Hallmark's Little Gallery line was introduced in the early 1970s and was discontinued in early 1984. A large line this article will focus on the Pewter Plates produced as part of the Hallmark Little Gallery line.
The most well known of the pewter plate collections is the Mary Hamilton Christmas series. The 1977, first plate in the series was actually designed by Robert Haas, with all others designed by Mary Hamilton. The 1977, first in series, was the first highly sough-after item in the Little Galleries line. Only 17,500 were produced and many managers, representatives and store owners wanted the piece for themselves making the item difficult for the consumer to find.
The six-inch Christmas plates were produced in New England and were cast of the finest pewter, with 92% tin for the highest possible luster. The plates started with limited edition sizes of 17,500 in 1977 and 1978, but was increased to 27,500 from 1979 through 1987. The pewter plates were listed at a retail price of $39 in the first year; with increases in the retail price each year until reaching a plateau of $60 in 1980.
Another pewter plate series that were popular were the Jane Walsh Anglund four seasons plates. The Little Gallery pewter plates offered an elegant line of pewter with the intricate detail that can only be achieved with pewter. The talented artists featured in the Little Gallery lines had a large following making the Little Gallery pewter line extremely popular among collectors.