September 2, 2014

Tin Plates or Sèvres China?

I recently posted an image on my Instagram feed, and got a lot of compliments and comments about the plate. Although it looks quite fancy, it’s actually a tin plate and is just the thing for a late afternoon snack in the garden or a picnic at the horse races. IMG_2963x

I think I picked up the first one or two of these at a museum shop, and over the years, I have accumulated about a dozen of them in total. IMG_3052They are all copies of antique china patterns, including Sèvres from Chatsworth in England and the Hermitage in Russia. Most of the plates I have are from the Wallace Collection in London or Mottahedeh here in the States. mottahedahOccasionally, you can find them in the gift shops at house museums. When Restoration Hardware was what it used to be, and not all this over-sized crap, you could find specialty sets of tin picnic plates. I picked up a set of circus plates for my nieces and nephew and a set of Christmas plates. Another source is eBay. IMG_3044I have had mine for about ten or more years, and use them with some frequency. They are lightweight and very durable. I don’t put them (or anything else) in the dishwasher, so I can’t speak to how well they’d hold up if put in the washer. IMG_3045

When I am eating outside, I grab one of these plates because I don’t have any worries about it breaking. And we always use them for our tailgate at the Hunt Cup. My friend’s plates are on the right and one of mine is on the left. image

Legend has it that Annette de la Renta bought hundreds of these plates for her daughter’s wedding dinner. They were featured in the pages of Vogue and became quite the chic item to acquire. IMG_3049

The other brilliant thing about these places are that they’re totally green – no plastic at picnics and you can use them over and over again.

28 comments:

  1. Unless you picked one up, it is impossible to tell just by looking that they are ton. Really lovely.

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    1. And when you pick them up, you have to be prepared for their light weight or they'll fly out of your hands.

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  2. Just beautiful. And such a great way to enjoy the little things in life, the civilized moments, to their fullest.

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    1. Why not use your good china/silver/crystal. It takes no more effort, and what are you saving it for?

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  3. LOVE THESE, I have that top plate, but I wish I had as many as you do... I'll have to look more closely in the museum shops, pretty smart, these.

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    1. They are about $10 each, but when you think of how often you will use them, they're worth it.

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  4. I can answer the question about putting these in the dishwasher. Don't. I ended up with a plain, unadorned tin disc. I cried.

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  5. I had no idea these existed. I really should work on building a collection. They are so "me" and anything beats a paper plate blowing across a field.

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    1. Check eBay for some. I put in "tin picnic plates".

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  6. Have to jump in too. We used ours hard- metal cutlery and dishwasher and ended up tossing them after about 8 years. Pretty good wear and have wanted to replenish, but haven't seen them around in years.... Thanks for the advice on where to find them these days. I will treat the next batch better.... Leigh Ann

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    1. I feel guilty about using metal cutlery on mine, but after a while, I stopped worrying. They are fun to have on hand.

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  7. .Well in the mean time I will look for interesting Melamine plates. OMG I have one in front of me, decorated with an artistic splay of bamboo. Good Day.

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    1. There are some brilliant melamine plates these days. Check out these Provençal-style ones in melamine. Here.

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  8. Yes down with plastic disposable crap!!!! Plastic silverware is my pet peeve especially -and it always manages to break anyway as you're using it!

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    1. The disposable bamboo cutlery is pretty good.

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  9. I have a set of these tin plates and just used them over Labor Day. Have had them since they were released in 1999; I'm the dishwasher so they've held up well except for a few minor scratches. My pattern is from a Worcester porcelain plate and was produced for the V&A museum and made in England though they were purchased in NYC.

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    1. They sound great! All of the plates are, apparently, made by the same company in England, and I know the V&A is one of the places mentioned in their eBay listing.

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  10. saw them in Houston, Tx + what great buys. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. They are a great present for someone with a pool... or someone who does a lot of camping! haha!

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  11. This is new to me and I love them all. What an elegant touch to a picnic. I'm a china and dish fan(atic) and these are just grand. I also got a chuckle from your candor in regard to RH. I'm old enough now that I've decided if anyone's name is emblazoned on what I wear, use, or sit on, it will be my own.

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    1. Annie - these are terrific! It really elevates your picnics!

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  12. Those plates are terrific

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  13. I have tin plates I bought at Wells and Winter (http://www.wellsandwinter.co.uk/plates2.asp) years ago. I have several patterns and love the looks on people's faces when they realize they lovely plates are tin. I always hand wash them, and they've all held up well.

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    1. Great link! It describes all of the plates!

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  14. These are so beautiful and perfect for summer and family gatherings! Meg you always collect the most unique pieces!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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