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Do you change dinnerware seasonally?

The thread on best dinnerware got me to thinking about the amount of "tabletop" I own. As I said in the previous thread I am a junkie. The day after Thanksgiving all of my Spode Christmas Tree comes out and replaces the Worcester Evesham in my every day cupboard. Sometimes I retire the Evesham early and go to Wedgwood Hunting Scenes for fall with the pretty brown rim and the naif hunting scene of the fox chase seems so autumnal. After 12th night the Christmas Tree goes back into it's own cupboard and my Lake Placid Club Syracuse restaurant wear comes out for the remainder of the winter. I still love Minton's Haddon Hall for spring but have not obtained much of it and then there is Wedgwood Bianca (I know it is discontinued but that has never detered me) both have perfect colors for spring and Lenox Rutledge has always reminded me of Easter, spring is just not one I have gone for .....yet. I do have some other neutral seasonless china too. I do the same with bath decor too, towels and shower curtains change seasonally. Anyone else?

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  1. Hi Candy,

    Where do you store all of this stuff? I started out, many years ago, loving china, crystal, linens, silver, etc., but now I just find them burdensome. Using dinner plates that would cost $150 to replace if broken takes all the joy out of using them. I've packd up all of my good stuff for my daughter to use, should she want to.

    1. Cindy, I have tall built in cabinets in my kitchen and cupboards in my bedrooms a big laundry room with lots of shelves. It is a 4 bedroom house with just two people so I find places. Even if it was smaller I think I would still have all of it and keep on getting more. I can't stop. If I had to store it under a bed. I guess I am a tabletop-aholic!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Candy


        We love china, stoneware, pottery, whatever. We have 9 sets of dishes, three sets of dessets, and many other sets ( luncheon plates and cups from the 40's, etc ). We love all of them. I change them when I am tired of something. Spode Christmas dishes come out Thanksgiving weekend until January 1. We have dishes stored in shelves in the basement. I can't imagine having only one set. My mood sets the table.

        My "good Minton dishes" are discontinued. But I use them. Why have something and not use it? If it breaks,we have parties for 8 instead of 10.

        And then there is the crystal and silver we have. This may be an addiction.

      2. Oh yes, the silver and stemware, I think it is an addiction. Am slowly getting into my 3rd. silver set, Wallace Lion. I have stemware in boxes in my laundry. I've got stuff stashed all over.

        1. I don't do so as systematically as you do, but I have a lovely springish pattern called Alice, by Gien - snow drops and pansies, and an autumn leaf pattern from Haviland that I inherited from my grandmother (she and her mother-in-law collected the same pattern, so I have service for 24) that I use around Thanksgiving. Around Christmas, I might dig out some red Clarice Cliff transferware pieces that I assembled via Ebay. The standard is that V&B Manoir pattern - cream with a pretty edge - also works well with Alice, and then I have a set for twelve of a Bernardaud pattern that has a gold and cobalt rim - and rarely gets used. The other "mini sets" I have are a Pergola tea set (also Bernardaud) - pretty rose and mint shades with tulips, camellias etc. (different pieces have different flowers - the cafe au lait cup even has a lovely pheasant), and what I think of as a dessert set - salad sized plates with demitasse cups - it's a vaguely oriental design by Christian Tortu - twigs/leaves, water. I use these two year round, as needed. I can't believe I find room - we have a one bedroom Manhattan apartment - but a large Tibetan chest I bought about five years ago manages to store most of it. My latest problem is that I've been collecting early 19th century Spode for display and I'm quickly running out of room.

          BTW Candy, what do find is the best source for discontinued patterns (which sadly, most of mine are)?

          2 Replies
          1. re: MMRuth

            I envy you your Clarice Cliff! I've had best luck on E-Bay. Replacements Ltd. has an incredible inventory but does you no favors on prices. If you are ever in NC in the Highpoint area, they are near there. Go to their store it is amazing. Never pass a consignment/2nd. hand store by either. Especially in southern Fl. Amazing what turns up in them and the prices. I saw Waterford Colleen stems for something like $12@ a few tears ago.

            I also have a pretty complete set of Doulton Sarabande and service for 6 in Wedgwoods Peter Rabbit which is being discontinued...I'd better brinng it to 8 quickly. They are for nights when you really need comfort food and to suck your thumb.

            When I first married and was working in the business I bought a full service of Doulton's Tangier. Foolishly, after a kitchen remodel I sent it all off to my niece. I am slowly buying it back on E-Bay.

            1. re: Candy

              The Clarice Cliff isn't that exciting really - I only have enough for the two of us - but it makes dinners a little more special when the apartment is decorated for Christmas. What I really love is the Tiffany Christmas pattern - I have a mug someone gave me - and also an Hermes Christmassy pattern with berries. My DH keeps asking if where "his" corner of the apartment is! Oh - and you are certainly right about the Replacement prices - I'd have to be desparate. Forgot about a Shelley Lily of the Valley breakfast set for one that I bought at auction when I aspired to develop my own antiques business ... maybe I should just start using and enjoying it.

          2. If you have it use it, there is no point in owning something wonderful and not trotting it out.I have never understood tha concept that somethign is too good to use. I do have a set of bright pottery that I have not used in awhile, I would mainly trot it out for Mexican dinners. I either need to make more Mexican or send it to a nephew and his wife.

            1. I am a great believer in getting out the good stuff. It makes any dinner a little more fun and it was made to be used, so use it!

