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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tablescape Thursday: Formal Dinner in the Dining Room

I showed a few pictures of my formal china and crystal in my very first Tablescape Thursday submission a few weeks ago, but for this week I would like to show it all put together, as it would be for a formal dinner. I use red frequently in the decor for this room and as an accent color also because my dining room is RED! Red was a popular color for dining rooms in the 19th century because Victorians believed that red was a color that aided in digestion. I always wanted a red dining room and amazingly enough, the dining room was already painted red when we bought the house! What luck!

Our dining room table comfortably seats six, although I might be able to squeeze a couple more in if needed! There is a center leaf which is currently in place; it comes out easily,although we don't usually take it out. If there was one thing I could change about this room I'd change the size. I wish it was a little larger!

The colors of the flowers on my china includes light pink/peach, light blue and light green. I do have pink damask napkins like these red ones, I also have blue linens and placemats that match the china very well also. I have used the red damask napkins again for tonight, which I have folded into a traditional fan fold. I usually use a lot of starch in my napkins to help hold the shapes of the many various folds I can do for my table. I love to fold napkins; it's one of my many idiosyncrasies!

Tonight I am also using vintage linen placemats which I recently bought at an antique store. I also have napkins that match. You can view one of the napkins in last week's Tablescape post here.
I have placed the butter spreader at angle on the bread plate to mimic the offset placement of the wine glass and water goblet. The placement of the flatware is the traditional "American" style. In the "Continental" style, the forks would be placed with the tines down, rather than facing up.

My flatware place settings are a 5-pc set; salad fork, dinner fork, dinner knife, tablespoon and coffee/dessert spoon. I also have some of the matching serving pieces, such as butter spreaders, a serving fork and spoon, flat-bladed tongs, gravy ladle etc. I'd like to find some more vintage pieces that might be similar enough in the pattern to go with these. I'd love to have some of the more "uncommon" pieces they don't often have in settings these days, like iced beverage spoons, fish forks, fruit knives and berry spoons!

A matching gravy boat (above). And for my centerpiece on the table, I used my antique Victorian cruet castor. This piece is silver plate, which has some wear and two of my cruet bottles are missing the stoppers, but I love the etched glass and it still swivels nicely! This piece was made by the Meriden Britannia Co. which was founded in Meriden, CT in 1852. This one has 5 cruet bottles, which would have held sweet oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and  probably mustard. Meriden Britannia is known for not consistently marking their products with style numbers, etc. to be able to date them easily, and I have been unable to find out the exact date this one was made. "Fancy" cruet stands were introduced in the 1850s, with shorter stature revolving castors becoming popular after 1855.  Tall revolving cruet castors were introduced in the 1880s. Cruet stands themselves were out of fashion by the end of the 1890s. I would guess mine is probably from the 1880s, although I did see a picture once of a castor which looked very similar to mine that was dated from the late 1860s-1870s.

This silver serving piece (it could be either a covered vegetable bowl or a soup tureen, I've used it as both) was given to me by my great-aunt as a wedding gift for my first marriage in 1995. It had once belonged to her mother-in-law. I don't know much about this piece, but I love the grapes and grape leaves detail around the rim of the lid and on the feet.

There's the pheasant S&P shakers again! So cute!
As darkness falls, the candlelight sparkles on the crystal and silver!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit all the other wonderful tablescapes at Tablescape Thursday, hosted by Between Naps on the Porch!

                   The Basic Vocabulary for the Table Setting:
Cover: The space allotted the diner on which tableware is placed
Cutlery: Eating utensils with a cutting edge, such as a steak knife
Dinnerware: A collective term for plates, bowls, cups and saucers
Flatware: Utensils manufactured from flattened sheets of metal, cut and stamped into form; ware that lays flat on the table, such as a dinner knife, fork or spoon.
Glassware: Non-stemmed drinking vessels, such as tumblers and bar glasses; also glass plate, cups or bowls
Holloware: Serveware with height and depth that is hollow in the center; for example, a pitcher or coffee pot.
Place setting: The space or "setting" on the table where the dinnerware, stemware and flatware are 'placed'; also known as the "cover".
Serveware: Utility ware used to serve a meal; such as platters, trays or bowls.
Silverware: Flatware made of silver
Stemware: A glass with a bowl that rests on a stem anchored by a foot; for example a long-stemmed wine glass.
Suite: Tableware that matches, such as dinnerware, flatware and stemware ornamented with the same motif
Table Service: An inclusive word for dinnerware, flatware, glassware and linens.
Tableware: An inclusive word for dinnerware, flatware, etc.; the ware from which food and drink are taken.
Tumbler: A non-stemmed glass with a flat or semi-rounded base, such as a bar glass.


Diann @ the Thrifty Groove said...

A Very lovely table. Everything looks so pretty in the candlelight.

Rettabug said...

Katie, you are blessed to have so many cherished collectables handed down in your family. Your candlesticks are just stunning, as is your crystal & china. Very beautifully presented, hon.
I just became a follower as I want to see more of these treasures!

Martha said...

A lovely table -- and I love the touches of red. I have those same silver pheasant candles!

Cynthia said...

Love the china and crystal. Enjoy using them! Thanks for sharing and have a great day.

Anonymous said...

What a lucky lady! You really rock with your fancy dearies are to die for.

Have a blessed day.

Tina Dalgren said...

Ok- when do we eat and what are we having?

Mimi said...

Katie, your table is beautiful and very elegant with the gorgeous china, sparkling crystal and shiny silver! Thank you for sharing.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

What a beautiful dining room -- everything on your table looks gorgeous and elegant. This is quite a lovely display.

Style Sisters said...

Very elegant and sparkly. Beautiful room.

Stop by and enter in for my napkin ring giveaway.


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