Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fish Dinner on the Porch


I have waited a long time to do this blog.  I found gorgeous fish plates on eBay over a year ago, but I needed to work on the table setting.  At long last, I am ready!


Since I live on a lake, I thought it would be nice to serve this dinner on our screened-in porch, which overlooks the lake.  I hope that I am not making the fish in the lake nervous!


With the swing on our porch, which is an absolute necessity for our family, we really do not have room to leave a dining table out there all of the time – Susan from Between Naps of the Porch, I am totally jealous of your huge porch!! When I serve meals on my porch, I pull out a folding table and use the wicker chairs that do “live” on the porch.


The tablecloth that I used was made by Heritage Lace and is the “Chablis” pattern.  I bought this cloth at Tuesday morning, after “Chablis” had been discontinued.  I, also, bought two place mats – oh, how I wish I had more.  I am obsessed with white-on-white embroidery and the grape pattern on the pieces is stunning.


The white napkins were an Etsy purchase.


I had several choices of dinner plates to use with the fish plates, but these Anna Weatherley “Colors” plates were by far the best. I bought four of these plates and matching six salad plates for a ridiculously low price – one of the best bargains of all time.  For those of you who are not familiar with Anna Weatherley, her china is hand painted in Czech Republic and Hungary.  Most of the pieces have wonderful designs on them and cost hundreds of dollars.  The “Colors” line is not as expensive and is made to coordinate with the decorated ones. This plate is the older shape plate, but I like the old style much better than the new one.  However, if any of you would like to give me some of the new ones, I will gladly take them – lol!!


On top of the Weatherley plates are the fabulous hand painted fish plates that are Bawo & Dotter “Limoges Elite”.  Bawo and Dotter was a firm that was established in the 1860s in New York City to import Limoges china from France.  The “Elite” line was established in 1870s to decorate china made by other factories.  There are two marks on the backs of my plates – a red one, which was used from 1896-1932 and a green one, which was used from 1896-1920, so I guess my plates were decorated prior to 1920. The red mark uses a drawing of St. Martial from the seal of the city of Limoges. All four of the plates are signed with the name of the painter “Lea”.


The table on the porch is not very large, so instead of using a real centerpiece, I used the sauce boat that came with the plates, when I purchased them.


The gold encrusted glasses are “Andover”, which are part of my Fostoria collection.  I plan on doing another “Obsession” blog on Fostoria in the near future.  I love their glassware!


The silver that I used on the table is a collection of different pieces.   


The decorated fish forks and knives are marked “Mappin Brothers”, but after extensive research I cannot find the same mark attributed to them. My pieces do have the “sun” mark that appears on all of their pieces, but the way that “Mappin Brothers” is written is different. Apparently, the firm with this name was only in existence from 1846 to 1902 and did have several marks.  I believe that these pieces are Sheffield plate.


The pearl handle knives were made by Shreve & Company, which is engraved on the silverplate blades.  The bolsters are marked “Sterling”


I need to use the pearl knives, because I do not have knives that match my very old (1889) Towle “Diane” sterling. I chose this flatware, because of the wonderful wave-like decorations on the pieces, along with the artful references to the sea (waves, shells, etc.). Silver decorated this way was made during a brief period from about 1885, until around 1900.  Some other patterns that are similarly decorated are “Dresden” by Watrous (1898), “Earle” by Frank Smith (1890), and “Douglas” by Gorham (1899).  I am no silver expert, but these heavily decorated patterns seem to be a bridge between Victorian and Art Nouveau styles. They really are impressionistic in nature, but I have no idea, if that art movement influenced the designers of this style. I suspect that the decorations fall into the "Aesthetic Movement (1870-1900)" category, but I have no verification of that. George P. Tilton created “Diane” for Towle and, also, designed several other patterns for the company.


I am using a “Diane” fish slice, along with a gravy ladle, a serving spoon, dinner forks and ice cream spoons.  I know – what are the ice cream spoons doing here? I have no “Diane” teaspoons and these smaller ice cream spoons stand in for the teaspoons. Most of these pieces were purchased from Replacements and I would just like to thank Bob Page one more time for preserving all of the antique china, crystal and silver that he has done for all of these years. Where would we all be without Replacements?


I hope I have not bored you with the history of some of my treasures.  I am somewhat of a nerd, when it comes to research and I love history! Preserving these beautiful things for the following generations is very important to me.  I am thankful for all of those who came before me and lovingly cherished these pieces, so that I could have the privilege of owning them and, then, passing them along.


