Monday, November 7, 2011

Next Course Please!

Hand painted ICE CREAM set. Large platter and 12 bowls. Royal Austria, circa 1860-1890.

Bavaria ,Germany Berry Set, Hand Painted. fruit and berries. Circa 1890-1900.

French Limoge Game Bird set. Circa 1860-1890.

French Limoge hand painted fish platter,

English ,Minton  China  Desert set, 4 cake plates, 3 bowls, 24 cups and saucers in two sizes for various uses. Circa 1890-1900.

  Queen Victoria was not born to be the Queen of England. Her Uncle, the King, had no children,so Victoria, being next in line for the throne, was groomed from a very early age to be Queen.. Her uncle died when she was 16, making her the Queen of England. She reigned for 80 years,making her the longest reigning Queen to this date. During her reign, she had a great influence on the styles of that day, thus the Victorian Era was born. All over the world, everyone wanted to live, dress and be like the young  Queen Victoria.
        Dining table etiquette was one aspect of manners that the Victorian era women were concerned with. The linens and utensils had to be clean, polished and  folded just right. Even the salt was expected to look neat and have it's own container. The goal of the Victorian lady, in that period ,was to serve others, and her etiquette and manners, all helped her do so. Anything she did was to please her husband and  society. Married couples were never seated together. It was considered ridiculous to make a display of a napkin. They should be pressed and folded in fourths and laid in the center of the service plate.
   Serving was always done by a maid, footman or the butler. The lady of the house would never do the serving. Courses were brought around behind the quest back and served from the left. Food was served in courses. Salad,,main,fruit, and desert. All china was removed from the dining table before the next course. The main china was only used to serve the main course, usually beef with a side  vegetable. Special sets of china were designed, painted and made for each course. The soup course consisted of a tureen,bowls and under plates.The fruit course was often served in what we call a berry set. A large bowl with numerous small side bowls.Some of these sets had fruit and berries  hand painted on them ,where others had flowers. A  fish set, comprised of a large serving platter, sauce boat and 6 to 12 small plates,  used for serving the fish course. More often than not, these sets were decorated with hand pained fish. The same applied to the game set, which featured various game bird  paintings. Desert sets were used for various deserts and were made up of several cake plates, bowls for sauce and various sizes of cups and saucers. Nuts were often served between courses and nut sets decorated with hand painted nuts were made for this course.
   Today most of these fancy sets are not used so much for serving course. They are just displayed very proudly in there owners homes. Times have changed so much and very few people entertain in there homes  much any more. Most dinner parties take place at private clubs. Even if a dinner party is held in a home, very few host serve in courses. Most home owners want serving things that can go in a dishwasher, as the servants of the Victorian era, are no longer serving in homes ,as they once did.Most American homes put all the courses on the table at once and they are passed around. Family style.

Ice cream was scooped from the hand cranked freezer and put on these platters. Special spoons were made to scoop them from the platter to each small bowl. It was then eaten with an ice cream fork. Ice cream was not always served as a desert . Sometimes served between courses as well.Was a very rare treat before 1900's. 

My ice cream set lives in the dish pantry in my dining room.

Hand painted strawberries and gooseberries decorate the small side bowls.

The large bowl is painted with peaches and blackberries.

This set belonged to my father, He bought it somewhere at a country farm auction. 

    I have many of these serving sets at, My Old Historic House. Most of the time they just live in the dish pantry in my dining room.I have been known to use them from time to time. I am having a ladies luncheon tomorrow and I am for sure using the berry set and desert set. If you happen, to ever get a change to come by some day soon for a tour, I would be more than happy to serve up some fresh fruit in that berry set or a slice of cake ,from the desert set. Please come when ever you can, You are always welcome, I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will meet you with a big jump and a kiss. Next Course Please!


This set almost has a Christmas design with the tiny green leaves and red berries on the boarder.

This fish is swimming up side down, showing off, kinda has a sweet little face.

Love the rich blue and the tiny delicate flowers on the English Desert set.

This is an English Sterling  breakfast egg coddle. Used to serve 3 minute eggs. A salt cellar is in the center. Spoons hang from the side. It is made of tiny strips of silver, woven like a basket. 



Antique Style said...

Hi Richard,
Wow! That's alot of dishes! I really love the game set "christmas" set. That Minton set is quite spectacular too.

Limoges was the first serious "collection" I started, but I've sold it all on Ebay--except for my fish set. I think I kept it because it looks so fabulous in my china breakfront that is so dark, it adds life to it.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Richard:
Well, we still serve in courses and like to use different china for certain dishes. It makes a meal an occasion and that, in our view at least, is how it should be. Our favourite service of those you show here is the Minton. We like its relatively simple design and love the colour of the banding. So elegant. If only we were closer to come for luncheon!


OMG Richard, everything is TDF!! I specially love the dessert ,Minton set, it is stunning! Love the ice cream set too, my mother has something like this stashed with her other lovely things. Thank you for sharing your lovelies, I often drool over them. Love, FABBY

Divine Theatre said...

