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Patricia D. Brown collection of Grace Lloyd Collins Walsh commemorative butter pat dishes

Identifier: MSS 0837

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of seventy-four commemorative butter pat dishes sold by Wilmington, Delaware, businesswoman Grace Lloyd Collins Walsh at her gift shop between the 1930s and the 1950s.

Most of these butter pat dishes feature marks from Spode, a ceramic manufacturing firm based in Stoke-on-Trent, England. Spode patterns in this collection include “Old Salem,” “Tower,” “Camilla,” “Italian,” “Castle,” and “Beverley,” with designs in brown, black, purple, blue, red, and green. Several of the dishes feature historical buildings in Wilmington, Delaware, including the Old Town Hall and Old Swedes Church. These dishes are unmarked, but were possibly the Wilmington Tercentenary commemorative plates made by Spode and sold by Grace Lloyd Collins Walsh. It is also possible that these dishes were made by Josiah Wedgwood & Sons.

All but one of these dishes features an underglaze Christmas greeting on the verso from Grace Lloyd Collins Walsh to her customers. Most of these read “To Wish You Merry Christmas/ Grace Lloyd-Collins.” However, the dishes featuring images of Old Swedes Church including the greeting “Best Wishes for 1947/Grace Lloyd-Collins.” Five dishes with the Spode “Castle” pattern are inscribed “To Wish You Merry Christmas/ Lloyd-Walsh,” suggesting they were commissioned after Lloyd Collins’ marriage to Robert Walsh in 1951.


  • Creation: approximately 1930s-1950s


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce isrequired from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Grace Lloyd Collins Walsh

These commemorative butter pat dishes were sold by Grace Lloyd Collins Walsh (1896-1992, a prominent Wilmington businesswoman specializing in the sale of fine gifts. Walsh was also a freelance artist, designing advertisements for area groups as well as holiday and greeting cards for local residents.

Grace T. Lloyd was born in 1896, a native of Wilmington, Delaware. Her artwork brought her early acclaim and was featured in a Wilmington newspaper article in 1910. She graduated from Wilmington High School in 1913, and afterwards attended the Wilmington Training School to train as a teacher, graduating in 1915. She taught briefly and also worked for the DuPont Company in the early 1920s. She was engaged to Paul Hackett Collins of Salem, New Jersey, in October 1919 and married him sometime later.

She opened the Green Lantern Studio at 216 West 9th Street in Wilmington in 1925 but moved to 220 West 9th in 1928. At that time, she changed the shop's name to "Grace Lloyd Collins." The shop specialized in fine gifts, such as silver, crystal and china. Part of its success came from exclusive area distribution rights to a number of fine china lines. In 1938, she was the sole distributor of the Wilmington Tercentenary commemorative plates made by Spode of England. Grace Walsh proved to be an effective businesswoman with a keen appreciation for advertising and promotional strategies. She used social registers for contacts, newsletters to reach customers, and the store was one of the first shops in Wilmington to feature a bridal registry.

In May 1951, Grace Lloyd Collins married her second husband, Robert Walsh. He was active in the management of a new suburban store which opened in 1957 in Fairfax. Both stores operated as "Lloyd-Walsh" and continued the tradition of offering fine merchandise. The downtown Wilmington store closed in 1963 and the remaining store was sold to Ann Morris in 1986 when Mrs. Walsh retired.

During World War II, she served as a chauffeur with the American Women's Voluntary Service Motor Transport Service. Walsh was interested in dogs, owning and showing Airedales throughout much of her life. Other lifelong interests included fishing, yachting, travel, and writing. Grace Lloyd Collins Walsh died in 1992.

Information derived from the collection.

Colonel Patricia D. Brown

These butter pat dishes were a gift to Colonel Patricia D. Brown from her domestic partner, Anne Preston Kiger, a crystal restorer based in Centreville, Delaware, and friend of Grace Lloyd Collins Walsh. Brown is a retired United States Air Force officer who served as a nurse during a tour of duty in South Vietnam from August 1966 to August 1967. A member of the Air Force Nurse Corps, Brown was among the first female air force nurses to be assigned to Vietnam. As a captain at the time, Brown was in charge of Inhalation Therapy Department #12 at the 12th United States Air Force Hospital, Cam Ranh Bay, Republic of South Vietnam.

The Air Force Medical Corps mission at Cam Ranh Bay was “to support army, air force, and civilian personnel while they were constructing airfields and shipping docks and setting up air evacuation capabilities.” The hospital also serviced the Air Force Tactical Air Command fighter wing of F-4Cs that flew bombing missions into North Vietnam. (Gruhzit-Hoyt, p. 82). Colonel Brown was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in Vietnam, being cited for her leadership and organizational abilities.

Born on January 17, 1929, in Mount Vernon, New York, Patricia Dorothy Brown was educated at Northfield School for Girls. Following high school she completed a RN diploma at Mount Vernon School of Nursing in 1951 and a CRNA-Anesthesia Certificate from Duke University Anesthesia School in 1957. In 1964 Brown received a BA in Biology from the University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, and in 1969 an MS in Biology from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas. She also completed coursework at Texas Woman’s University, in Dallas, as well as correspondence and continuing education courses in her field.

After retiring from the United States Air Force Nursing Corp at the rank of colonel in January 1976, Patricia Brown taught as an assistant professor at Texas Christian University from 1976 to 1978. She is a member of a number of professional organizations, and served on the educational committees of the American Cancer Society and the American Red Cross. After moving to Wilmington, Delaware, Colonel Brown has volunteered with Hospice, the AIDS Research Group at Wilmington Hospital, and for veterans groups.

Gruhzit-Hoyt, Olga. A Time Remembered: American Women in the Vietnam War. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1999. Notable Women of Texas. Limited first edition, 1984-1986. Irving, Texas: Emerson Publishing, 1984. p. 66. Information derived from the collection.

W.T. Copeland & Sons and Spode

Spode is a pottery and ceramics company that was founded by Josiah Spode in Stoke-on-Trent, England, in 1770. Spode and his son were succeeded by the firm of Copeland and Garrett around 1833, who continued to use the name “Spode” in their marks. The business became W.T. Copeland & Sons in 1847, a name it maintained until 1970, when it became Spode Ltd. Spode merged with the Royal Worcester company in 2008.

Spode website, "About" (accessed December 14, 2017) Information derived from the collection.


74 item ; 74 ceramic butter pat dishes between 7.5 and 9.25 cm in diameter


This collection consists of seventy-four commemorative butter pat dishes sold by Wilmington, Delaware, businesswoman Grace Lloyd Collins Walsh at her gift shop between the 1930s and the 1950s.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Colonel Patricia D. Brown, February-March 2002

Related Materials in this Repository

MSS 0145, Grace Lloyd Walsh papers

MSS 0442, Colonel Patricia D. Brown papers related to service in Vietnam

Shelving Summary

Boxes 1-2: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (3 inch)

Processing Information

Processed and encoded by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, December 2017.

Finding aid for Patricia D. Brown collection of Grace Lloyd Collins Walsh commemorative butter pat dishes
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2017 December 14
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

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