I think I will light the candles and ponder all of this, while swinging in my porch swing and having a glass of wine, before dinner.  Wish you were here!

Diane


















46 comments:

  1. I love your table. The china looks so elegant. The silverware is so pretty. Your tablecloth is lovely. It's really a beautiful spot for a quiet dinner.

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  2. This is a fabulous table! I really enjoyed your post -- all of your pieces are just exquisite. I really envy your porch! And the view!

    You should really get to Fairhope. You would love it, and the little downtown area is so pretty. The most beautiful flowers you have ever seen are everywhere: hanging, in big flower beds, etc. There are several very nice restaurants, as well as more casual eateries. I will try to send you a couple of photos of the pier and the bay.

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  3. Hi lovely lady.
    Your Tablescape is Gorgeous with your lovely dishes!! You did a Beautiful job putting this all together for your Mothers Day dinner. I hope you had a wonderful Mothers Day with your family this past Sunday. Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my new Nautical Tablescape.
    XXOO Diane

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  4. This is one phenomenal tablescape. The rich history of the china and silverware is amazing. I can see why you bought the fish plates, they are pretty. Your linens are lovely, too, I enjoy going to Tuesday Morning. xo

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  5. I love your fish plates and silvewrware. This looks so relaxing, looking out over the lake. I am now following.

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  6. Everything on your table is just stunning..however, I'm afraid that the view off your porch is something that anyone would envy! It's gorgeous! Just gorgeous!

    I agree with you that Susans porch is stunning! It's a porch decorated like everyone would love.
    Hugs,
    Mona

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  7. What a gorgeous table! It has such a relaxed elegance to it!
    You may be envious of Susan's porch, but I'm envious of yours! :D

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  8. We would all love to have Susan's porch, I think! However, I happen to love yours because I would love one with a swing overlooking a lake. Oh. Wow.

    As for the table, it is just lovely! I think a card table with those chairs works perfectly. I love the fish dishes, and the way they sit against the blue plates is perfect. I really love it.

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  9. Oh my goodness! Those are fabulous plates! I'd be afraid to use them! I love your mix of silverware and the Fostoria stemware! You have some lovely pieces!
    There is nothing wrong with pulling out the table and using it when you need it! I bet it is nice to sit on the porch and swing! I love how your porch is so open to see the lake.

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  10. I so drool with your china.

    The turqoise dinner plates and the salad plates are unbeatable. I know that the Czech Republic got so much adorable china.

    It's just 4hrs away from Stockholm, where I am living. Been there a few times and for us, plate addicted? It's our heaven and the price is enormous different from where I come from.

    I could buy the whole store §;-)

    Happy mid-week.

    Greetings from a chilly Stockholm,
    /CC

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  11. Love, love, love the china. The turquoise dinner plates are beautiful and so are the fish plates. So wish I could to the CR to buy plates.

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  12. Gorgeous table. The dinnerware is incredible!

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  13. Beautiful china and your little porch looks very comfy and cozy. Thank You for sharing and have a wonderful night!

    Aledia @ Plum Perfect

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  14. Diane,
    This is my favorite table you have done....it is just beautiful...it draws me in especially because of the outdoorsy elegant feel you have done here.you have done an exceptional job in juxtaposing the two....wish I was your neighbor so I could sit a while...
    Mona

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  15. I don't know which I like better, the lakeside setting or those fish dishes! And you even have fish flatware? Wow! Just beautiful!

    Robin
    Robin Flies South

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  16. No kidding you were making the fish in the lake nervous! They were probably barricading themselves into some mud hole in an effort to save their lives!!! ;-) That's a really great view from your porch! Wow! I would love to look out at that all the time. Instead, I get to look out at our neighbor's swimming pool. Hardly the same thing! The table has so many wonderful elements, and you REALLY did a great job in pairing the fish plates with the dinner plates! I miss the days when fish forks and such were a staple on the dinner table and fish was a course all unto itself. Sigh! Very nicely done!!! Have a great week!

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  17. I love how delightfully elegant you're table is. It's certainly a match for the grandeur of your view. I so enjoyed knowing the history of your pieces. Your chosen plates are perfect with the gorgeous dish plates. The silver is stunning too. Lovely beyond words. Xo marlis

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  18. Your table is so elegantly set on your porch! Your next the last photo is stunning with the sunlight streaming in and highlighting your beautiful plates! We're on the lake too and spend most of our time at eating outdoors or on the porch!

