Vintage (c. 1950s ?) Franciscan Masterpiece Minaret Pattern Saucer: 115,700 ppm Lead. This is *NOT* food safe.

When tested with an XRF instrument, this vintage Franciscan Masterpiece China saucer / desert plate in the Minaret pattern (c. 1950*s ?) was positive for levels as high as 115,700 ppm Lead. That’s more than 11% Lead in the surface glaze on this piece (on the functional / food-surface of the dish).

*If you can find more information about the year of manufacture on this pattern, please let me know!

Here’s the reading for the silver colored food surface of the dish, 60+ second reading:

  • Lead (Pb): 115,700 +/- 4,600 ppm
  • Zinc (Zn): 13,100 +/- 600 ppm 
  • Iron (Fe): 558 +/- 203 ppm

Here’s the reading for the plain white back of the dish (not over the logo area), 60+ second reading:

  • Lead (Pb): 73,200 +/- 2,100 ppm
  • Zinc (Zn): 10,600 +/- 400 ppm 
  • Iron (Fe): 548 +/- 157 ppm
  • Titanium (Ti): 193 +/- 65 ppm

Metals not listed above were not detected with the XRF instrument.

Images below are of the bottom mark on this piece.
Continue reading below images.

For Context: Modern/newly manufactured (2019) items intended for use by children are required by current legislation to be under 90 ppm Lead in the glaze, paint or coating and under 100 ppm Lead in the substrate. Newly manufactured dishes are not regulated in the same way children’s items are (unless they are dishes intended for use by children, like newly manufactured baby dishes) for total Lead content (as detectable with an XRF instrument) Vintage or antique dishes are also not regulated for the presence toxicants in any way.

Here’s a video where I test some pieces with a LeadCheck swab, including a Franciscan piece.

The reason this vintage Franciscan china is scary for me is because it is known to leach and I have personally seen it in so many homes! Thousands of people seem to have held onto these vintage Franciscan pieces and cherished them (because it was Grandma’s) and it is also highly collectible and plentiful (check out eBay!) and people are also using it as their every day dishes (eating off of it – not just collecting it.)

Please avoid any vintage china patterns from the Franciscan Potteries of Sonoma, CA, they are all very high lead and the Lead is leachable on the surface of these particular dishes.

Click here to see more of the Franciscan pieces I have tested.

It just takes a microscopic amount of lead to poison a child – and eating off these plates could very likely do the job! They are very high Lead and it is chalking off or leaching from the surface into the food.

Click here to see some lead-free dishware options!

A special thanks to Gustav for sending these in to add to my “Museum of Lead” collection!

As always, thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Tamara Rubin
Lead Safe Mama  

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