I collect starburst things such as casserole dishes, wine glasses, and china. Really anything with a good starburst pattern becomes an obsession. I found my Bavaria Starburst china almost the moment I moved to Louisville 4 years ago. I went on the hunt for anything that would match it, and I came across a few sets of starburst flatware on Etsy. The one that caught my eye the most was made by National Stainless, or Nasco, out of Japan. There was one relatively complete set, but it was about $100 and I couldn’t justify spending that much on silverware when I already had a usable set in the drawer. So I placed it in my wishlist and lusted for months. By the time I finally had the money to blow on it, it was gone.
I began scouring the internet for another set to no avail. I broke down and resorted to digging through bins of loose silverware in thrift shops and peddlers malls hoping to come across anything with a starburst on it at all, and the tiresome task was always met with disappointment. Eventually I gave up, and purchased some newer Fiestaware flatware. It is sturdy and sleek, but its bold colors don’t match any of my dinnerware. I have amassed a small collection of vintage Fiestaware, a bunch of Blue Heaven by Royal China, and of course my beloved Bavaria Starburst china. Starburst flatware would go perfectly with all of it, so it remains a little bit of an obsession of mine.
I was walking through my favorite local peddlers mall last weekend when I saw a wooden case of flatware out of the corner of my eye. Its been over a year since I’ve given up the thought of finding starburst anything, let alone the design and brand I was still pining for. I waked about 3 rows past it and stopped, something made me curious about the pattern. There was no way, right? No way in hell would I ever find such a unicorn in the wild….
I almost had a panic attack right there in the middle of the store.
It was indeed the starburst flatware of my dreams, and it was very well priced. I hovered around it like an animal protecting its prey from other predators.
It came with most of its serving set, I knew some bits were missing and something felt off about the whole thing, but before I could even count the pieces I snatched it up.
Something seemed weird about the knives, they didnt quite fit where they were placed in the wooden case. And the case said something about silver, however I knew the set was stainless steel. But I proceeded to the checkout line with a grin on my face, my heart racing, and excited about my latest find.
When I got to the house, I realized that the box indeed did not belong to the flatware. All of the flatware is by the same company, and there was complete formal service for 8 but the box was not its original home. I knew I was missing some serving pieces so I began to search the internet. I found a serving set that only included one piece I already had, so I ordered it.
I began to become more curious about what I now had a decent collection of. I scoured every website and every listing to find every single piece of it I could. And I wanted to know more about it, so I did as much research as I could and came across a set of carving knives.
Sadly there isn’t much on the internet about it. The only thing I’ve learned is that the pattern is called Starette, and it was made in Japan sometime between the 50s and 70s. That’s right, I can’t even pinpoint what decade this stuff was manufactured! I hunted down every single piece, except one. There is a cake server I am unable to find listed on its own. It is listed once on Ebay with a random lot of other Starette, however I don’t need the other pieces and I don’t want to pay that much for just a cake server. I have emailed the shop owner for more info on it, as it is the only instance of it anywhere and I’d like to authenticate it before making a deal. Regardless, I have a MOSTLY complete set of Starette, and I couldn’t be happier. It goes perfect with my Bavaria China as you can see!
It also lends to the atomic vibe of my Blue Heaven set!
And finally, it may not match… but it surely looks great with my vintage Fiestaware!
So I have finally acquired the majority of everything made in this pattern, and I’m above the moon! I can use it daily and I also have all the extra bits for serving properly when I have company. I’m just missing that damn cake server! if any of my fellow vintage lovers wanna help a sister out and maybe keep your eyes peeled, it looks like this without the slots.
The back should have this stamp, but I’m not 100% sure as there is only one example of it on the internet and it doesn’t look quite long enough.
Even if you happen to have any info on the pattern, when it was produced, or even the company itself, I’d appreciate your help! Nasco is a very difficult company to research and the pattern has almost no history what so ever. I’d love to complete my set or learn more about it, so keep me in your thoughts!