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not exactly cookware... flatware/china/crystal?!?

Never had desire for "good" china, glassware or SILVER. Niece had extensive set of stuff... that has never been USED??

Have Dollar Store "stemware"... works fine and won't SOB if one breaks! Don't know much about crystal, but bet you could find some pretty high-end stuff at thrift stores??

A bit of a sucker for funky stainless flatware. Have 2-3 sets that I rotate out.

A few years ago, was briefly into makiing wind chimes from old silverplate pieces. Bought a big lot of "craft" quality stuff on Ebay. It had a LOT of one pattern mixed in... Patrician... from early 1900's?? It looked to be in really nice shape... little visible wear. Cleaned up GREAT! Probably have 12+ place setting, all polished up in a silver chest, so it never tarnishes. I SWEAR food tastes better on silver, even if plate.

Have set of Stangl (for 8) that I got as wedding gift from Grandmother. We actually had to pick thru MANY patterns to find 8 plates/mugs/salad plates/ bowls with NO chips... When Stangl had factory outlet in Flemington, NJ.

Had a BIG messa what I called "diner dishes" that I picked up DIRT cheap at a yard sale. Pyrex stuff... smallish dinner plates, soup cups, bread plates, little plates for butter and little dishes for ??... tartar sauce, etc. When I got tired of them, donated to GW.

Have BIG set of Fiestaware dishes I found at a YARD SALE. NO chips/cracks/wear... 12 place setting + extra bowls... $50!

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  1. I have an extensive china collection. This includes my "wedding" china (12 place settings of Wedgwood with quite a few serving pieces likes platters, bowls, gravy boat, etc).

    I have my mom's Blue Willow (8 place settings with serving pieces).

    My MIL owned a small antique store so I also have a wonderful collection of mismatched chargers, bowls, plates, cups/saucers, serving pieces, demitasse cups just a name a few. These are all wonderful for big parties and for dressing up a, everyday table table.

    Then there is my Christmas china-Spode, about 30 years old, and my everyday restaurant stoneware.

    My china gets used often, as does my good sterling silverware. Sunday suppers, holidays, dinner parties, brunches, etc. No sense not using it.

    I have my own sterling silver above and beyond silverware as does my husband. And we also have his grandmothers and my moms. If there is anything I have too much of its silver! Full tea sets, champagne buckets with matching flutes, serving trays, pitchers and don't even get me started on the serving utensils- toast racks, fish forks, caviar spoons (mother of pearl with sterling handles, gorgeous), ladles, strawberry spoons, salt and pepper bowls, powdered sugar shakers, gravy boats. Oh and the most gorgeous candlesticks, the kind you could murder someone with only a single swing!

    Would I have invested in all this? No way! But I love it.

    1. I have four sets of dinnerware. Nothing fancy. Only one I think I'd call "china" instead of dinnerware or dishes or whatever. They're all modern. No flowers. I _can't stand_ floral patterns. On anything: dish, sofa, dog.

      Two are solid color (Fiesta and Colorstax).

      The third is navy blue with concentric platinum circles (Thomas O'Brien Tiago Blue for Reed & Barton).

      The fourth is plain white (platebowlcup by Jasper Morrison for Alessi). I never use these. They sit in their boxes. I'm one of those people who think food does _not_ look best on white plates.

      I have two sets of flatware. Mirror stainless knifeforkspoon by Jasper Morrison for Alessi and turquoise-handled bistro flatware to go with my Fiesta and Colorstax that I bought at Macy's.

      Congrats on that Fiesta haul, kseiverd. If you have anything you don't want in Juniper, Chartreuse, Pearl Gray, or Sapphire, let me know (e-mail address at bottom of profile).

      My sister got everything that was my mother's and my grandmother's, which is okay with me. One set was floral, the other some early American transferware.

      1. It depends on you and your taste and preferences. I have Royal Crown Derby Panel Green, Royal Evesham, R. Doulton Sarabande, Spode Christmas Tree...made in England and yes I can pick out a piece made in China at 30 paces. 3 sterling flat ware patterns, Waterford...tableware in Curraghmore, barware in Lismore...DOF's and Roly Polys, Colleen brandys. Lenox Irish Coffees and Hot Toddies and lots of silver hollow ware. My preference and taste. Select what you like and go with it. Keep in mind that very few of us got all of it at one time. I frequently check E-Bay for pieces I need. I got luck this Christmas and got 8 Curraghmore hock wines at about half off the retail price.

