Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gramma's Dishes

Sometime this past fall I needed a few plates that weren't chipped or cracked for our dinner with our friends, the Ormson's. So I went to my storage boxes in the basement and dug out four dinner plates and salad plates. The only time these dishes see daylight is at Christmas for one day at The Lutefisk event. I'm from the era when nice things had to be "saved for good". They always seemed too fancy and delicate to actually USE. I'm afraid of breaking them...they might get chipped.....but on the table they went.

My grandma Norma Harstad (Jensen) owned this set and they were only used for official "dinners". I remember them at her home in Chicago and later they moved up to Frederic with her in the 80's. They stayed at my mom's house until she was here no more and I decided I wanted to keep them from their auction. They even escaped being put on my own auction five years ago and not much escaped that purge. 

Some pieces of this set are crazed, and I wasn't even sure how hold they are which led me to the Replacements online site where I found out more about this set. The manufacturer is the Edwin Knowles China Co. and they made a zillion designs over the years. But there was a photo of this design and I found out it's called "Blue Dawn" and a replacement dinner plate was going to cost $9.99. Wow! I have 12 plates--I'm rich! This design was from 1943 which makes them 66 years old so they are 13 years ahead of me. Poor old girls stuck in that box. I'm at the end of the line heritage-wise so who wants them after me? 

Who uses fancy china anymore? Well...I guess now I do. Compared to cheap pottery plates, these are like iron. Beautiful and tough. I like that. I brought up the square salad plates, the bread plates, sauce dishes, (remember sauce used to be a course?!) The teacups, saucers, gravy boat, assorted oval platters, large covered bowl, sugar bowl, creamer and vegetable bowls are waiting their turn to move upstairs. This is going to involve a reorganization!

With my set of twelve place settings I should have enough dishes to take me to 90. Whatever is left at that point.....

1 comment:

Wanda Jo said...

When I moved into the RL house, I took my Great Aunt's china out of the china protectors and have used the plates a few times. It think it is the first time they have been used for over 50 years. But like you, I was 'keeping' them. Now, I think it is fun to use them and wonder about all the history that the dishes have outlasted.