Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dodie Thayer for Tory Burch

Beginning in the 1960s, Dodie Thayer's lettuce ware pottery was as much a fixture on the tables of fashionable Palm Beach women as Lilly Pulitzer's dresses were in their closets. Collectors included Brooke Astor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, C.Z. Guest, the Duchess of Windsor, Frank and Barbara Sinatra, Dina Merrill, and most of the island's society ladies.

Dodie Thayer in the 1970s, Palm Beach

"Her work was amazingly popular. Dodie was part of the essence of Palm Beach, like Stubbs and Wooten shoes, Lilly Pulitzer, and Kassatly's linens: all part of the old Palm Beach," Mimi McMakin told the Palm Beach Post.  "If someone wanted to buy a tureen, she (Thayer) would say, 'Yes, I'll make you one, but you may have to wait three years.' And people did, happily."

Thayer estimates that she handmade tens of thousands of pieces in her 30+ year career. Each tureen took two weeks to assemble, glaze, and fire. The work was so time consuming that "no one would do it today because they wouldn't be making any money," Thayer's daughter Lisa Jefferson, also a ceramicist, told the Palm Beach Post.

C.Z. Guest's collection of Dodie Thayer lettuce ware, via The Wall Street Journal.

Thayer retired in the late 1980s, and today her pieces are snapped up at auctions at sky high prices. In 2012, Sotheby's sold Brook Astor's 218-piece set for $74.5K. A tureen alone can cost up to $7K. Despite her overwhelming popularity, Thayer refused to mass market her work... until now.

In 2013, Tory Burch called Thayer and asked her if she would be interested in collaborating.
"To my excitement, she said yes! And now, after two years of working with her and her family to make sure our Dodie Thayer for Tory Burch collection is how Mrs. Thayer would do it, I couldn't be more thrilled to introduce it," said Burch.

Dodie Thayer and Tory Burch 

Delicately molded, hand-detailed, and glazed a vibrant green, the Dodie Thayer for Tory Burch collection captures the whimsical, easy essence of 1960s Palm Beach. It is even dishwasher and microwave safe! If you have coveted Dodie Thayer's quintessential Palm Beach lettuce ware for years as I have, now is the time to stock up while you can... I predict these pieces will also become highly collectable.  Click here to shop the collection.

You can see how closely the Tory Burch collection resembles the original in this image... Top: Dodie Thayer for Tory Burch; Bottom: Original Dodie Thayer demitasse collection via Leta Austin Fowler

Below are more images of original Dodie Thayer lettuce ware... 

Tory Burch's personal Dodie Thayer collection 

Tablescape by Dodie Thayer collector Todd Romano via Leta Austin Foster

 Palm Beach apartment by T. Keller Donovan

Beth Arrowood's Miami Shores bungalow

To read more about Thayer via Tory Burch click here, and here for a lovely interview Burch conducted with Thayer.  A wonderful article on Thayer - aka "The Pottery Queen of Palm Beach" - can be read via the Palm Beach Post. 


  1. Andrea-
    Another fab TGP post !
    Since you were nice enough to post a link to the TB site, I placed an order!
    FREE SHIPPING ! Hurry before it's all gone, congrats on your order too!
    Dean in Naples

  2. What unusual yet stylish plates! Loved learning about this.

  3. A great collaboration, I want it all, especially a tureen and dying over those fabulous cups and saucers!

    The Arts by Karena


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