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China lament

(111 Posts)
Jane10 Sat 01-Dec-18 14:11:03

Many years ago I worked in the China department of a large posh store. I loved it. I loved our stock. Spode, Royal Worcester, Wedgwood, Crown Derby etc etc. It was expensive but you knew it was good quality. People would come in and choose their 'wedding china' to be added to over the years.
Anyway, to get to the point, today in TKMaxx I found Spode and Portmeirion plates and bowls. I was surprised but when I picked them up they were thick and heavy. A too thick glassy glaze. Apparently, the old designs have been bought up by the Chinese and they are mass producing these crude versions completely legally. I feel sorry for young people who really won't be able to recognise good quality if their experience is based on this sort of thing. Sad old fart rant over.

polyester57 Sat 01-Dec-18 14:23:38

I think the world is just moving on, in tableware as in everything else. It used to be that parents bought their daughters a china dinner service, I certainly have one, it was actually bought by my parents-in-law as our wedding present. Over the years I have come to dislike the old-fashioned shape and the bold pattern and have replaced it with plain white china. My daughter lives in an open-plan flat with limited kitchen space so just has IKEA plates, no room for a full dinner service to be kept for special occasions. I have noticed that in a lot of the US reality shows people are just eating off plastic or disposables. Horredous idea, but I suppose it´ll come over here soon enough.

lemongrove Sat 01-Dec-18 15:05:49

Jane I love real china, particularly the beautiful displays of Georgian china in museum cabinets.I once sat on the wooden bench next to it all in the Ashmolean for so long that the security guard kept checking on me.grin

janeainsworth Sat 01-Dec-18 15:43:37

Jane10 In New Orleans last weekend we saw a Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Lily tray by Daisy Makeig-Jones in an antique shop.
MrA, who very rarely likes anything, was very taken with it and dared me to go in and ask how much it was.
It was $18,000, so it stayed in the shop.
I think the lesson here is that very high quality things may be beautiful, but are affordable only for the very few.
I get the impression that younger people have to save up proportionately much more to afford a home these days, and if they do save any extra money it’s more likely to be spent on holidays and experiences than beautiful things for their homes.

Welshwife Sat 01-Dec-18 16:23:22

That is a pity about china being poorly produced in China.
I have noticed that some ranges on sale now have plates etc which vary in thickness as well as poor glaze which makes them chip and crack easily.
I still like a cup of tea in a bone china cup if I am having a traditional tea with scones etc - luckily I can do that at home.

kittylester Sat 01-Dec-18 16:35:30

We use Denby now but I have remnants of the china services my parents and grandparents used. My maternal grandparents lived in stoke for a while so we have quite a few oddments.

I love delicate china but feel it is out of place nowadays. As is the canteen of cutlery bought by my parents for our wedding present. And, I never want to go back to cleaning the silver cutlery that we had (and was a wedding present to my parents) - it was a nightmare and always my job!!

Anyway, I love my dishwasher!!

Jane10 Sat 01-Dec-18 16:49:22

I love my dishwasher too but don't use it if there's over glaze gold on an item.
The nicest china I ever saw was back in the 70s, a special order for a Royal Copenhagen set called Flora Danica. It was eye wateringly expensive. Impossible for us to afford so I had Denby Gypsy as wedding china. Still have it! The Flora Danica spoiled me for all other china.
Recently we were in Copenhagen and made a 'pilgrimage' to Royal Copenhagen. Flora Danica as breathtaking as ever and so was the price - almost £2000 for a single 10' plate! I still couldn't afford it. I got a mug though but in the classic blue design and my most expensive mug. It's a pleasure to drink out of. Sigh.

paddyann Sat 01-Dec-18 16:54:27

I still have my wedding china which isn't china but porcelain,anyway I dont use it the pattern is a bit old fashioned so I bought a complete set of plain white bone china that I use .My mother would only eat off white dishes and her wedding china was rarely out of the cabinet