              Okay, let's see what I have: for every day I use the Wedgwood White, but throughout the year I work in other things. The day after Thanksgiving the Spode Christmas Tree comes out and is used through New Year's Eve, in the Spring there's Wedgwood Bianca (which I'd forgotten I owned until Candy reminded me of it!). In the summer I have some great Italian stoneware, plus a couple of settings of Aynsley Onyx Green.

              Wedgwood Florentine Turquoise is wonderful in the fall and the Tiffany Fukagawa Dragon is probably my husband's favorite and it's great for autumn, too. I have a set of upland game bird plates that his family used for Thanksgiving, so I'll continue that tradition, and up my attic I have a full service for either 8 or 12 in Rosenthal Spatter, a cool 50's moderne sort of pattern that I think I will bring down to use soon.

              I have odds and ends of fun things, like the luncheon-sized fish plates from my mother-in-law, as well as glass salad /dessert plates from my mom.

              Last but never least, there are the patterns that are destined to go into the next yard sale: the well-worn set of inexpensive Limoges, a whole lot of Davenport Strawberry and Vine, two sets of inexpensive porcelain.

              Obviously I didn't buy all of this stuff but I have certainly enjoyed having it.

              1. Except for the Spode at Christmas we don't have full sets. But I do buy a few pieces to use around the holidays. I have a few Fourth of July plates, Halloween plates, Thanksgiving and Valentine day plates. I have some nice plates for the fall with pumpkins. We have plain ceramic mugs for coffee that I have different solid colors. The green mugs are used for St. Patricks day and Christmas. Red is Valentines day and Christmas. I use the dinnerware as accents for everyday meals.

                It is not a lot and takes up one shelf in the kitchen cabinets.

                  1. And here I thought I was the only one doing this. I find dishes everywhere - garage sales, estate sales, antique stores, ebay, marshalls....I love to mix and match. I don't have one full set of anything except my waterford crystal and 2 sets of sterling. I started out collecting Lenox Rutledge (the only pieces I bought from a "real" store) and have added through the years from ebay and flea markets. There is the Ginori china (Diamonti, Margharita plus a couple of other patterns I have only have 1-4 place settings). Then there is the bennington pieces, oriental blue and white series, several different Christmas patterns. Spring is Wedgwood strawberries, summer staffordshire hunting, easter is lenox/rutledge. I have begun to pass some pieces to my family - knowing I can borrow them back if needed:)

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: maureen

                      I've often wanted a few pieces of Wedgwood Strawberry to mix in with my Wwd White. The green leaves on that gorgeous white bone china glaze are a nice counterpoint to a lot of food.

                      I think that those of us who like to change our dishes are almost as concerned about how food looks as about how it tastes. It can be the most wonderful food in the world but if it looks nasty I am unlikely to enjoy it. The right plate can make anything look good and the wrong plate can make it look repugnant.

                      1. re: jillp

                        The white raised pattern Strawberry and Vine would look good too, and I am still craving Nantucket Basket from Wedgwood. I guess I could mix some of that in with my plain white bone china.

                        1. re: Candy

                          Do I have a deal for you! I have a set of Davenport Strawberry and Vine that's about to go into the yard sale next week - want me to set it aside for you?

                      2. re: maureen

                        The Staffordshire Hunting Scene which I use in fall often has gone through 3 makers. Staffordshire was first, then Coalport took over and when Wedgwood acquired Coalport they started putting the Wedgwood stamp on back. If you are looking on E-bay look under all three names. I actually got a Sango Hunting Scenes mug on E-bay, exact same decal but it was in porcelain not bone china. I was amazed!

                      3. I too, change dinnerware with the seasons, just not as much as Candy tho. As I was ironing my fall tablecloths and napkins, I was wondering if any of you co-ordinte your linens to your dinnerware? I'm always teased about having the right color napkins, placemates, tablecloths to go with all the different dinnerware. I also have several sets of cups,saucers and desert plates that I use when my gal frieds come for tea or coffee. I love being able to change things around, keeps life(and food) from being at all boring!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: jackie de

                          You bet I do. I'm not too obsessive-compulsive about it; it just makes things look even better.

                          Okay, I take back the "not too obsessive-compulsive" statement; I realized that in order to match the brown on the Florentine Turquoise, I made eight dark brown placemats. Great, now I need another Twelve Step program - one for china and one for table linens.

                          1. re: jillp

                            Well you know I fall into that catagory too. I guess once you are a "table top" junkie it kind of covers all categories.

                          2. re: jackie de

                            I have a variety of colors in napkins but don't have many "real" tablecloths. There is a funky fabric store in San Diego where I buy highly discounted decorator fabric (end of bolts, end of season, mis-printed - originally intended for drapes or upholstery) and sew runners, placemats, turn edges under and call that a tablecloth. I also use quilts, curtains, etc. on the table.

                          3. Nope, too fickle to own a full set of anything.

                            Our tableware runs the gamet but makes for fun parties when no one person has the same dish, fork or coffee cup.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: HillJ

                              Dinner at my grandmother's was really gorgeous because when the entire family was at the table she had to use three sets of china that blended topatterns on white porcelain and it looked wonderful with food on it.

                            2. Not in the same way as you'd change a sweater, no, but there are certain food dishes that are more suited to certain seasons, and certain serving dishes are used correspondingly.

                              The terracotta bowls will come out for the chili, but not for the gazpacho, for example.