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  19. Everything about your table is just so lovely. All the different silverware pieces are making me drool!

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  20. How elegant...the blue dinner plates are so perfect with the fish plates. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. This is exquisite!!! What amazing plates. I love the chargers. What a color!!! And all of that delightful flatware. Just gorgeous.

    - The Tablescaper

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  22. What an elegant, gorgeous table full of so many stunning treasures. Beautiful china, and oh those fabulous linens!

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  23. What beautiful plates! Your porch is lovely too and how lucky you are to live on a lake. I love your blog title. I can relate ~ I am totally obsessed. I am your newest follower.

    Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  24. I love the embroidery too, such a shame you can't get more and that it's discontinued..what a lovely table you have set, with the glasses, silver and then the fab view!!

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  25. Oh My Goodness! I LOVE those fish plates and I, too, have been searching Ebay for affordable fish plates. Your table setting is absolutely gorgeous!

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  26. Can I have your porch!! I love it and the tablescape. Very beautiful fish plates and the silverware is to die for!

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  27. Your table is gorgeous and the dishes are stunning! Love the pretty embroidery too. Everything is great, from the stems to the silver! Hugs,
    FABBY

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  28. Hi Diane, I love it when I learn something from a blog. I am using the same stems this week, and I purchased them from an estate sale. I had no idea of the pattern and I am excited to learn that they are Fostoria!! I think your table is simply beautiful! I can tell a lot of thought and love went into the creation. Love love the fish plates! Thanks for cluing me in :)

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  29. Your Limoges fish china is amazing! Visiting from Let's Dish.

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  30. I would Absolutrly "live" on your porch!!! I am in love with your porch! What's beautiful view! I think those fish should feel honored to be served as dinner at that beautiful table

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  31. Oh my word, this is totally stunning. I love your fish dishes, I don't think I have ever seen any like them. They re gorgeous and your linens and other accessories are so perfect. What a beautiful tablescape. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

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  32. When I read "fish table" I wondered how you could make that look pretty - but not only did you make it pretty it is absolutely gorgeous! I love those plates and the setting for the table was perfect! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am your newest follower.

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  33. Beautiful table setting... from the table linens to the dishes and flatware. I LOVE the photo with the sun streaming through on to your table. Visiting from Let's Dish.

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  34. I love your table on the porch overlooking the Lake. No matter if your porch is smaller, the view is fantastic!
    Pretty plates, and I love the linens too!
    Thanks so much for linking to Let's Dish!

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  35. This is an exquisite table. The Anna Weatherley plates are some of my favorites. The color is remarkable and perfect with your new set of fish plates. What a wonderful setting for your porch with that incredible view. Isn't it wonderful to have a beautiful spot to dine alfresco? Thanks for sharing all this beauty. ~ Sarah

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  36. Gorgeous table settings ~ oh, I wish I had a porch!

    Elizabeth

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  37. Oh My! I would trade Susan's porch size for your's any day of the week. I love the lake! Your setting is just beautiful! I love every element you used and enjoyed the details as well. I adore those fish dishes but also find the turquoise dishes stunning as well. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful setting!

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  38. Back again for another look, beautiful dishes.

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  39. Oh my goodness, those dishes are beautiful! What a gorgeous table from the amazing tablecloth to the unique flatware! Love the photo of the sun gleaming off the lake!

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  40. So gorgeous! The fish plates are stunning, and the tablecloth is exquisite. I appreciate the history that you provided for us...there's always more to learn. I would have been the guest at your table that you would have to send home ....I would still be sitting and soaking in that glorious lakeside setting. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

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  41. What a beautiful table! I so enjoyed reading the history of your pieces. I love vintage silver and have been starting to collect a bit of it. Your setting is perfect. I love the fish dishes on that pretty turquoise.

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  42. Your fish plates are gorgeous and what a wonderful setting for them on your screened porch. How lovely to live on the lake and have a screened porch. :)
    Babs

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  43. Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays. I'm your newest Follower.

    - The Tablescaper

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  44. Such beautiful linens, china, silver and crystal! Great pieces and you did a great job.

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  45. Diane, Check out my blog. I just given you the Kreativ Blogger award! Pam

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  46. Diane, love those plates and your flatware...beautiful! Your whole table setting is wonderful! And of course you know I love your porch! :)

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