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Another Homer Laughlin Mystery Pattern

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I just bought this set of dishes and have been looking on the internet to find out what pattern it is, but nothing looks like it. I've seen a lot of flowery patterns, but no modern patterns like this. Does anyone know anything about this pattern? Any info would be appreciated, as I might like to buy more.

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What an elegant pattern! I'm afraid I cannot tell you much about the pattern (more about that later), but I can tell you about the shape. The shape is easy. Your photo clearly says "Empress," which was a Homer Laughlin shape manufactured between around 1910 to 1937 or possibly later. I will quote the 559-page book, "Homer Laughlin: Decades of Dinnerware" about Empress:

The Empress shape has been found with backstamps dated as early as 1915.
The Ladies Home Journal
featured Empress in a Homer Laughlin Christmas ad in its December 1914 issue.
The 1916 Homer Laughlin Price List
includes dozens of patterns on the shape. Empress shapes are illustrated in the Homer Laughlin catalogs of 1920, 1922, 1926, and 1929. It was one of only six shapes in production in 1928 (
Pottery, Glass & Brass Salesman
, February 2, 1928). The Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalog included patterns on the Empress shape from 1929 through 1932.

By 1930, the Butler Brothers Catalog offered the Capitol pattern on the Empress shape. As late as 1937, over three decades after it was introduced,
The Homer Laughlin Pound Sterling Price Booklet
shows Empress still offered with 67 different decorations/patterns!

The very large, comprehensive and lavishly illustrated book I'm quoting shows hundreds and hundreds of different patterns (HLC often would use the same patterns on different shapes). However, I was unable to find the elegant pattern on your dishes on any of the many, many shapes HLC manufactured over the years. I have heard HLC officials say that the number of patterns used on HLC dishes is unknown. The company used decals for the patterns, and the decal people were astoundingly clever. Sometimes they would take a section of one decal and combine it with another decal to create a unique third decal. So the combination of decorations/patterns could have been practically infinite. Some patterns had no names. I have a whole set of lovely dishes in the Century shape that is known only as "C41."

The numbers on the back of the plate in your picture have a definite meaning. The "9" represents September, the ninth month of the year. The number "21" represents the year the plate was made, and the "L" means that it was made in Plant L. The Homer Laughlin Co. has always been in Newell, West Virginia, and at one time they had quite a few separate manufacturing plants on the premises operating simultaneously, each making different dishes.

I realize that without a name for your particular Empress pattern it will be difficult to find matching pieces. I am certain there are more out there somewhere, but you'll just have to haunt the antique malls and estate sales. Good luck!

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