Friday, January 25, 2013
"Dish" by Shax Riegler
this dress I saw at Anthropologie over Christmas!
• In 1518, a rich Roman banker wanted to impress his guests by insuring that no plates were used twice during a banquet, so he had servants toss all the plates used during a course into the Tiber River. Afterwards, the pieces were retrieved from a net that had secretly been lowered into the river beforehand!
• The difference between a "plate" and a "dish"? A plate is 1/2 inch deep. A dish is up to 1-1/2 inches deep. ("Even so," says Riegler, "the words are often used interchangeably.")
• "The white china plate is the little black dress of the dining table," he says.
• What Riegler calls "the smeary effect" on flow blue is a result of cobalt pigment running during a piece's firing. One legend claims that many years ago, this mistake was considered to be ruinous to a batch of plates in an English factory, but the owner said "Oh, they will do for the American market." (Humph. I'd be insulted if I weren't so pleased such gorgeous "mistakes" were preserved—and now highly collectible!)
• Portmeirion Potteries in England was founded in 1960 and "launched its first Botanic Garden pieces in 1972 after founder Susan Williams-Ellis bought Thomas Green's 1817 book The Universal Herbal and decided to apply the illustrations to tableware." I didn't know that!
Oh, and my five patterns from yesterday? They're among those pictured in the back of the book, part of a list of the 100 most popular patterns ever as named by Replacements, Ltd. in North Carolina. If you're like me, you'll enjoy checking to see if any of your patterns are on this list!