• Emma Claire Crocker

Looking to the Past: A History of Vintage Dishes

We are excited about the future of our company; however, we want to acknowledge the history and the importance of the past. To do this, we will investigate the record of items in our inventory!

Antique vs. Vintage

Before we dive into history, let's chat about some terminology. The word antique generally refers to something at least 100 years old, while the term vintage refers to something from a past generation. Now, here's were it gets tricky! When an item is classified as an antique, it can also be called vintage. However, the reverse is not always true. If an item is classified as vintage, it might not be antique. Now that we have that cleared up, let's learn some history!

The Origin of Porcelain

Until the 18th century, the only known geographical locations to use porcelain dishware were Japan and China. Other countries were using crafted metal and wood vessels to hold their food. Pottery was a technique known to many cultures, however, the making of porcelain was a unique tradition in China due to the discovery of kaolin clay. This material transformed to a bright white product after being heated to high temperatures. This technique caught the attention of European and Arab traders. It was adapted by many European countries; each country made plates with unique styles and colors which increased its popularity as porcelain became collectible.

The Skill of a Maker

Believe it or not, there is not much information about pottery makers and their lives... in any era! However, this skill is not to be underappreciated. From the limited resources available, porcelain making and painting were highly skilled trades which required precision and creativity. In China, as far back as 960 AD, the making of porcelain had become very organized. These dishware techniques were used to make products ranging in value depending on design and craftsman (which is still true today)! Due to the delicacy and technical abilities needed to make a dish successfully, the skill of a potter needed to be precise. While there was just as much precision needed when decorating, there was more freedom for artistic vision.

Let's Talk About the Future

Now that we understand a little more about the history of tableware and the people that made it, we want to think about the future. Research has shown that vintage porcelain dishes are both an ethical and sustainable options when it comes to setting a table. We want to be a part of creating sustainability while staying true to our aesthetic. This is totally possible by using vintage items... and we love the thought of keeping these treasures from a landfill!

So, as we move forward, we are excited to put this knowledge to use! We want to remember the history and people that created and crafted porcelain so we can enjoy it for years to come...


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