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Holly Hobbie and Gigi Plates by Homer Laughlin
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In the 1960s, artist Denise Holly Ulinskas sold her Holly Hobbie artwork to American Greetings of Cleveland, Ohio. By the 1970s, the Holly Hobbie artwork had become very popular and American Greetings started a merchandising campaign based on the character. Holly Hobbie dolls, lunch boxes, sewing machines, clothing, glassware, and plastic breakfast sets were very good sellers. Ceramic giftware was also made including trinket boxes, flower pots, figurines, mugs, watering cans, tiles, and vases. The vast majority of these pieces were made overseas. However, there was a set of Holly Hobbie collector plates made at the Homer Laughlin China Company.

The Holly Hobbie plates were made 10 1/2" in diameter with a 7 1/6" narrow rim. They were originally modeled on September 7, 1972, but were revised on October 19th of the same year to soften the inner edge. There were over thirty different Holly Hobbie decals which were combined with either a green jet spray trim or a less common solid green band. At least one Holly Hobbie decal was used with a blue spray trim instead of green.







Holly Hobbie plates made at Homer Laughlin and one of several different backstamps


American greetings offered Gigi collector plates at the same time as the Holly Hobbie plates. The Gigi series made use of the same narrow-rim plates, but with blue jet spray edges instead of the more common green. Compared to Holly Hobbie, there were fewer Gigi decals.



One of series of Gigi plates made at Homer Laughlin and its backstamp


Towards the end of 1972, two Christmas plates were offered by American Greetings. The Holly Hobbie Christmas plate was titled, "Happy memories warm the heart" and the Gigi Christmas plate was, "God bless us... everyone". A 10 1/8" plate with a slightly wider rim was used this time. Interestingly, the border decals on the Holly Hobbie plate came from the "All Seasons" pattern, treatment number CW-120, which appeared on HLC's Dover shape in the 1970s. The Christmas plates sold in stores at $3.50 each.



Holly Hobbie and Gigi Christmas plates from 1972


In July 1974, American Greetings and Homer Laughlin paired up for another set of Holly Hobbie collector plates. The Freedom Series, or Liberty Series as it was sometimes called in HLC records, used the wide rim Cavalier 10" plate.

The Freedom Series plates were decorated with patriotic themes meant to celebrate the nation's bicentennial. Unlike the Holly Hobbie plates of 1972, the Freedom Series was made up of only six decals. They are shown below with HLC's official treatment numbers prefixed with "AG" and American Greetings' numbers, prefixed with "22". All of the decals were supplied by American Greetings. They plates originally retailed in stores at $5.00 each.


AG-40, 22-761

AG-41, 22-762

AG-42, 22-763/td>

AG-43, 22-764

AG-44, 22-765

AG-45, 22-766
Holly Hobbie Freedom Series plates made at Homer Laughlin in 1974

Holly Hobbie Freedom Series decal marking


The following experimental Holly Hobbie pieces are from the collection of The Fiesta® Tableware Company

Holly Hobbie tea tiles with octagonal and circular centers

Holly Hobbie tea tile

Sticker on the back of the tea tile

Holly Hobbie decal on a Cavalier shape teapot

Tom and Jerry shape mug with Granada handle

Sticker on the Holly Hobbie Tom and Jerry mug

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