Profiles in Porcelain

Little Augury: Marie Antoinette by Raynaud

Many thanks to all of you Chinaholics who came out of the butler's pantry and shared your own tales of tabletops.

Mrs. Blandings: Herend Golden Edge

Almost all of you advised me to MIX! My dear friend Richard who is famous in our set for his five course dinners with all the proper crystal and sterling accouterments, put it very convincingly:

Curator KDM: Mottahedeh Duke of Gloucester

Aesthete's 19th century limoges in action

" As you know, I love to use my porcelain. For dinner parties but also for those grand solitaire dinners. Chinese take away on old Meissen is the only way to go! I have several single tea cups and saucers and dishes which I only use for Sundays in bed with the Times and tea/coffee.

Style Court is drawn to Herend Chinese Bouquet in Rust while Julieta adores hers in Green

Marnie loves her grandmother's Noritake Beverly, but, like Mr. Worthington, isn't a big fan of Imari

"So go ahead,if you love a pattern, buy yourself a breakfast cup or chocolate cup and side plate for those afternoons on the sofa or mornings in bed (or afternoons in the garden). Personally, I'd buy one cup/saucer/plate in Roseraie for tea in the garden and Darley for afternoons on the sofa. Nobody says you can't have a harlequin tea set.

Home Before Dark: Chateaubriand by Bernardaud

"Another thing I'd like to point out is we can mix and match our china. I don't know if you caught it but at one of my past dinners, I used three different patterns (Royal Worcestor for the appetizer and entree, Bernardaud for the cheese course, Herend for dessert and coffee) Because of that, people noticed the china, rather than being overwhelmed by Herend butterflies or Bernadaud shepards. One word: Mix! "

Meg from Pigtown-Design likes Royal Copenhagen Half Lace in white

while Patricia of PVE Design prefers it in white and blue...

That evening I ran into another china fanatic who caused another tableware epiphany. Jennie, who could easily have us all over for luncheon with her stash of dishes, urgently advised me not to buy a matching coffee or teapot. Buy a silver one - it goes with everything! Sage advice indeed.

Jennie's Enoch Wood and Son's Verona

Janet's grandfather's Wedgwood Edme

In fact, quite a few of you urged me to think about not just mixing up patterns, but materials - don't buy all the serving pieces in the dinner plate pattern -the luster of silver and the glitter of crystal add dimension and drama. After all, who said dinner theater couldn't be right at your own table?

Hermes' Africa adds spice to Marja's dessert

Two of my favorite ladies were preaching to the choir when they urged me to think secondhand: as you know from my ebay exploits, I hardly buy anything firsthand. Deb recommended connecting to the auction houses while Maureen turned me onto to replacements.com because with porcelain, as in life, you can't wait for others to bring to your table what you can put there yourself.