My mother always had 2 sets of dishes as I grew up. The everyday dishes, that got changed every decade or so, and the Good China, which she kept from the start of her marriage until sometime around her 30th anniversary.
I’m not sure what inspired the change. I think it had some to do with a change in her taste between 22 and 50-ish. And some to do with building a new house and moving to a new place.
So, you see, I grew up in a house where HAVING “the good stuff” was expected. It didn’t occur to me that I didn’t HAVE to have dishes that only got used when I had company.
When I married my son’s father, this mother encouraged me to choose Good China, Sterling, Crystal and Everyday dishes and stainless.
I had decided on a sterling pattern when I worked at The Gold Exchange in Florence, SC polishing the stuff that people brought in to be melted down. (The owner figured out that buying by weight and selling it used was a good money maker.) I had gotten to handle a LOT of sterling, and to see how it aged, what changes a little tarnish made to the pattern.
But the other stuff was harder. I actually traded in the little bit of China I received for more pieces of the Everyday. I had a everything I could possibly use in the Everyday pattern.
And time passed.
When I moved away from my son’s father, I kept the Good Stuff and left him the everyday. And it was all I had until I married Wild Child’s stepfather.
And he and I, with our one child each, picked an everyday set for our new household. He wanted to have stainless instead of eating with sterling, so we got that, too. It was one of the symbols of our one house together. I handed it off to him when I packed his belongings up.
And continued to eat off my china with sterling.
I found a Limoges platter that I thought was lovely at an antique store. It had little roses all around the outside and a bouquet in the middle with an edge of gold. They wanted $175 and I had to pass. (Here is the pattern, but not the actual platter.)
About a year later, I saw a slightly more worn version of the same platter at Replacements in the showroom. For $25. Guess what I bought.
It goes beautifully with my china.
I have 2 identically shaped but different color butter plates in carnival glass. One is blue and one is green. I like the color of the blue best but the green works better with the various pieces that I use with the china a la Victoria. 🙂
A friend gave me some pieces of Franciscan’s Desert Rose, which had been my grandmother’s everyday pattern, too. My china is Tirschenreuth’ Baroness White. My sterling is Gorham’s Strasbourg. My crystal is Waterford’s Maeve.