It's time for another Tablescape Thursday with our charming and gracious hostess, Susan of Between Naps on the Porch. I hope you'll visit her beautiful blog HERE and enjoy all the wonderful tables Susan and her friends have created and shared.
Today I've set a table for you that features various shades of white and off-white, clear glass for sparkle, and platinum and silver for shine. We're in the dining room on a hazy afternoon. I decided not to use a tablecloth or placemats, allowing the warm woodtones to provide contrast with the lighter elements of the table setting.
Well ... it seems that the table is set for a special holiday evening. But which holiday? Could it be Christmas Eve? New Year's Eve perhaps? No, it's probably Valentine's Day. Perhaps it's an anniversary party. Let's take a closer look.
The ornaments are definitely intended for a Christmas tree. There are faux pearls, hearts, stars ... perhaps a setting like this could be used for any of the above-mentioned holidays.
And there are leaves on the vintage Libbey Silver Foliage glassware below. Arbor Day! That's what we must be celebrating! Perhaps this table isn't limited to a particular holiday or season ...
How many of you recognized the pattern of the vintage water glass on the left below? That's right; it's Fostoria's American (1915-82). It's said to be the most successful pattern in the history of glassmaking. The design always reminds me of stacks of small ice cubes ... clear and sparkling. I see Fostoria American almost every time I go to an estate sale or antique shop/mall, in part because the pattern was so popular ... for so long. It's also quite sturdy compared to most of the thinner, more fragile crystal produced during the "Elegant" glassware period.
Here's a hint I've found helpful: genuine Fostoria American stemware, a pressed glass product, has three seams in the base. Cheaper imitations have only two.
The vintage napkins are rolled and secured with wired ribbon. The ornaments on the napkins could be given to guests as a keepsake at the end of the evening.
I used a variety of vintage two and three-light candleholders from the Elegant period of American glassware. Four of the patterns are by Fostoria, and one is by Cambridge. They're usually sold in pairs (at antique shops/malls and estate sales). I've found one for as little as $6 (estate sale, second day). On the left below is Cambridge Caprice. Fostoria Holly is on the right.
The flatware is Vanessa, a silverplated pattern by Oneida. It had a long run, manufactured from 1965 - 2006. This is an older set from a recent estate sale. It had been barely used (if at all), in the original chest, and a bargain at under $30. Who says luxury can't be affordable?
The Caprice candleholder below is probably my favorite of the ones I'm using today.
The candleholder in the center is Baroque by Fostoria. No flowers on the table today ... just a crystal compote filled with Christmas ornaments. I casually placed a remnant of white tulle with silvery stars in the center of the table to add softness and interest. The candleholders flanking the centerpiece are Fostoria American (sometimes called Early American).
More heart-shaped ornaments surround the compote (sometimes referred to as a comport). It was on sale for only $12 at a local antique mall.
The candles are now lit, providing "fire" to complement the "ice" of the crystal. The silverplated candleholders on the Bombay chest are from the last estate sale I attended. The five-armed candlelabrum on the left was reduced to $20 on the second day, and the pair in the center ended up costing $10 (after negotiations were completed!).
Even the candles were a bargain. I found them on sale at Walgreen's after Christmas last year for 80% off. The ended up costing ten cents each!
I've mentioned before the my mother collected Libbey gold and silver leaf glassware (from boxes of detergent and using trading stamps). She used them often when I was a child for holidays and other special dinners. For that reason, these are as much a sentimental choice as an esthetic one for this table.
They're still widely available today (usually at reasonable prices) on eBay and in antique malls. They're a fun choice for people who enjoy mid-century modern design.
Shelton is described as having a "platinum encrusted" rim and platinum ring. I used it once before for a post, "Mrs. Rivards Christmas." If you missed it you can see it HERE.
I find the shape of the cups to be very beautiful and graceful. Coffee and tea just seem to taste better sipped from a thin bone china cup ... don't you agree?
I see hearts in the platinum encrusted rim. Do you?
Ice that won't melt ...
The Baroque shape was used for a number of Fostoria patterns. This one is plain, but the bases were often etched with ornate designs.
I tied a simple bow around the footed base of the compote, using the same white wired ribbon used to secure the rolled napkins.
Glass is such a reflective surface that it rarely seems truly colorless. It reflects all the hues that surround it. Here you see the warm browns of the tabletop and the cool blue-grays of the sky outside the windows.
The tealights are in leaded glass votive holders I've picked up at various thrift stores and estate sales. I've found them for as little as twenty-five cents for boxed sets of two.
A close-up view of the textures in the center of the table:
The heart-shaped ornaments were purchased at an after-Christmas sale at Hobby Lobby.
The view of the table from the sitting room:
The rimmed bowls are perfect for either soup or salads. The coffee pot on the far corner of the table is by Haviland. It's not the same pattern, but I think the color and shape work well with the rest of the china. It was an eBay find (under $20!).
The candleholder in the center below is Fostoria Colony. It features a classic swirl design, and it's another of the company's sturdier patterns. I don't hesitate to put either Colony or American pieces in the dishwasher (using a good quality dishwasher detergent).
The china and the Libbey goblets are a different story ... hand washing helps keep them looking their best. I like to put a dish towel in the bottom of the sink to help prevent chips and scratches while handwashing china, crystal, and silver flatware.
The chop plate (round platter) on the plate stand is another vintage Haviland pattern. I'm normally not a huge fan of flowery dishes, but I think Haviland's florals of the 1930s and 40s are among the most beautiful dishes ever created.
Just another view looking down the table ... too many pictures this time?
The dining room viewed from the entry hall:
Sometimes I enjoy the juxtaposition of inexpensive items, such as the Libbey glassware, with those that were (at least originally) more costly.
Now night has fallen, and the candles seem to glow more brightly ...
What music do you think should be playing softly in the background? I'm in the mood for something by Cole Porter ...
I thought of photoshopping the ornaments (upper right) to hide their metal caps, but I've already "confessed" their humble origins. By the time I took this shot, I'd repeatedly tried to make them look more symmetrical, causing them to roll off and go bouncing across the table. I'm getting a little weary of hearing people say, "It is what it is." But ... well ... sometimes it just IS!
I hope you've enjoyed your visit.
Time to blow out the candles ... and say good night.