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waterford wedgwood bankruptcy

alkapal Jan 5, 2009 05:53 AM

fyi: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090...

the story also says royal worcester and spode are also in bankruptcy.

i have some of their patterns (wedgwood "oberon" http://www.giftcollector.com/productl... and "brambleberry", r.w. "evesham gold" http://www.europeantableware.com/Roya... ), and have always loved spode (but cannot afford it) -- esp. their christmas rose and floral patterns.

could luxury-gorgeous portmeirion be far behind? too sad.

i guess prices for existing china inventory/patterns will now start going way up. it might be a good time to start acquisitions, esp. if you have incomplete sets.

now i know civilization is heading down the tubes! ;-(.

care to post pics/links of your favorites?

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  1. Soop RE: alkapal Jan 5, 2009 07:27 AM

    Never got the deal with wedgewood. I have some nice big round plates that are perfect and cost me £1.20. If you can't make food look good on a white, round plate, you're doing it wrong ;D

    3 Replies
    1. re: Soop
      s
      Steady Habits RE: Soop Jan 5, 2009 10:33 AM

      It's not about the food, Soop. It's about the glaze.

      Some of us were whacked with double obsessions--Chowhounding and Ceramichounding. Be kind; this is a tough moment.

      ;-)

      1. re: Soop
        Caralien RE: Soop Jan 5, 2009 10:50 AM

        My MIL made a comment about not choosing a pattern which would make whatever you put on it look like a gift from the cat...

        (I'm sorry, I too don't get complicated china patterns; mine is white, cobalt, or a mixture of the two with piping, with the fine china still in storage at both parents' houses).

        1. re: Caralien
          s
          Steady Habits RE: Caralien Jan 5, 2009 10:56 AM

          LOL, Caralien! :-)

          Now...I approach this from a different priority. Some of my presentations *need* to be, uh, camoflauged.

          ;-D

      2. s
        Steady Habits RE: alkapal Jan 5, 2009 09:40 AM

        You're killing me.

        Please say it ain't so.

        1. m
          MakingSense RE: alkapal Jan 5, 2009 10:25 AM

          They obviously need a bailout - for the sake of Western Civilization.
          Her Majesty must intervene.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MakingSense
            s
            Steady Habits RE: MakingSense Jan 5, 2009 10:33 AM

            Well, if she's otherwise occupied with the Corgis right now, I'm sure Congress will be more than happy to pick up the porcelain slack.

          2. Ruth Lafler RE: alkapal Jan 5, 2009 11:10 AM

            I'm guessing someone will eventually buy it -- the brands themselves are very valuable.

            It does make me fee slightly guilty for buying vintage china in stead of new, though.

            1. l
              laliz RE: alkapal Jan 5, 2009 03:08 PM

              I still can spend hours just looking at the china and OMG even more looking at the Waterford.

              1. johnb RE: alkapal Jan 5, 2009 03:47 PM

                Don't fret too much just yet. Bankruptcy does not necessarily mean they are going to disappear, but of course it does suggest the possibility--in any case there are changes on the way.

                But I will say, when I first heard about this I thought to myself that it's probably inevitable. Let's face it. Young brides today are not into china and crystal of the heavy decor type that those of our generation ('nuf said) appreciate. They do their registration at Crate and Barrel, not known for selling flowery patterns with gold rims and heavy cut glass. Times, and tastes, change.

                5 Replies
                1. re: johnb
                  r
                  RGC1982 RE: johnb Jan 5, 2009 04:35 PM

                  Not only do times and tastes change, but the high prices that these goods get are really difficult to pay with the economy in its current state. There used to be a feeling that luxury goods sold, even when times were bad, but a $4,000 china service for a new bride, or a middle-aged restarter, is a bit much when things are tight. It's shame, really. Such beautiful things...

                  I would expect these manufacturers are likely to stop supporting their open stock policies and will behave more like the Japanese manufacturers. It is not in their best interest to produce expensive, smaller runs just to keep some lines available as open stock, and any incentive to get the purchaser to buy the whole set (plus some extras, for the inevitable future breakage), is a far more profitable approach.

                  1. re: RGC1982
                    m
                    MakingSense RE: RGC1982 Jan 5, 2009 06:34 PM

                    Oddly, RGC1982, the prices for the "good stuff" usually aren't much different from the trendy things that I see on the gift registers that so many new couples sign for.
                    In fact some of the trendy licensed goods cost more than the beautiful Wedgewood bone china that they no doubt find boooorrring.
                    For many couples, wedding gifts are the only time that they'll ever receive those beautiful things that they'll have for a lifetime, even if they only drag them out for holidays and guest meals.
                    The Crate and Barrel stuff will end up in a garage sale or the Salvation Army box before long.

