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Simple Dinner Sets Go A Long Way

Dec 14, 2007
The time has come when Christmas is only just around the corner and you still have to go shopping to buy presents, decorations, food, Christmas tree etc. You begin to panic as you have realised that you have to buy a completely new range of dinner sets as your old sets have chipped, washed out or cracked. On the other hand, maybe this is your first Christmas dinner to cook for the family and friends, and you have no dishware to serve your dinner.

This year I have noticed a new trend in simple dinner sets and fine crockery for special occasions. People prefer to purchase simple earthenware designs that match well with plain shades of place mats, napkin with a simple napkin ring and long tinted glasses. Putting a simple spread out for Christmas can be more effective than spending huge amounts of money on expensive dishware and tablecloths that will only be used once or twice in a year.

Dinner sets are something that have been around for more than a century, but have not always been a fashion accessory at the dinner table. Having the right set for a special occasion appears to be an essential part of the preparation process for a big meal such as Christmas. It is not enough now to view dishware as just a tool to eat food from; the design of the plate plays an important part in displaying the appeal of the food and its presentation. It is more common now to serve food on plain white plates than it was during the 1980s whereby flower patterned plates were more popular.

History

Historically dinner sets were made from wood, metals, pewter and even animal skulls. Modern dishware is made from stoneware, earthenware, porcelain, glass and melamine resin. The Chinese had discovered the process of making porcelain around 600AD and had begun trading porcelain objects with the European during the 1300s. Owning porcelain made plates was a must-have for the Europeans. It was not until 1708 that a German potter in Meissen discovered the Chinese porcelain making process, beginning a new range of great European potteries.

Some of the most popular and best-known potters were also founded during this period. Famous brands such as Royal Saxon, Wedgewood, Royal Copenhagen and Spode. The practise of collecting souvenir plates was not popularised until 1800s by Patrick Palmer-Thomas, a Dutch-English nobleman who impressed Victorian audiences with his public displays of plates. The first collectible items 'Behind the Frozen Window', was credited to the Danish namely Bing and Grondahl.
Christmas designed plates were then produced by many of the European countries particularly that of Royal Copenhagen and the Rosenthal series in 1910. It was not long before the European designs were introduced to the U.S with sales going up in souvenir shops, department stores and gift shops.

Plates are still used as a collectible item, mainly for older generations rather than the younger culture. Some popular collectibles are usually from abroad with intricate paintings of the countries national customs captured onto the dish. With different shapes and thickness available, dishwares are an important element in keeping up a good appearance of one's efforts on producing a good spread and the most popular designs are simple with a few small accessories to jazz it up.
About the Author
Anna Stenning has a large collection of "http://www.denby.co.uk//">dinner sets and designer plates from around the globe. She purchases her finest sets from http://www.denby.co.uk
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