        If it is not your thing then pass it all by.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Candy

          Same here, I have Lenox Westwind from my grandmother, & we registered for Wedgwood Napoleon Ivy for my wedding, & we use that everday. We also still use the IKEA plastic that I purchased for the kids, many years ago. Unfortunately, I rarely use the silver flatware we acquired at our wedding, it's pretty much the stainless stuff we accumulated, that gets used....

          1. re: thistle5

            As to the sterling, the more you use it the better it looks and does not need polishing more than 1-2 time a year, or every other year. You can actuall wash it in the DW (except for knives and if you have any stainless in the DW). A dw can lossen the cement that binds the knife handle to the blade. Washing stainess with SS can leave a very difficult residue to remove. I would no more put my sterling knives in the dw than my good kitchen knives. Neither deserve ill treatment.

        2. Just wanted to mention that Replacements is a great source for vintage dinnerware, sterling, glass, etc. It's time to feed the dogs so I don't have time to enumerate my fairly vast collection, but I love dinnerware and glass (and use everything). Just yesterday added some pieces of Old Foley Tapestry chintz that I found at fantastic prices at a nearby antique mall (the nicest prices I've ever paid for chintz).

          Russel Wright Iroquois Casual China is bulletproof and does great in the dishwasher, and the colors are beautiful. (I use Seventh Generation dishwasher detergent.)

          3 Replies
            1. re: Jay F

              Was it American Modern? American Modern (best-selling dinnerware of all time according to what I've read) was and is known for crazing if not chipping and breaking.

              Iroquois Casual was the follow-on line, and he was determined that the quality would be much, much better. Advertising included the Wrights throwing an entire set onto a metal table and only damaging one piece.

              I've seen scratching on Iroquois, but I don't know if I've ever seen crazing.

              1. re: foiegras

                It was called Steubenville Gray. I looked on eBay, and some of them also say American Modern, so I guess "yes" is the answer. Everyone I knew just called it Steubenville Gray then (the '80s, before we had the resources for finding things out that we have today).

                It looked good mixed with Rose Colorstax, but ultimately, because of the crazing, I didn't want to use it. I gave it to a friend, explaining the problem with crazing, but she was just moving into her own place for the first time in a long time, so she was happy to have it. I still have a couple of the serving bowls.

                And yes, there was chipping, too.

          1. I have wanted sterling for years. After 20 years, I should just buy what I want now.

            I remember my former neighbor used her wedding sterling every day (she was in her 70s) and she had a special felt lined drawer for it in the kitchen. As a young 20 something, I thought she was so sophisticated!

            I have Feista (mixed colors) for every day. I waffle on more formal china. I go through periods of shopping for it then chicken out because I really don't have the room to store it.

            5 Replies
            1. re: cleobeach

              I have so much dinnerware that the thought of storage for more than one set being a problem makes me smile :) You could always buy a sideboard (or additional one) to store your china in. Mine is Art Deco (and has a Prohibition-era mini liquor cabinet on the side). The dealer I got it from re-felts all her silver drawers (but you could do this yourself).

              Unfortunately silver prices are a bit high right now, but there are always relative bargains to be had. Do you know what pattern you want?

              1. re: foiegras

                Years back I wanted Tiffany bamboo (don't know the real name) but now I would pick something simple.

                1. re: cleobeach

                  I chose my pattern (which is repoussé) when I needed some additional serving pieces, decided to go ahead and buy sterling, and went on eBay to look. There are lots of similar patterns at various price points, and I chose one that is more reasonable than the most popular repoussé patterns. Might work for you too ...

                  1. re: foiegras

                    I think I will get serious and pick a pattern (or three to mix and match) because my husband needs present ideas. We have been married long enough that we have run out of ideas for each other.

                    Aside Esty, anyone have a recommendation for an Internet supplier for vintage sterling?

                    1. re: cleobeach

                      Yes, recommend Replacements. Their quality assessments are reliable (and they offer discounts if quality is at all compromised). If you're willing to accept a monogram, you can get a better deal ... and I've gotten some vintage silver as a gift with my correct monogram (single letter).

            2. I love dishes. When I moved from CA to Chicago in 2003, I had 7 sets LOL. I had to sell them all, none were expensive or vintage though so I don't mind. Now we have two sets in our cabinets, my BF's ugly stoneware type ones in shades of black grey and brown (total bachelor dishes) that he's very attached to and got very upset when he thought I was going to put them in the basement (I wasn't planning on it), and my moderny plain white ones from Crate & Barrel that we use when we have company. Our glassware/stemware is just cheap stuff and plain.