I long for a time that I have never known. Where people had a place. Many neo-feminists would never understand such sentiment. Thisngs today are so out of whck due to people forcing their views and behaviors on the rest of us.
I love the pheasant set. The feeling it inspires...
Thanks for another lovely, informative post, my friend!

Kisses for Sissy!

We will be near you tomorrow but not quite near enough. We are bringing a poor, starved, emaciated pitbull to his new home!


Stacy Leigh said...

I love the ones with fish, birds, or other animals (like dogs :) )

Well done Richard!! stacy

Sea Witch said...

Crazy about the ice ceam set and especially the English Egg Coddler set. What fun. I adore coddled eggs and would have great fun with this. Sea Witch

Martha said...

You have some lovely things! I absolutely adore the Minton dessert set -- there is just something about old Minton that is so nice. An always wanted is a fish set, but alas, I've never gotten one.

I do, however, collect the Victorian silver that the guests used with each course -- the different forks, knives and spoons for each place setting as well as the wonderful serving pieces -- dare say, no one in the know would serve peas with a regular spoon -- they'd use their "pea spoon"!!!!

It's fun to collect and unlike the dishes, requires very little space and it is non breakable!!!!

Thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

Lovely dish sets! I have a weakness for all serving platters... I love that ice cream set. And the ones that were your father's- beautiful!

ornamentsbypink said...

Hi Richard, haven't been on the blogs for awhile, but I see your still showing the beautiful pieces you have!
I have a fish in my pond that occasionally swims upside down but he gets sick thats why he does it. Maybe the fish that posed for the picture on the dish is an anscestor of my fish? No?
Richard the last picture in my post today is of some tickets or cards I found in an old book I purchased, would you know anything about these cards?

red.neck chic said...

I will come!!! How far away are you? You DO know you would have to check my pockets before I left. LOLOL I see... oh... about ALL of the dishes I would like to have at MY house!!!

Have fun!!!
;-D robelyn

Debbiedoos said...

Boy oh boy do you have some nice collections there. I loved the fruit ones and then the pretty ones with the blue trim and flowers. In fact I have a very similar set this is very old that was passed down to us. thanks for sharing and your kind comment on my stencil job.

Designs on 47th Street said...

My heart is pittering and a pattering! Oh, I LOVE the game bird dishes. I have a few and they just really speak to me.

Beautiful post Richard!


Pamela Gordon said...

Interesting post Richard. I'm glad ice cream is not a rare treat today!! I love the set that belonged to your father. It's beautiful.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Richard, You have the most amazing collections. All of these are beautiful and I especially love the game bird plates. I hope you are doing well.

Gary said...


I ponder which is to be treasured more. The lovely serving pieces you presented or the time to sit and enjoy several courses. I would note that the decorations of your ice cream set with it’s young couples in romantic settings if during the time this set was created if ice cream was not looked up as much as romance food as well as a luxury. As always a marvelous post and I love the history you always present. And as others have mentioned I to would love to be close enough to take you up on your most generous offer. – gary

LANA said...

Those dishes are gorgeous! It's too bad we don't live as elegantly as we once did, it must have made life exquisite back then. Thanks for the invitation - I'll bring the ice cream!

Susan said...

Stunning photography, Richard. Thank you so much for sharing. About the only thing that could have made it better was to eat some ice cream out of those gorgeous dishes. Susan

Deanna said...

Very interesting what all goes into a classy meal!

Enjoyed your post,

Pearl said...

Sure glad I was not born in the Victorian era, I'm exhausted just from how you described how it was done :) I always love your History lessons and I have learned a lot. I'm actually reading "Jane Eyre" right now and they are going over the "big" dinner for guests routine. I'm learning more from you right now! Thanks Richard, Hugs, Pearl said...

All of these are spectacular, but I love the bird plates and the silver egg set the best. All of that serving and removing of dishes is too much work now without help isn't it.I have been cleaning out my dish cabinet and getting rid of things. I have way to many serving dishes and accesories-time to clean out.

Babs said...

Love the game birds set! I'm looking at the icecream set and thinking Hyacinth Bucket would think the design is very "continental". :)
The egg coddle set is just gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your treasures.

An Historical Lady said...

Just gorgeous, Richard! Best of luck today with your ladies' luncheon. I know they will be bowled over, and remember this outing at your lovely home forever~
Hugs and kisses to you and Sissy,

Beverly said...

Richard, I love every set. Dishes are one of my great weaknesses, and something that I constantly try to control.

If I followed my heart, I could be acquiring them constantly.

Anonymous said...

The ice cream set is stunning! I've had sterling ice cream forks for years but didn't know this kind of dessert was served on a platter. It's so fun to learn things from you.

I want a fish set, but the price always makes me back away. I love the game birds, too. I tend to accumulate individual pieces that never come together in an actual set. The fish can be pretty quirky looking sometimes! Like yours. :)

As for that lovely silver egg coddler, the braided feet are so intricately detailed. Makes my heart race just to look at all the fine workmanship and pride that went into creating this object for the table.

