Although I love to mix and match all of my china, because it has over 27 colors in it, Tobacco Leaf is a favorite! There are so many ways to set it, from letting it stand out on a simple white cloth to layering it on even more pattern!
The design is elaborate and the flowers and birds explode all over each of the pieces in a different way. Mottahedeh's Tobacco Leaf is vibrant and cheerful. Mildred Mottahedeh, while showing an interviewer from the New York Times around her studio said, “Look at that. Doesn’t that make you smile?” She was referring to a Tobacco Leaf design. Mrs. Mottahedeh really summed up the reason that we love beautiful porcelain and appreciate a pretty tablescape. It is all to make our guests smile!
The pattern is thought to have originated in the 18th century in China for export to Portuguese and Brazilian markets. The original design is probably inspired by patterns used on 17th and 18th Century Indian textiles and damask fabrics. The leaves and flowers resemble the patterns found in these rich and elaborate textiles. Some say the leaves are Tobacco Leaves but others argue that the name is misleading as the leaves and flowers are actually more tropical!