Marigold is listed in Homer Laughlin designer Frederick Rhead's journals for the first time on November 16, 1933. The entry is rather vague: Commenced modeling new shape for Woolworth. By December this new line was being called the "Daisy Shape" for lack of a better name. Plates were made with silver stamp decorations. For some reason these early pieces were fired at neighboring Edwin M. Knowles China's electric kilns. After being approved, the teacup was ordered. Its capacity was to be identical to the OvenServe teacup is which why both cups have similar bodes - save the embossing.
On January 1, 1934, Rhead was sketching other pieces of Marigold, however, there were no major developments for the line for almost a month since attention was given to expanding the very successful OvenServe kitchenware. In February, work resumed on the "Daisy Shape" and would continue for the next few months. The first items to be added are listed in the following entry dated February 5, 1934:
JMW [J. M. Wells ordered] daisy shape for Woolworth's or Newberry. Teas [cups] 6", 7" bakers, 7", 8" dishes, [snip] sugar, creamer, 6" deep plate, 4 1/2" fruit and oatmeal, 5" fruit extra large, 36s bowl, oatmeal, 7" coupe to commence modeling as early as possible.
The modeling of the shapes listed in the entry above began immediately. According to the modeling log, several types of "fan" embossings were considered in the original deigns from December: 5 scallops, 5 pointed scallops, 6 scallops, tulip, and tulip-deep flute. The five scallops design was ultimately chosen. The only major difference from the original concept that the pieces modeled in February involved the addition of the "inside line."
While the "Daisy Shape" assortment was being crafted, treatments were being considered. The earliest of which involve hand-painting the "fan" embossings. Green, blue and pink underlgaze fan treatments were first, but other colors such as red, yellow and black would follow. A special backstamp was made and the idea was passed on to the already existing Virginia Rose shape in May of 1934.
On April 14, 1934, Rhead notes in his journal that "Marigold" is the new name of the daisy shape. Samples were made with the hand-painted fans and were shown to retailers. By the end of May, Rhead states, "the green [hand-painted] Marigold is selling... must get out other colors."
In June, a new item was added; the sauceboat. More pieces were ordered in October: a square plate, casserole, 15" platter, and pickle. The assortment remained unchanged until January 1935 when the 8" nappy and 8" baker were modeled. In February, the last piece was added -- the 42s jug, commonly called a milk pitcher.
Below is an excerpt from an article on new shapes and pieces which appeared in The Pottery, Glass & Brass Salesman, August 16, 1934. It discusses some of the treatments found on the then new shape, Marigold.
The edge itself is slightly sunken while the frame -- if it may so be called -- in which the fan is set is also sunken. Beyond that, the edge is made slightly elliptical just outside of each fan and is notched on either side of the ellipse, making the latter seem even more pronounced than it actually is. There is a classic simplicity about all of this save in the fan itself, which shows an embossment of a somewhat contemporaneous order. But the two treatments of such widely different nature are so cleverly blended as to make for a perfect unity.
Done on a rich ivory body, a choice of three underglaze color treatments is obtainable. The color work is confined exclusively to the fan. The colors include pink, green and blue, and the effect, for all its simplicity and comparative lack of color, is at once striking and very attractive.
Beyond the underglaze colors, overglaze treatments are also offered in coral and black and in blue and yellow. These overglaze numbers are further embellished by two narrow gold lines, one at the edge and the other following the inner line of the indentation. Prices, even on the overglaze, are very reasonable, and it is not astonishing that the Marigold has met with wide success despite the short time it has been on the market and has appealed to discriminating buyers all over the country...
Modeling of Marigold went rather smoothly. There were only three problem items; the casserole, platter and square plate. Originally, the casserole handles were curled upwards matching the upward loop handles of the sauce boat, sugar, and creamer. Production of the original casserole lasted from November 1934 until July 1935 when it was decided handles from the Virginia Rose casserole would be more appropriate on the Marigold body. Whether this was done for production reasons or aesthetics is unknown, but collectors are left with two different casseroles.
Marigold casserole with original handles
Marigold casserole with Virginia Rose handles
The square plate underwent at least one revision because of it shape and rim. Marigold has a very large rim which makes any non-circular flatware's rim and well slightly out of proportion. In fact, Rhead commented on this with regard to the platters in June of 1934: ...Do not like the proportion of the dish. Believe that rim is too wide in proportion to the well of the dish. May remodel. He never did remodel any of the platters.
Production of the many hand-painted fans was limited, except for the green underglaze and red/black overglaze treatments which were made for several years. Platinum trim and stamps were rather commonplace on Marigold as many examples are found today. But when collectors encounter Marigold, it is usually with decals. Several of these treatments will have a special verge gold decoration, namely pattern M-207.
In 1937, Marigold was given a special green glaze which is darker and much more consistent than other HLC greens made at the time. Green Marigold is usually found marked with date codes from 1937 and 1938. To the right is a 6" plate in green as well as a serving bowl, sauceboat and creamer - courtesy Fran & Carl Stone. Marigold can also be found in plain ivory - the same ivory used on embossed OvenServe.
Many new collectors confuse the Marigold and Virginia Rose embossings. The two shapes were made side by side in plant number 8. There are cases in which complete sets of Virginia Rose are found with some Marigold pieces mixed in and vice versa.
Though no new items were added to the Marigold shape after the 42s jug in 1935, there were several pickup pieces. The butter dish came from Jade, lug soup from Century, and an egg cup from the Cable line of shapes.
The Marigold shape was no longer offered after 1952.