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Fine Bone China, China, Porcelain

itryalot Dec 19, 2008 10:16 AM

Now my mother in law wants new all white dinnerware, something dishwasher safe (has fine china cycle) that can be dressed up. I was going to get Apilco Tres Grand for myself and had suggested the regular size for her, but am not sure.
What does everyone recommend?
Durable, classic(bistro-ish), white (not greyish).
What is the huge difference between them?

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  1. rockandroller1 RE: itryalot Dec 19, 2008 11:19 AM

    Whatever you get, no matter what the dishwasher says, I would not put anything in the dishwasher that doesn't specifically say "dishwasher safe" on the bottom. And in some lines, SOME pieces are and some aren't, so be careful what you're buying.

    Fine bone china is pretty expensive. I work a retail job in the china department and *one* place setting for the most popular china pattern in the country (Lenox Opal Innocence) is around $70. There are of course many that are more than that, and some that are less than that. To buy "all new" can be many thousands of dollars.

    There is also what we call "casual china" which might be what you want to get. Some of these more casual china patterns come in a box where you can get like 8 or 10 place settings at once, plus various acoutrements like veggie bowl, cereal bowls, etc. Mikasa makes a couple that are fairly non-descript and non-offensive, including Italian Countryside (off white, but you should check it out anyway) and Platinum Crown (white with silver flowerly type border). You can get a big box with everything in it on sale for $200 if you watch your sale flyers. Or you can buy select pieces/place settings. Denby, Mikasa, there are tons of these manufacturers. I'm not familiar with the one you mentioned but we're just a retail store, even though we have about 180 patterns, there are obviously many more.

    Good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: rockandroller1
      itryalot RE: rockandroller1 Sep 27, 2009 05:57 AM

      Jus thought I would post an update. Went with Apilco Traditional line. Now, my DH and I love it, and so do my sisters-in-law. I am considering selling my very expensive and delicate Royal Doulton and purchasing that.

    2. Joe Blowe RE: itryalot Dec 19, 2008 12:04 PM

      "What does everyone recommend? Durable, classic(bistro-ish), white (not greyish)."

      Sounds like what you want is restaurant-grade real bone china (yes, it actually exists):


      Those are just some of the links I've tucked away over the years. My wife and I are leaning towards the Fortessa Andromeda, but new patterns come out all of the time so there's no need to rush in our opinion.

      By the way, you'll save money by purchasing commercial bone china over department store bone china (marketing costs, advertising, store markup, etc.)...

      6 Replies
      1. re: Joe Blowe
        roxlet RE: Joe Blowe Dec 19, 2008 12:37 PM

        Great web sites! We are china junkies and I think that you just became our dealer!

        1. re: Joe Blowe
          itryalot RE: Joe Blowe Dec 20, 2008 04:35 PM

          JoeB - I am now a dishware junkie because of you. I am going to try and see that fortessa in person. Commerical is the key I think.

          1. re: Joe Blowe
            LisaSadie RE: Joe Blowe Jun 16, 2010 05:11 AM

            Hello Joe: I see you made a comment on Chowhound about bone china back in 2008. I know it is an old post but you provided some interesting information. Now it is June 2010 and I am looking at the Williams Sonoma Apilco Tradition or the Brassiere and can't decide. You mentioned ordering the Andromeda - it looks nice but I did not see any bowls for cereal or soup. Just wondering did you ever order. How do you like and are there any new sites you have available? Thanks

            1. re: LisaSadie
              itryalot RE: LisaSadie Jun 16, 2010 06:18 AM

              Since my MIL bought her Apilco, I have since replaced my fine bone china with the WS Apilco Tradition and love it.

              1. re: itryalot
                LisaSadie RE: itryalot Aug 25, 2010 06:36 AM

                I am still trying to decide between the Brasserie, Apilco Tradition and then looking at other white bone china. Itryalot did your MIL purchase the Tradition or the Tuleries. It is very confusing because they all look exactly alike. I can see no difference except price and have tried comparing the two on line but can't find any reviews. I am hoping they will go on sale soon. I have watched the William Sonoma dinnerware for months and I think it was mentioned to me that they go on sale in October at around 20% off.

                Has anyone come up with newer wholesale sites -- a few links are out of. date

              2. re: LisaSadie
                blue room RE: LisaSadie Aug 25, 2010 09:32 AM

                LisaSadie, just the this morning I saw this:


                It is described as "restaurant quality poercelain".

            2. roxlet RE: itryalot Dec 19, 2008 12:25 PM

              I have had Apilco china for years, and it has been great, but recently we bought some Revol, which is also French porcelain, and I have to say that I think it is much more elegant and finer looking. It is completely dishwasher safe. You can get it at Sur La Table, in stores or on line...

