Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trying something new: Tablescape Thursdays.

Recently I heard about Tablescape Thursdays, from Between Naps on the Porch, and I thought it would be something fun to participate in. I have been a little obsessed with china lately...

Basically, each Thursday, any one who wants to play along gets to submit a "tablescape" to her blog and the blogger does one too. They're quite fun to browse through, and it's almost like a fun homework assignment to come up with a new one each week (I wish we had done that in school!). I don't know if I will participate every time, but I thought I would give it a shot.

With one added rule.

To keep with the theme of my blog, and what motivates me to collect china/silver in the first place, the table has to involve a historical element. Think antique plates, vintage linens, reproduction pieces, etc. I encourage anyone who wants to give it a try. You can link to her page, or just to mine. I would love to see what beautiful, historically inspired tables others can create. Even if it's just a vintage tea cup on a nifty napkin. Go for it!

Since this is my first one, and it's already Thursday (eek! Where has the week gone?), I thought I'd pull a picture from a couple weekends ago. Sunday breakfast. It's the last time I took a picture of my table.

And to note, this is only inspired by history, it in no way is a historically accurate table. Just clearing that up! Also, it's more a set table, than a "table scape" but eh whatever. It's for fun.

Yummy! All gone! 

Coffee set: Herend "Queen Victoria" and "Rothschild Bird"
Tray: Wallace "American Chippendale"
Silverware: Wallace "Grand Baroque"
Plates and Tea Cups/Saucers: Royal Copenhagen "Flora Danica"
Crystal: Waterford "Lismore"
Salt Cellars and Silver Serving Dish: Unknown, but purchased at a silver shop in Merchant Square, in Williamsburg.
Jam Pots: Bacarrat
Egg cups: Unknown, purchased from Bloomingdales.
Small Plates: Bernardaud "Constance"
Butter server: Unknown maker, c. 1920.
Muffineer/Castor: Unknown maker. Purchased on Portobello Rd, London.
Linens: Waterford hemstiched

So a bit about each piece, and why this table is inspired by history:

Starting with the china, I went a bit in depth about Royal Copenhagen's Flora Danica recently. In short, it has been in production since the 18th century. It was originally commissioned as a set for Catherine the Great. The Herend coffee pot is in the "Queen Victoria" pattern. The original set was introduced in 1851 at the First World Exhibition in London. It was purchased by Queen Victoria herself and was later named after her. "Rothschild Bird" was first created in 1860 for the Rothschild family. It portrays a 19th century tale about Baroness Rothschild, who lost a pearl necklace in her garden. Days later it was found by her gardener, who saw birds playing with it in a tree.

The smaller, green plates are by Bernardaud, "Constance," and are Limoges porcelain. Limoges is a hard paste porcelain that has been made in Limoges, France, since the 18th century. Bernardaud was established after the Revolution, and the Contance pattern is reminiscent design during the French Empire.

The antique silver pieces speak for themselves. The covered butter, which can be seen next to the jam pots, is from the 1920's. The sugar castor was a gift, brought back from Portobello Road, and my husband and I picked up the salt cellars and covered serving dish (holding the waffles) when we were in Virginia. 

The silverware is new, but is in the "Grand Baroque" pattern, reminiscent of baroque design. Wallace has been making Grand Baroque since 1941.

The crystal is Waterford, which is one of the oldest crystal manufacturers. It was established in 1783 in Ireland. "Lismore" had it's 50th anniversary in 2002.

The linen under the coffee set is displayed pressed. In the 18th century, linens were set out with creases to show that the house had a press.

P.S. If you want to join in, take this handy badge for your blog:


  1. Your tablescape is SO lovely! I'd love to send you one to see from my humble abode, but how do I do that? Please advise! Thx.

    1. Blog about it and then post me a link to your page. I guess it makes sense to post it under mine next Thursday. Or you can go to the between naps on the porch blog and post a link there. Cant wait to see!

  2. Hi there! This is my first time visiting your blog, and I'm coming over via Tablescape Thursday. As a longtime (and I do mean LONG time!!!) tablescaper, I most certainly would classify this as such. It has all the elements and is certainly VERY pretty! What's especially fun and interesting is that it comes with a realy history beyond "I bought it at Pottery Barn last year." Not to knock Pottery Barn or what others (me included!) use as we go about setting our tables, but to say that an actual "history" gives it all a little extra "oomph." (For instance, I've never heard of a "muffineer", but seeing it here inspired me to look it up!) I own only a few historically significant items, so it's fun to see what you have! I want to turn cartwheels a hundred times over with that coffee pot, and the silverware is most aptly named!!!! It was nice to see a newcomer to the fold, and I welcome you on behalf of all the "old timers." (Not our personal ages...just tenure with the fun of Tablescape Thursdays!) I've been blogging for a couple of years, about one-and-a-half of those joining this fun group of tablescaping fiends. Have a wonderful weekend, and we look forward to seeing you back again soon. Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you for the warm, warm welcome! And thank you for the compliments! When the sugar castor was given to me I had no idea what it was either. Thank god for the Internet! So much new to learn everyday.

      It was very exciting for me to come across tablescape Thursday and all the ladies out there who love to set the table too! And such beautiful settings you all make as well! I'm looking forward to contributing. Yay!

      And ps, I LOVE pottery barn. Probably my favorite store :D

  3. Oh, my! What beautiful treasures! I am so glad you are joining in Tablescape Thursdays. I would love to have these treasures that have such depth of history. I loved hearing about the details. I have been collected old silverplate and enjoying figuring out the pattern name and vintage. But your things are just so rich with elegance. I hope we see you often.

    1. Thank you thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed a little bit of history behind the pieces. I always find that when you have a bit of a backstory on something you own, it makes it infinitely more interesting and I know I appreciate the piece much, much more.

      Most things we have and use today, especially on the table, have roots in history. I love finding out what they are! Can't wait to share more!

  4. My first ti me to your blog and found it so very i nteresting!

    Thanks for all the information too - love your table and your collections, very pretty!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you! So nice of you to stop by :) Have a lovely weekend!

  5. Hi Caroline, It's late for this comment but I only just came to your blog (through BNOTP) and had to say something - you put together such a gorgeous, tastefully selected and classic table that I almost expected to see the Earl and Countess Grantham walking into the room! :)

    I don't have a tablescaping blog but I received a lot of silver tableware in my wedding (it's an Indian tradition to include a sterling dinner set in the bride's dowry) that it laid the foundation for my interest in unique silver pieces, particularly British silver. Combine this with my love for European china (favorites are Wedgwood and Ginori) and you can see why your table made my heart sing :) I'm going to steal your clever idea of using bread plates under the smaller serving pieces - it ties everything together and is basically an excuse to put even more china on the table! Yay! It's been a real delight to visit your blog, hope you'll share another tablescape/ table setting sometime soon. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas!

    1. Hi Tulika!

      Thank you so much! Isn't English silver just gorgeous! My table is usually set with something English: china, silver, linens, something. I love it!

      I'm not a big "table scaper," but I love setting the table for meals, so most everything I put is functional, instead of just decorative, which I like best since I love actually using everything!

      I too started my silver collection with my wedding. I started with Wallace Silverware in the Grand Baroque pattern. Since then I have expanded the collection, and since I love antiques, I find most of my pieces via antique stores, estate sales, and my favorite, trips to Portobello Road in London.