              Stored in the basement I also have a complete set of vintage Marcrest Swiss Alpine pattern dishes (http://www.replacements.com/webquote/...) and a few serving pieces that I use on special occasions. I'm trying to collect another vintage pattern, a diamond and star pattern by Nest Stone, but it is very difficult to find (http://modish.net/nest-stone) so who knows if I'll ever have a complete set. I do have some serving pieces (like that lidded casserole in the photo) that I use for special occasions.

              I'll probably register for a nice set of china and good stemware when/if we ever get married :) My mom said I can have her Wedgwood wedding stuff but it's from the 1970s and is not my style at all...heavy and lots of fruits on it.

              I have my grandmother's sterling, but honestly I don't use it. It's not my style at all, very flowery and formal, and my style is more modern and a bit more casual. We have two regular stainless sets, we use BFs for every day and mine that I purchased at CB2 for special occasions even though both sets are pretty similar... sleek and modern.

              I also collect cobalt depression glass in the more modern styles (moderntone etc), but they are mostly still packed away in boxes, I don't have anywhere to display them.

              5 Replies
              1. re: juliejulez

                >>I'm trying to collect another vintage pattern, a diamond and star pattern by Nest Stone, but it is very difficult to find (http://modish.net/nest-stone) <<

                I heart this. If I should ever run into any, I'll let you know.

                1. re: Jay F

                  Me too, isn't it great? Whenever I happen upon a piece in a shop, I jump on it, but that hardly ever happens. The stuff I find on ebay are pieces I already have (lots of cups and saucers). Where's all the dinner plates??

                  1. re: juliejulez

                    Have you looked on etsy.com? I found a set of sheets there recently that I used to have in the '70s. NOS, and less expensive than new.

                    1. re: Jay F

                      Yup. Part of the problem is, nobody seems to know what to call it (even though it does have a name), so when I do find it online, people are calling it all kinds of different names. Makes it difficult to search for. Plus the cost of shipping from both Ebay and Etsy for individual pieces like one plate usually ends up making it pretty expensive. I was able to buy my Swiss Alpine stuff in groups from the same sellers on Ebay so that cut down on shipping costs.

              2. It's great to see so many ~using~ their beautiful things.

                "Saving" (wedding gift?) crystal, china and silver might have "worked" when families were large(the whole pass-it-down thing?), but, IMHO, not so much any more.

                My SO and I (late-in-life childless couple) USE our Wedgwood, Noritake, Baccarat, Reed&Barton etc. everyday.

                It works well and looks great on the table!

                6 Replies
                1. re: pedalfaster

                  Good for you!!

                  I believe everything useful should also be beautiful, but my everyday stuff must go in the dishwasher, which leaves out a lot of the vintage dinnerware, glass, and silver I've collected. I do have vintage things that can go in the dishwasher though, including Metlox Jamestown Provincial and the Russel Wright I mentioned earlier. Vernon Kilns is nice and sturdy, but all California pottery is difficult to find here.

                  For every day, I have a mix of these, some Portmeirion, Wedgwood Strawberry & Vine, TS&T Chateau Buffet, some Italian pottery I bought new, etc. Lately I've been collecting Emma Bridgewater mugs, which I really enjoy.

                  1. re: pedalfaster

                    I know one of my friends put her wedding china (service for 12 plus all the serving pieces) into the china cabinet the week after her wedding and never used it. That was 18 years ago.

                    When my grandmother gave me her things, she encouraged me to use them.

                    1. re: cleobeach

                      I've gotten a lot of fun and satisfaction out of adding simpler pieces that knit together the china here, which is from several generations of my family. I've used it much more since making it my own in that way.

                      In the process of seeking out the uniting pieces, I found some salad and dessert plates that make settings that are a bit more my style than the family things, but I enjoy using both.

                      All of it's more formal than what I'd choose if I were starting from scratch somewhere else, but it goes with the silver, the room, the furniture, and the house.

                      1. re: ellabee

                        >>All of it's more formal than what I'd choose if I were starting from scratch>>

                        What would you pick out?

                        1. re: Jay F

                          Hmm. If I were starting from scratch, I almost certainly would have no silver at all. But if someone were to fund a set of silver, I'm attracted to the 1923 Windham pattern by Tiffany. If not that, then a very simple pattern hand-made (the smooth, rounded-end classic shape).

                          Same for china; IRL I'd probably have no formal china at all, just use the chunky white porcelain that's everyday dishes now. But given the $, I'd go for white with gold rim for dinner and bread plates. They can be taken in any number of decorative directions with more highly colored and/or patterned soups and salad plates.

                          1. re: ellabee

                            I like the Tiffany Windham...not too ornate (I'd not seen it before). I also like mixing things up.