Okay, okay... I admit it, I’m a dish queen! I would buy a plate or teapot here and there, and “hide” them from my partner (“…why do we need another plate?")...that is until I had him read this article from the New York Times. You can be straight or gay, male or female and be a dish queen. I can trace my dish obsession back to when I was a toddler. Whenever we stopped by my paternal grandmother’s (Opal) house, she would let me drink Cambric Tea out of “my own” special porcelain demitasse cup and saucer, while I would sit in my high-chair. This demitasse cup and saucer wasn’t just some plain ordinary throw away piece of porcelain either. The saucer had a scalloped edge that I loved to run my little fingers around, with a circle of basket weave texture and a ring of hand-painted flowers with a cream color background. The cup also had scalloped ridges running around the perimeter, and a ring of basket weave texture with painted flowers. FYI: for you fellow hard-core dish queens, the pattern is SIM6 by Simpson Potters Ltd, from Cambridge, England, circa 1940's.
The demitasse (above) that started it all! The cup is only 2.25" high x 2"diameter, and the saucer is 4.5" diameter. I remember even as a child, thinking how much I liked this little cup and saucer, and how special I felt drinking out it. I always carefully placed the cup down onto the saucer and would listen for the delicate “clink” the cup made when it came to rest.
Here’s a few of my favorite black and white plates from my collection. The provenance or cost (cheap or expensive) of the china is irrelevant to me, but it's mandatory that I adore each piece and be able to use it. I don’t want pieces that are too precious or fragile to use. Yes, I’ve had a few broken casualties, but I usually find something better as a replacement. I’ve severely edited my collection over the years to just white porcelain, and black and white porcelain. I consider each piece of china to be like a work of art.
This French rebus salad plate, one of six different versions, I found at Williams-Sonoma years ago. It says, "quand le coeur est bon, tout peut se corriger," which means "when the heart is good, all that is good will follow." I love that!
Another Williams-Sonoma plate, features the Satirical Art of William Hogarth (1697-1764). There are six different bread and butter sized plates in this set and I like this one the best. Sometimes Williams-Sonoma carries dishes that aren't featured in their catalog and are only available in limited editions at their larger stores, so you kinda have to dig around when you're at the store—you might find something special.
And of course I love Piero Fornasetti! This vintage salad plate is one of four different birds I own. I think these Fornasetti plates inspired the D.L. & Co. Love Bird plates.
This vintage transferware luncheon plate was my grandmother LaViolette's plate, and she got it from her mother, Pearl. The pattern is Palestine from Adams China, I think it's from the 1920's or maybe earlier.
This Italian dinner plate, is one of four different styles. I purchased them at Bloomingdales, when I lived on the Upper East Side in Manhattan around 1994.
I know the memento mori trend has run its course, but I still love this dessert plate I found last year at Urban Outfitters. The housewares at UO are really cute and at a great price point. I wish I would have purchased more of these babies. Stay tuned, over time I will share more of my dish collection.