Archive for the ‘At The Table’ Category

01 Sep

The Chase is on…

with Coalport’s Hunting Scene china

Wedgood Hunting Scenes place setting

We have a wonderful collection which includes 8 place settings, 8 soup bowls, tea pot, platter, covered and open vegetable bowls, tidbit tray and creamer.

Wedgwood Hunting Scene detail

Pair this whimsical pattern with our other hunt accessories for a wonderful equestrian theme for your home…

Wedgwood Hunting Scenes Coffee Set



18 Aug

Where did all the sugar bowls go?

Creamers and sugar bowls were sold in sets by every china manufacturer, but some sets became separated along the way.

Antique creamers

Like these charming examples…

These are perfect as bud vases or vessels for salad dressing or sauces.


Or do you have a sugar bowl that matches one of these?!

04 Aug

Silver Wine Coasters

Antique wine or bottle coasters were first produced around 1770 as a way to protect the table.  Both sterling and silver plate were available.  They were originally sold in pairs — one for each end of the dining table.

various wine coasters

In the 19th century different styles emerged.  Some coasters had wood bases, and others were made with porcelain ones.

wine coaster

Edges were often gadrooned, gallery, or scroll and shell.

silver antique wine coaster

What a lovely way to serve wine at the table….

wine coaster on table

and they make such a great gift…

29 Jul

Fish Service


There was a time when  formal dinners were served in courses — each one with its own set of dishware and utensils.  The fish course was presented before the game and meat courses, but after soup.

A fish set consisted of individual plates, a platter and a sauce dish.  Whether hand painted or transfer ware, each plate would be about 9″ in diameter, have gold edging and be decorated slightly differently from the others. 

It’s wonderful to find a service in tact.  Most sets date from about 1850 – 1900.  Prices for complete hand painted sets will range in the thousands, while transfer ware sets will be less.



08 Jun

English Toast Racks

At some point in the 18th century, it became fashionable to serve dry toast in England.  Silversmiths responded and created charming toast racks for the aristocracy.  These inventive devices allowed each piece of toast to be separated from the others, which created the desired crispness.

The idea caught on and toast racks were produced in silverplate and china, in addition to sterling silver.  They were both plain and fancy — souvenir, commemorative, whimsical, collapsible, decorative — there was a rack for everyone.  They are still made today.

They are fun to collect; I use one on my desk for correspondence.

07 May

Haviland Limoges

The journey of Haviland Limoges china actually began in America.  In 1839 two of the eight Haviland brothers began selling imported and domestic china in a New York storefront.  When a customer brought in a lovely, delicate cup — looking for a match — David Haviland was so taken by its beauty, that he set off for France and arranged to import the china from the Foecy factory in Limoge, France.  Eventually, he moved to France and opened his own factory.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

Over 60,000 patterns were produced, and Haviland china has graced the tables of kings, presidents, your relatives and mine.

If you have Haviland china, you may notice two different marks on the back.  One backstamp, often in green, identifies who made the white ware or undecorated blank.  The other mark identifies who decorated the piece.  Many different companies decorated pieces made in Limoge; not all are Haviland.  While all are lovely, Haviland is the most sought after.

What do we love about this china?  The lovely delicate floral sprays tug at all our hearts.  The shapes add to the allure.  And many of the pieces — ramekins, covered butter dishes, sauce boats — are sculptural beauties.  And who doesn’t love the often-found gold gilding added  either by brush or the artist’s thumb.

As you probably know, we love to mix patterns in a tablescape.  It’s easy to use the classic white and gold Haviland pieces for any setting and fun to weave the floral designs in with other patterns and manufacturers.  Mix in salad plates with more contemporary dinner plates.  Use creamers or pitchers as flower vases.  Hang a platter on the wall.  So be creative and add some of these beauties to your table.  The Haviland family left a legacy of truly exquisite china for all of us to enjoy.


05 Jun

Collecting Knife Rests

Knife rests were introduced in the 1700s to keep tablecloths from being soiled during meals.  They were popular because of both practical and whimsical reasons:  laundry was tedious and difficult work; and during the 1800s, Victorians loved anything fanciful for the table.  It was the Victorians who introduced larger knife rests for the carving set.

They were made from glass, silver and porcelain, and collectors today seek unusual shapes.  They are fun to collect because they don’t take a lot of room, are relatively affordable and they are fun to use.

We have several kinds in the shop…

28 May

English Wine Glasses

In Victorian England, wine was served in glasses typically holding just a couple of ounces.  The height of the glass was only around 5″.  And unlike today, the bowls were often colored glass such as green, cranberry, blue and amethyst.

We love the colors and how they grace a table setting.  We have a nice collection in the shop now.

07 Apr

Minton Plates

These Minton plates date from the 19th century.  Beautiful floral designs grace plates that are truly works of art.  The reticulated edge of the plate on the left is so desirable and reminiscent of Dresden wares.  Turquoise is so fresh paired with the pink flowers and are wonderful for Spring.

03 Feb

Strawberry Fields…forever

Whether we’re nostalgic about this month’s anniversary of the Beatle’s first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show or we have sweet dreams of summer amidst the cold temperatures this week, who doesn’t have a fondness for all things strawberry?

Royal Bayreuth made this lovely cream and sugar in the strawberry form.  Known for making delicate looking serve ware in fruit, vegetable and animal forms, the company first began production in 1794 in Tettau, Bavaria.  While the wares look so fragile, they were actually very sturdy, which accounts for the availability of the collectible today.

Unfortunately, China is making reproductions so buy wisely.  Royal Bayreuth pieces have exquisite details:  seeds on the berry, leaf veins and realistic flowers.  Also, check the marks to be sure its not a reproduction.

Some rare pieces can fetch up to $15K.

Strawberry forks are another great collectible.  Sterling forks with lots of detail are hard to find, but fun to collect.