I'm glad dishwashers were invented, but I'm not convinced that we should have sacrificed elegance just to have them!

Gypsy Heart said...

Amazing! Your dishes remind me so much of two of my aunts' collections. I have teacups and saucers that they gave me but that's it. I found your blog via Debbiedoo's and I'm now a follower.


Curtains in My Tree said...

I am still amazied with all your pretties. I know I could never be the one washing those delicate dishes for I have broke as many dishes in my life as you have shown us all LOL.

I do love the ice cream set and the fish platter, and the turquoise set,also the pheasant set. Did I get them all ? oh and the silver egg thing loved it .

just too beautiful for words. Oh mY gosh I forgot to menetion your Dad's set he got at a country auction, love it .

When I was there last I wondered if you have great stuff stashed under your beds? LOL
since you have so many gorgeous things to show and teach us the history about them

I love your lessons

xoxo to Sissy

Charlotte Wilson said...

Hi Richard,
You not only have a lot of dishes but a museum. I especially love the English dessert pretty. It is a shame that most of our dishes are made in China. I am almost afraid to eat on them.
I have Fiesta Ware which is made here but is so plain compared to your dishes.
Those were elegant times.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


Unknown said...

You certainly have a magnificent collection. I collect teapots and teacups. It seems that during Queen Victoria's day, that the meal was a beautiful event. I am sure that we might find all that beautiful ceremony in the Queen's Windsor Castle today.

Lovely to meet you.



Hey Richard, do put me on your Christmas list with a little vintage present! lol! I just read this about our shopping, to no avail friend just before! lol! Love,

xinex said...

Oh Richard, I was drooling over your dish sets. You know me when i comes to dishes, lol. So exquisite, so pretty and so delicate! Thanks for the Victorian info on serving the various courses..Christine

Shelia said...

Hi Richard! Oh, what beautiful berry sets! I love those Limoges! What a nice time I'm sure the ladies will have a wonderful time at your luncheon! If I lived closer I'd come and crash your party! :) In a nice way, of course! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

The pheasant plates! I love those! I'm planning to use a pheasant as a centerpiece for Thanksgiving (a ceramic teapot by Fitz & Floyd surrounded by natural grasses and gourds), and those plates really send me. You have a lovely collection here, but the pheasant plates are calling my name!

Bohemian said...

As always thanks for the Education Richard... I have some small bowls in a set that I assumed were Berry Bowls but now I'm wondering if they were part of an Ice-Cream Set? Don't have the Center Bowl to them though, found them in a Junquing Adventure. *Winks*

Thanks for your sweet comment to my Polynesian Beauty Post, I was so very excited to find her after all this time of admiring that particular Sculpture!

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Sissysmom said...

Hi Richard- All of your serving sets are beautiful. I love the ice cream set. I recently purchased a berry set and hope to get a game set soon.

Hope your luncheon went well and everyone had a good time. How could they not with you as host and Sissy Dog as hostess! Give Sissy a pat on the head from me!


Jewel Sauls said...

I am trying to wipe the drool off my keyboard as I type. LOVE it all!!! I also live in a historic home (1883). Can't wait to check out the rest of your blog! Your newest follower, Jewel

Tallulah's Antique Closet said...

Hi Richard, Thank You for sharing your beautiful collection of china. I just luv the ones with the birds. Also thanks for stopping by today for a visit. Have your self a great weekend and say hello to Sissydog........Julian

AnneMarie said...

Hi Richard
Such beautiful china, definitely experiencing 'china envy' at the moment! Thankyou for your comments and for following me too! Look forward to many visits to your gorgeous home. AnneMarie x

lvroftiques said...

Great lesson Richard! (as always *winks*) Those Victorians had the perfect utensils for every possible occassion didn't they?
So could you tell me how you tell the berry sets from the ice cream sets? Is it the different shaped center bowl?
I'm drooling over that minton set like it seems everybody else is too *winks* but all your sets are soooo beautiful!
I hope you had a wonderful ladies luncheon. Will you be doing a post on it?*fingers crossed* Vanna

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Wow, Richard, that ice cream set is fabulous! I love the rich colors, and you have so many pieces in that set! They're all pretty, though. I just love old dishes. And I love all the types of silverware and serving pieces the Victorians used... like ice cream forks! I would never think of eating ice cream between meals because I know it would ruin my appetite for the "healthy" stuff, LOL!


we three dogs and me said...

Wow what beautiful colleston of dishes you have. I too am partial to the pheasant dishes as my husband hunted .Glad to know some history on the icecream sets. I just was given china marked Bavaria Dresden design would like some information on. Not a whole set but enough for three .

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU Sir Richard for answering a big question for me!!!
I bought a silver egg server in the Salvation army store just lately, and could NOT figure out what the center well would have held. The eggs and spoons were self explanatory, but the hole in the center (where the salt cellar would have been) has been driving me nuts trying to think what belonged there. Now I just have to look in my "oh my gosh" collection of glass items to see what might fit!
Thank you so much for your time to teach us!