, platters, etc., have scalloped festoon edges and are branded on the back by the famous makers' trade mark.
As the advert above mentioned, Colonial is a round, scallop shape with light scroll work embossing. The hollowware is easily identified by its segmented handles. Finials on the lidded pieces tend to resemble sea horses' heads. There should never be any confusion between Colonial and other HLC shapes since most pieces were marked with one of the backstamp shown which include's the shape name. The two with the eagle over lion logo are the oldest.
Here is a comparison of handles of some HLC shapes of the early 1900s. This may help in distinguishing the hollowware on sight without having to look at the backstamp.