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Sep 14, 2007 12:12 PM

Old Fine (Bone) China - What to do with it?

I've inherited (through the years) fine Wedgwood China "pieces" from both my maternal Grandmother & paternal Grandmother, but not enough to complete a full place setting exclusively for 8 differetent settings @ 1 tablescape - it's close, but incomplete. I've exhausted my efforts in shopping antique dealers (& their references), e-bay & you name it in attempts to set an extraordinary fully stocked, yet indivdual Wedgwood wonderland formal table. Any ideas on what to do now?

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  1. Are you trying to acquire additional pieces? If so, I'd try, much as I think they are overpriced.

    5 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Dear Ruth:

      My initial collection ideal was to have each place-setting Wedgwood complete with its own exclusive pattern fit for 8, imagining an elegant & florid array of color & sophistication at each seat; however, after 3 years trying to achieve a perfect setting, I've come to the conviction that it's impossible ( oh so close too ). I'm now wondering what the heck to do with all this extraordinary "British Bone" as my lovely Grandmother referred to it.

      1. re: JayVaBeach

        I'm thinking you could mix and match - that ever popular shabby chic thing. Or perhaps you have enough for fewer place settings. Your collection sounds lovely, BTW. Try searching at the Replacements site as MMRuth might get lucky.

        1. re: Gio

          Gio - thank you - I did add to the collection via "replacements" last year & perhaps I should try one more time in pursuit of completing 8 full separate settings - it's so close, I hate giving up. My Mother ( married during the chic Royal Daulton, "royal platinum simple pattern" early 60s era ) can't stand any of it, & don't get me wrong, I love simple classic White with the classic royal platinum band too, but the Wedgwood extravaganza is ode to the Grans! I'm hosting Thanksgiving supper & am serving 8 guests - it would be great - we'll see. I know in spirit, that both "Grans" will attend too. Thanks again!

          1. re: JayVaBeach

            Oh dear - maybe you could beg & borrow from somewhere - anywhere - to make this a Thanksgiving to remember. I wish I could help. But, in my family it was anything but Wedgewood. Lenox was the china of choice. Curiously, this reminds me of Hyacinth's Royal Daulton on the BBC show, Keeping Up Appearances.

            1. re: Gio

              Hi Gio:

              Yes - it does seem a bit "Brittish," & possibly through my obsessive nature, I do come across as "Hyacinth-ish" as I too am fascinated with my own "bone-terial possessions." However, if I had to choose a better suited character for my "wacky self," it's Eddy Monsoon; hence, the must for an absolutely fabulous tablescape! I've not thought about a collection for the "Veuve & Bourb" flutes yet - perhaps for New Years. Thanks again!

    2. First, thank your lucky stars to have had those wonderful grandmothers! And to have the lovely heirloom china. Most people aren't so fortunate.
      Second, relax and make yourself feel a lot better by checking out high-end decorating, fashion, architecture and shelter magazines. Look at the place settings! You're not going to find fully matched sets of china. Even when people have new sets, they're mixing and matching to put their own creative stamp on their tables.

      Chances are you have enough dinner plates to set the table. Or salad plates or something. Get a new full set of something plain, like a good bone china or porcelain, that will coordinate well with what you have. Use that as a backbone and then integrate the heirloom pieces into your place settings. You might find some solid color plates that go with the heirloom china - even cheap stuff at Pier One. Clear glass with a metal rim. Lacquerware. Only your taste and imagination limit you.
      I have only seven of one plate but found an eighth that is close (no cigar) that I put at my place setting - nobody ever notices. (Wedgewood makes many patterns in the same shape and background color.) Some etched crystal wine glasses - a matching shape with a slightly different pattern - nobody notices. Art Deco silver with a wild French Victorian-era fish service.
      You can use the plain china by itself with the serving pieces or even put the serving pieces to use in other ways around the house - to hold flowers, guest soap in the bathroom or pocket change on your dresser.
      Just start using what you have with pride. Mix it in with a flourish. The only downside is that you'll end up with a closet full of china and stuff like I have. Once you get started, it's hard to stop - but everything goes together and gets used.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MakingSense

        Hi "MakingSense" :

        Well - I must add that your response & your "screen name" say it all. It makes sense to not infatuate, but given by disorder, OCD, it's only natural for me to desire to complete this extravagant quest & since I'm so close, using my full set of plain white vintage Gumps setting for 12, that won't do; however, thanks for the insight!

        1. re: JayVaBeach

          You absolutely must keep looking - even after you fill the set, because you should have a few extras in case you break something. There are some smaller companies besides Replacements (can't remember the names) and I imagine you've set up the system with Repl. where they notify you when they get new pieces.
          Set up a Watch on eBay too. Make sure it's broad enough to account for posters not listing the china by the right name. I get an alert every day for possibilities for some stuff I'm looking for.
          Remember you are on a MISSION. I understand completely! Even if there were a 12-step program for my "little problem," I wouldn't join.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Well - there are 8 different patterns that I've established; however, of those 8, I need completion of 4 different patterns ( preferably all being the Wellesley shape, but all different patterns ). has an order almost complete for the "Elizabeth" (salmon) Wellesley, which will complete 5 ( 5 piece ) separate vintage settings. My realistic goal is completing 2 patterns, Lambourn (Rose), which I need a salad & dessert plate & Morning Glory, which I need a bread plate. That will complete 7 vintage ( all Wellesley shape ) settings. The 8th place-setting will be where I'm seated, so it's not critical that it's somewhat mismatched. In my collection, which is one of the 8 mentioned above, I have a full 12 place-setting of "Sarah" Wellesley Wedgwood, which was my maternal grandparent's ( my Mother's Mother, Sarah <grin> ) wedding china with serving pieces to boot - out of the entire 1930s collection, only 2 tea cups are slightly chipped - it's an acquiring that neither my Mother nor Sister were interested in, so I ended up with the "heap" as my Mother refers to it. After reading on its history, I became interested in collecting more pieces & patterns from its era & voila - here I am!

          1. re: JayVaBeach

            I think I understand. You are trying to acquire eight different (5-pc) place settings all of which have the same shape but each is in a different pattern, right? So far, you've got four completed but are missing only a very few pieces for the other four place settings.
            Jay! You are so close! Start using what you have, substituting something as a "place holder" for the missing pieces - plain white, clear glass, or a solid color to coordinate with the pattern of that place setting.
            Your interesting table and the story of your quest will make having one of the "missing links" special for the dinner guests who have those. Pretty soon you'll have all your friends out looking for them too.

            1. re: MakingSense

              Dear MS:

              Once again, you're "making sense." Hallelujah - someone finally understands my exact "quest." It's really not so complex, yet no one initially understands the concept. I'm exhausting the "vintage" requirement, as it would be oh-so-simple to order one 5 piece setting in 8 different patterns from Wedg directly. It has been fun & you're right in that there are many stories adding to the collection.