Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Tale of Three Chinas

Almost 20 years ago when my grandmother passed away, I inherited what remained of her china.  It was from the 1940's and mainly included just a few serving pieces.   I was glad to have it not just because it was something I had long admired, but because I really wanted something sentimental to remember grandma by.  I once heard a story that my mom, while pregnant with me, dropped a stack of fine china dishes that she was carrying to the kitchen for my grandma.  So that may explain why only some serving pieces survived!

Since eBay had just become a thing, I searched for more of the china, which I learned from the backside was called Noritake Nanarosa.  I was able to secure a beautiful tea pot and some plates, teacups, and saucers on auction.

Fast forward to just a few years ago when my brother in law, Dave Mickelson, was helping a buddy clear out his mother's garage.  He happened on a box of china, and when he opened it, he immediately thought it was my pattern.  He brought it to me, and while it was made by Noritake, it was not exactly my pattern.  However, it went well enough with my grandma's dishes, so I gratefully added it to my little collection.

Recently, my sister in law Kristen (Dave's wife and Rich's sister) received a box of china as a donation to the company she works with.  Lo and behold -   it looked like my china!  She sent me a photo to ask.  Again, it was not exact, but close.  Since the company had no use for it, she asked if I wanted it.  Um....YES PLEASE!

I was so thrilled to unpack PRISTINE plates of all sizes, two kinds of bowls (including soup bowls I have never owned), a beautiful divided vegetable bowl, tea cups, and saucers.  It made me wonder the story of how this china from so long ago could have been so safely protected all these years.  Regardless of where it's been since the 1940's, I'm happy it's found its "forever home" with some of its sisters :-)

Here are some photos of my updated collection.  
I'm not a keeper or a collector of much, but I truly cherish these dishes!

 A sample tea saucer of all three patterns from Noritake - so close!
Top: newest addition --"Mimi"
Middle: former addition (name unknown)
Bottom: Grandma's china, "Nanarosa"


The new collection:  oval serving platter, gravy boat, incredible divided bowl, dinner plates, soup bowls, sherbet bowls, teacups & saucers, a creamer and a lone sugar lid.


I'm so in love with this divided vegetable bowl!  
Look at that amazing condition - shiny and not a scratch!


The newly arranged collection on one side of my china cabinet.
Though I don't possess complete settings, I now have 30 dinner plates -- let's party!


I had to be strategic about the arrangement so that everything fit.  Sadly, the teacups had to be separated and join the crystal on the other side of the cabinet.
I also have a small collection of Fostoria Chintz (elegant depression glass) from my grandma.

The china on the middle shelf is my wedding china, which we never got any of at the time of our wedding, but that was a surprise 25th anniversary gift from Rich - see this post for the story).

Do you own any heirloom china? 
I hope to not just display this, but use it often.


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Gypsy Wolf said...

Those are gorgeous! What a fun and unique story(ies) to pass along in your family!

I love how simple and yet elegant the pieces are!

I too have a small collection passed down from my great, great grandmother.

Carol B. said...

They are all beautiful and compliment one another so well. I love that each set has its special story.

My mom uses her "good china" as her everyday dishes - because... "why save them for special occasions? Enjoy them every day." :-)
(Hers is Spode - Wickerdale)