                    BTW, things are ALWAYS tight. I have my grandmother's heavy silverplated flatware from the early 40s. Just after the Depression, when my aunts, working in their wartime jobs, pooled their money to buy her the entire set which we used every Thanksgiving, Christmas, holiday, and major family gathering for as long as I can remember.
                    If you buy good things, they last. They don't have to be luxury goods, just tasteful and good quality.
                    It never pays to buy cheap.

                    1. re: MakingSense
                      danna RE: MakingSense Jan 9, 2009 04:40 AM

                      I've only had my small set of Wedgewood about a year. It's called "Chalk" and it's perfectly plain, and amazingly resilient. I had assumed just the opposite, but as the plain white dishes from Pier 1 chip and crack, the Wedgewood, with it's subtle ivory glow, smacks into the granite counter unalarmed.

                      Gotta find more now!

                  2. re: johnb
                    m
                    mordacity RE: johnb Jan 5, 2009 05:57 PM

                    Nice china also tends to pile up in families, especially if it's used rarely and treated with care so there's little breakage. With three weddings between my two parents and some generational hand-me-downs, there's already enough china and silver for my two sisters and I to have our own sets. I see no reason to get more - it'll only take up space in a closet.

                    1. re: johnb
                      ChefJune RE: johnb Jan 8, 2009 10:08 PM

                      The heavy cut crystal of the traditional Waterford is not compatible with wine. Looks pretty though.

                      Kinda nice for scotch/rocks......

                    2. l
                      latindancer RE: alkapal Jan 5, 2009 04:34 PM

                      Wedgewood's never been my choice for beautiful dishes but I really would miss Waterford's crystal highballs for my Maker's Mark.
                      There's nothing like a drink of choice in the best crystal made.
                      I'm sure the company will regroup....hopefully.

                      1. jfood RE: alkapal Jan 5, 2009 06:54 PM

                        It is always a shame when an icon slips and here are two that should be recued. Jfood only hopes they are purchased by a company that will keep these beautiful traditions alive.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: jfood
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                          ClaireWalter RE: jfood Jan 5, 2009 08:06 PM

                          My guess is that fine china prices will drop. Ditto sterling flatware, hollow ware and perhaps even fine glassware -- except that the interest in wine might be "saving" the crystal stemware business. There is less demand for fine china. Downsizing parents and grandparents are passing theirs on to young adults, who often reluctantly accept these elegant goods that down always suit today's for more casual lifestyle. Prices for exisiting inventories could, in fact, drop because of diminished demand.

                          1. re: ClaireWalter
                            m
                            MakingSense RE: ClaireWalter Jan 5, 2009 09:37 PM

                            The opposite usually happens as manufacturers get out of the business. Fewer companies produce fine china for a smaller market willing to pay for it. Prices will rise as competition diminishes. A lot of tabletop now is licensed goods and that's going to die. Kate Spade china? That will probably be gone.
                            Sterling is a commodity metal and a hedge against inflation. That always holds its value. People can make do with fine silverplate but many young people have already moved to stainless because they want to throw it in the dishwasher. They like to buy new sets as trends change.
                            A lot of people will compromise with those Crate and Barrel wine glasses. They were used to the simple restaurant stems so they're not going to pop for the crystal versions of those.
                            These things were slipping away already just because of casual lifestyles. The reluctance of consumers to spend money on quality when they see other uses for their money will likely mean the death of more companies that produce fine china, crystal and flatware.
                            I think the sad result is that we'll all have less access to lovely, well-made things in a few years.

                            1. re: MakingSense
                              c
                              ClaireWalter RE: MakingSense Jan 6, 2009 09:23 AM

                              MakingSense - I should have clarified that prices will initially drop because of continued changing tastes, fire sales and the crrappy economy, and then perhaps they rise again as scarcity sets in.

                              1. re: ClaireWalter
                                m
                                MakingSense RE: ClaireWalter Jan 6, 2009 09:52 AM

                                I think you are right, Claire. Some of the stuff will die and probably deserves to.
                                There are so many trendy patterns now that you just KNEW would be discontinued in a few years anyway.
                                It will be a terrible pity if the classics die - like beautiful bone china from Wedgewood. Hardly anyone makes that anymore.