.MIL offered me her 12 place setting pale yellow and floral china just last week ,but I wouldn't have space for it or use it.I've offered it to a local hotel who do Afternoon teas and special menu's using different sets of china on each table.Apparently its a big hit and MIL is happy it will be in use again.
Theres also a black set thats paper thin with flowers inside the cups that appear to shine through from the black side .Its lovely and I might take it if I can clear some of my own stuff

lemongrove Sat 01-Dec-18 16:55:22

Just don’t drop it! grin

Jane10 Sat 01-Dec-18 17:03:35

That black set sounds interesting paddyann. It it Noritake?
It's nice to see the old china being used for afternoon teas etc.
We've got a cupboard full of my mums and grandmothers teasers which were always 'too good to use'. It still is!
Crystal too is out of fashion. People seem to have to have wine in huge glasses these days. However, I was encouraged to see DD really likes old cut crystal that sparkles under the lights in a way that modern pressed glass simply can't.

Jane10 Sat 01-Dec-18 17:04:11

Teasers? aka tea sets!

glammanana Sat 01-Dec-18 17:08:43

I do love fine china and have passed down from my mum the full 12 person setting of Royal Albert Old Country Roses it includes 2 x tureens and teapot & coffee pot with sugar and milk jugs.
All but 2 place setting are stored in the loft as I have nowhere to store it so it will go to my DD when the time comes I rather doubt she will use it though,I just can't bear to part with it though as a lot of the pieces where bought for special milestones during my mothers marriage.
For every day we use Denby always bought when JLewis has a sale.

aggie Sat 01-Dec-18 17:13:46

I have country roses and Lady Hamilton half sets , I offered them to an antique shop for free and they wouldn't take them !

polyester57 Sat 01-Dec-18 17:29:06

Can someone enlighten me on what the difference is between china and porcelain? I have always thought it was one and the same.

Anja Sat 01-Dec-18 17:29:12

I picked up a beautiful bone China tea set in a local charity shop. I’ve added to it via eBay. Now on a sunny day, instead of BBQs (where the men take all the credit after we’ve done all the hard work) I invite the family round for afternoon tea.
Very civilised and much less bother.

Jalima1108 Sat 01-Dec-18 17:38:17

China tea sets have become quite popular again with some young people - I have known them buy them up from charity shops and also mismatched china for using at their weddings! Also places which do afternoon teas use nice china.

I wish I'd bought a china tea set I saw recently in a charity shop because it was very pretty and delicate. I dithered and decided, quite rightly, that it was a daft thing to do!

Jalima1108 Sat 01-Dec-18 17:41:36

Still being made in Staffordshire:

I saw lovely china items being produced somewhere in England or Wales, shown on the tv only last week, but I can't remember where it was or which programme.

Jalima1108 Sat 01-Dec-18 17:44:53

I'm sure it was Nantgarw - it is being produced again in Wales.

Jane10 Sat 01-Dec-18 17:56:55

I'm a bit worried about 'Spone' Jalima! Thanks for the link.

Jalima1108 Sat 01-Dec-18 18:00:07

Oh! shock
I hadn't read that far down Jane10.

You could have a cuppa with Grandad every day (or Grandma)

Jane10 Sat 01-Dec-18 18:32:23

Yuk yuk yuk!

mcem Sat 01-Dec-18 19:09:08

A good friend is about to downsize and will offload a full dinner and teaset. It's Royal Albert Roses (not sure if there is more than one Roses design). Her G 'ma declared she'd give it as a wedding present despite being told that friend and fiance really wanted Denby.
The set was used twice in 50 years (when G'ma visited) and otherwise has been stored in various lofts. Her sons and DiL's don't want it.
She faced with trying to sell on eBay ( but doesn't want the faff when preparing to move ) or donating to the local charity shop.

Jalima1108 Sat 01-Dec-18 19:47:24

sorry Jane10
Black humour

Greyduster Sat 01-Dec-18 21:24:35

If you go to any auction house there is acres of top name bone China dinner and tea ware. Full and part sets. Someone must want it because it sells, but doesn’t fetch good prices. I have a twelve place setting service plus a Spode Persian coffee service and a Spode Copeland Italian tea service. Will either of my children want it? Not a chance!

petra Sat 01-Dec-18 21:44:14

The joke is that the wealthy Chinese can't get enough of our quality china. Couldn't make it up could you 1grin]