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25 January 2010

Profiles in Porcelain

Little Augury: Marie Antoinette by Raynaud

Many thanks to all of you Chinaholics who came out of the butler's pantry and shared your own tales of tabletops.

Mrs. Blandings: Herend Golden Edge

Almost all of you advised me to MIX! My dear friend Richard who is famous in our set for his five course dinners with all the proper crystal and sterling accouterments, put it very convincingly:

Curator KDM: Mottahedeh Duke of Gloucester

Aesthete's 19th century limoges in action

" As you know, I love to use my porcelain. For dinner parties but also for those grand solitaire dinners. Chinese take away on old Meissen is the only way to go! I have several single tea cups and saucers and dishes which I only use for Sundays in bed with the Times and tea/coffee.

Style Court is drawn to Herend Chinese Bouquet in Rust while Julieta adores hers in Green

Marnie loves her grandmother's Noritake Beverly, but, like Mr. Worthington, isn't a big fan of Imari

"So go ahead,if you love a pattern, buy yourself a breakfast cup or chocolate cup and side plate for those afternoons on the sofa or mornings in bed (or afternoons in the garden). Personally, I'd buy one cup/saucer/plate in Roseraie for tea in the garden and Darley for afternoons on the sofa. Nobody says you can't have a harlequin tea set.

Home Before Dark: Chateaubriand by Bernardaud

"Another thing I'd like to point out is we can mix and match our china. I don't know if you caught it but at one of my past dinners, I used three different patterns (Royal Worcestor for the appetizer and entree, Bernardaud for the cheese course, Herend for dessert and coffee) Because of that, people noticed the china, rather than being overwhelmed by Herend butterflies or Bernadaud shepards. One word: Mix! "

Meg from Pigtown-Design likes Royal Copenhagen Half Lace in white

while Patricia of PVE Design prefers it in white and blue...

That evening I ran into another china fanatic who caused another tableware epiphany. Jennie, who could easily have us all over for luncheon with her stash of dishes, urgently advised me not to buy a matching coffee or teapot. Buy a silver one - it goes with everything! Sage advice indeed.

Jennie's Enoch Wood and Son's Verona

Janet's grandfather's Wedgwood Edme

In fact, quite a few of you urged me to think about not just mixing up patterns, but materials - don't buy all the serving pieces in the dinner plate pattern -the luster of silver and the glitter of crystal add dimension and drama. After all, who said dinner theater couldn't be right at your own table?

Hermes' Africa adds spice to Marja's dessert

Two of my favorite ladies were preaching to the choir when they urged me to think secondhand: as you know from my ebay exploits, I hardly buy anything firsthand. Deb recommended connecting to the auction houses while Maureen turned me onto to replacements.com because with porcelain, as in life, you can't wait for others to bring to your table what you can put there yourself.

20 comments:

little augury said...

Great minds can not be wrong. Mix away but start with white,preferably with a gold edge.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Thank you for taking the time to gather everyone's favorites - that was a treat. Buying from antique stores and thrift shops holds particular appeal. Like most things, it's a process that evolves. Sometimes you run across something and it must be had.

Janet said...

Oh, this is so fun! I am with Meg and Patricia on the Royal Copenhagen front...but I like it with a modern twist: the Blue Mega. I am also rather partial to my grandmother's Wedgwood Edme, which is now stuffed into my tiny kitchen cupboards.

Pigtown-Design said...

They are all great picks! I mix my thrift-shop found blue willow pieces with my Royal Copenhagen. I have some of the blue & white pieces of that, as well as a lot of the white. It's all good!

home before dark said...

This was a bit of deliciousness. I have this theory about objects holding memory—we've talked of this before. I think the art of daily life, meals shared, conversations over the table, even in the cleaning up imbue china with a special touchstone in our lives and in our hearts. I display china plates from all of the women on both sides of our family in my home. They talk to me. I talk back to them.

On to new memories and your new life. Whatever you chose will be perfect.

pve design said...

Might I add, the blue and white china, I lugged home in a brown paper bag from an antique shop in the city that practically gave it to me. I think at that time paper plates were in vogue. Lucky me,
I adore my whites too.
Now did you get monogrammed linens too?
pve

Jennie said...

You are so cute to show my Grandmother's pattern!! Busy but apparently popular in 1909. Have fun mixing and please let us know about silver.

lindaraxa said...

Oh my, you must be thoroughly confused...and we thought we were helping you! (I do own 6 other patterns...if you care to discuss)Wonderful post, it was great fun seeing everyone's choices.

Style Court said...

Thanks for including me too. This is lovely. Replacements is amazing, BTW.

Martha said...

It was a fun post -- loved all the different china. There is nothing like a dinner eaten off fine china -- and each course can be different -- you can have it all!

Janet said...

Oh, you added the Edme. Another great pattern to mix with others. Variety is the spice of life!

Swedish Interiors said...

I loved this post. What wonderful selections everyone contributed. The best china finds I've had over hte years are often at country auctions...huge sets, and if one is lucky, few buyers. Congrats on your wedding!

Karena said...

Gorgeous examples of world renowned china and their patterns!

(IN)DECOROUS TASTE said...

For what it's worth, I love mixing china patterns! And Ebay has turned up quite a few china finds for me. I bought my favorite set (a full set, too!) of hand painted Czech plates on eBay, quite intricate, with thick green striped trim, flower pattern in the center, and gold details... for almost nothing. China on ebay is apparently not a terribly popular item.

And "Chinese take away on old Meissen"- I second that.

Lauren

Mary Margaret said...

This is so much fun! I love all these patterns. I have Herend Chinese Bouquet in green, which I still love but if choosing today I may lean more to the rust. I also love Hernd's Livia pattern. What about your pattern for everyday?

Errant Aesthete said...

What a perfectly delightful post. While I always hold great affection for the odd and unusual (hence, the mix), I share home before darks' feel for the nostalgia and value of "objects holding memory." Whether imagined or real, the memories old china can evoke are what I truly prize.

I have a friend who has accumulated, over the years, one of the most magnificent tea collections I've ever seen. All of it different, each piece exquisite, carefully gathered and culled from estate sales, swap meets, and antique fairs. For no reason at all, she will hold a tea party with small cakes, powdered cookies, flavored teas and beautiful pristine, pieces of china steeped with history. Somehow, I think the enchantment would be lost with a matched set.

Marija said...

Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a few of each, set the table, and let your guests choose their seats by selecting their favorite place settings?!

I second Little Augury's suggestion: plain white china with a gold rim and then some accent pieces! My formal china pattern has a platinum edge and if it weren't for the beautiful teacup, and the memories, I would have retired it...

Such a treat to see these choices! Thank you! Marija

lindaraxa said...

How could I have forgotten Richard Ginori...i must have been catatonic! if you haven't bought your china yet check this out http://www.richardginori1735usa.com/ If pressed to start again it would definitely be my choice...to add to my morning coffee cup and saucer "borrowed" from a hotel in Siena...

Anonymous said...

Love this post - and the previous. Any decisions?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any ideas of patterns with which to mix Royal Crown Derby Gold Aves? I have Gold Aves, and I do love it, but I would like to introduce some color into the mix. I really love Herend Chinese Bouquet and Queen Victoria and Royal Crown Derby Darley Abbey and Derby Panel, but I don't know how they would look mixed. Also, I love discussing china - I wish there was a blog dedicated solely to the art of fine china patterns (especially the classics and the finest brands).