                        2. r
                          Roland Parker RE: alkapal Jan 6, 2009 01:14 AM

                          I haven't bought china because I inherited not one, not two, but multiple sets of very, very fine china. Dinner services, luncheon services, fish services, tea services, you name it, I've got it.

                          The rather sad reality for these companies is that the people who do appreciate good china are likely to inherit theirs, since that tradition tends to run in families.

                          Same with sterling silver. In fact, I strongly advise people not to buy brand new sterling silver as the older sets, even in the same patterns from the same companies, are better quality with a heavier silver weight. Just pick up a brand new silver spoon and compare it with its similar counterpart from fifty years ago. No comparison.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Roland Parker
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                            HollyDolly RE: Roland Parker Jan 6, 2009 05:37 AM

                            I really don't have any fine china.I think there is one or two pieces from momma's Yellow Rose Noritake dinner set, and a couple of pieces of Spode from her Aunt Jessie.Other than that, i have a chocolate set that belonged to my grand mother dating from the 1900s.
                            Silver ware from my mom is a service for 8 from Oneida.We only used it for holidays.Should get the chest out and polish it some time,even though it is in a cloth lined chest, possibly lined with anti tarnish cloth.
                            I don't think the average person entertains like they did years ago,which is one reason people don't buy fine china. And for those who do ,even amongst families like the Duponts, Vanderbilts,etc, as you point out Roland,they have inherited such silver and china, why should they go out and buy new sets.
                            Also too, the designs of these companies may be considered old fashioned, and not trendy, another reason.
                            I'm sure they will still exist, but maybe cut back on production.

                            1. re: HollyDolly
                              manomin RE: HollyDolly Jan 7, 2009 04:37 PM

                              I've never had fine china - but I got silver service for TWENTY FOUR(!) because no one else in the family wanted it. I really never use it just some of the serving pieces. Anyway I loved to collect the WW Peter Rabbit items but can't seem to find any for quite some time now ;-(
                              We used to have a WW store in the Ala Moana shopping center but it closed for quite some
                              time now.

                              1. re: manomin
                                c
                                ClaireWalter RE: manomin Jan 8, 2009 07:01 AM

                                Manomin - eBay is a great source of collectibles. Have you checked there for Peter Rabbit items?

                          2. a
                            Angela Roberta RE: alkapal Jan 8, 2009 01:01 PM

                            Here is a link to an interesting commentary in a Staffordshire newspaper by a member of the Wedgwood family.

                            http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/...

                            I couldn't agree more with her assessment that Wedgwood--or Spode or Royal Doulton, for that matter--has to be made in England. The quality of their products farmed out to Asian factories is not good. But even if the quality were there, it would not be the real thing to me. I want English clay worked in the Pottery District. Nowadays, you have to check the bottoms of pieces carefully. You'll see "Designed in England" written big, and "Made in Indonesia," say, in smaller type. "Made in England" from the great British firms is increasingly hard to find.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Angela Roberta
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                              dolores RE: Angela Roberta Jan 9, 2009 04:12 AM

                              If the new buyers can make the product on the cheap and sell it in Christmas stores and people will 'think' they are buying Waterford and Wedgewood -- they will.

                              Excellent and truthful sentiments on how things SHOULD be done -- but sadly, all of that is gone with the wind.

                              1. re: dolores
                                a
                                Angela Roberta RE: dolores Jan 9, 2009 07:54 AM

                                I agree that they will always be able to find customers who don't care where the stuff is made. But for sure they will be losing many if not most of the aficiandos if they continue to outsource. It seems like an obviously bad business strategy.

                              2. re: Angela Roberta
                                h
                                Harters RE: Angela Roberta Jan 10, 2009 03:02 PM

                                Staffordshire is the county to the south of where I live. Much as it will be a shame if the company goes down the pan (unlikely), in truth, I suspect most of us Brits are more concerned about the major high street brands that have gone bust in recent weeks.

                              3. Delucacheesemonger RE: alkapal Jan 9, 2009 08:04 AM

                                Was S.O. to a major principle in the company when difficulties were coming on about 2 years ago. Watched her work 70-80 hours a week and complain bitterly about how difficult it was going to be to keep the company afloat. She did her best, which was a lot, and left about a year ago. l still have a set of cobalt blue from @1970 that are wonderful dishes. Hopefully Jasperware can be saved, been around for centuries.

                                1. jfood RE: alkapal Jan 9, 2009 05:35 PM

                                  Private Equity KPS to buy certain assets

                                  http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/200...

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