              1. Caralien RE: itryalot Dec 19, 2008 01:45 PM

                For daily use, we use porcelain from Williams Sonoma's Brasserie line (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...). It is heavy, and although we've dropped the pieces regularly, nothing has broken. It's also safe for use under the broiler.

                Now that I've read the other replies, I almost regret not searching further into restaurant suppliers when I was registering for my wedding last year, for in 2004, I purchased 3 cases of Riedel for a friend at $4/stem (champagne, pinot noir, viognier). sigh

                1. jillp RE: itryalot Dec 19, 2008 02:58 PM

                  Wedgwood White bone china is what you want.

                  Bone china is stronger than porcelain and the glaze is a gorgeous deep white, not the grayish color on most porcelain.

                  It can be dressed up, used in the microwave, run through the dishwasher and it's perfect.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jillp
                    btnfood RE: jillp Dec 20, 2008 07:25 AM

                    I second Wedgwood White.

                    I'm a great fan of Apilco for platters, oven-to-table pieces, etc. But, for dinnerware to be dressed up or down, Wedgwood is gorgeous. When you look at different china lined up in a store, you can always spot the Wedgwood patterns immediately by that beautiful white color. The shapes are also clean and timeless.

                  2. m
                    meggie t RE: itryalot Dec 20, 2008 03:59 PM

                    If you do decide to go with Apilco, Williams-Sonoma is currently having a special - 20% off all the white dinnerware, Apilco & Pillyvut included. In addition, from today through Dec. 24th they are having a Friends & Family 20% off everything regular price in the store. Since the above is a special, not a sale, it is an additional 20%. We just bought Apilco bowls and a platter. Great deals! This is anything in the store - no online or telephone orders.

                    1. i
                      itryalot RE: itryalot Dec 20, 2008 04:37 PM

                      More confused than ever....what I choose will be replacing my very expensive fine bone china which I sold because of its delicateness and impracticality (Royal Doulton).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: itryalot
                        johnb RE: itryalot Dec 20, 2008 05:06 PM

                        We have very "delicate" Royal Doulton (pastoral #H4810) and run it through the dishwasher all the time with no problems. My first wife wanted fine china when we went to live in Europe in the 70's. We bought Coalport (cobalt something-or-other with a gold rim) and to be sure about dishwashing after we returned to the US we bought an extra butter plate which we just put in the dishwasher and left there to wash endlessly, every load. No effect.

                      2. e
                        E_M RE: itryalot Sep 27, 2009 07:29 AM

                        Regarding washing things in the dishwasher:

                        Most dishes may be washed in the dishwasher provided certain guidelines are followed.

                        When one handwashes, the advantages are using a gentle detergent, little dish agitation and no rubbing, and no hot drying. All of these can be achieved in a dishwasher with the right detergent, using a gentle cycle, moderate water temperature, and not-a-hot drying cycle.

                        I personally find using the dishwasher safer, as I have a tendency to drop plates in the sink....

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: E_M
                          Smachnoho RE: E_M Sep 27, 2009 07:56 AM

                          I like "Arctica" made in Finland by the Arabia Company. See this article with great pictures of the dishes: "Favorite White Tableware: Arctica by Arabia Finland":


                          See the whole set here:

                          Just do an internet search to find stores that carry Arctica near you. I have had my set for 20 years and they still look great. No problem with putting them in the dishwasher.

                          1. re: Smachnoho
                            ericabakescakes RE: Smachnoho Apr 19, 2012 09:29 PM

                            Smachnoho, I am going to marry you. This is gorgeous whiteware.

                          2. re: E_M
                            Normandie RE: E_M Sep 28, 2009 08:59 AM

                            I have Wedgwood fine bone china that goes in the dishwasher safely. Wedgwood provides in the care brochure that accompanies the purchase a list of dishwasher detergent brands per country that it considers friendly to the finish. It's worth consulting that list when a manufacturer has one.

                          3. q
                            qwerty78 RE: itryalot Sep 28, 2009 06:42 AM

                            I have a long discontinued set of plain white porcelain with a silver border- very modern shapes. I also have a set of corningware. if i were to do it again i'd skip the metal lines so i could use in the microwave, and just have one set of say 16-20 placesettings rather than a casual and formal.

                            2 sets that i've noticed and liked

                            - Loft by rosenthal (bloomingdales)
                            - Apilco Edwardian Windows (williams sonoma)

                            try to see in person as they are both white but have interesting detailing that makes them elegant yet solid enough for everyday.

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