Italy’s House of Medici (or de' Medici), patrons of Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Galileo, was a dynasty said to have had more wealth, passion, and power than the houses of Windsor, Kennedy, and Rockefeller combined. It shaped all of Europe and controlled politics, scientists, artists, and even popes, for three hundred years.
Their wealth and influence initially derived from the textile trade. They were able to bring Florence under their family's power, allowing for an environment where art and humanism could flourish. They fostered and inspired the birth of the Italian Renaissance.
Medici porcelain was the first successful attempt in Europe to imitate Chinese porcelain. The experimental manufactory housed in the Casino of San Marco in Florence existed between 1575 and 1587 under the patronage of Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Never a commercial venture, Medici porcelains were sometimes given as diplomatic gifts.
Even though this is a relatively simple table for 8, I thought of the Medicis as I polished candleholders and unwrapped silver goblets. I thought of Catherine de' Medici (mother of three kings of France), blamed for the excessive persecutions carried out under her sons' rule, in particular for the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572, in which thousands of Huguenots were killed in Paris and throughout France. Many of the persecuted French Protestants emigrated to Colonial Virginia. My ancestors were among them.
You're here to see a table setting. I'll be quiet and let the images speak for themselves ...
China: Myott/Staffordshire, Medici - antiques mall
Crystal: Cambridge, Rose Point (1934-1958) - estate sale
Silverplated goblets: estate sale
Silverplated flatware: International Silver, Triumph (1941) - antiques mall
Placemats: Dollar Tree
Napkins: estate sale
Silver lacquered (lucite over foil) chargers: Belk and Goodwill
Rose Point compote: estate sale
Flowers: Kroger, $2.99 (reduced from $19.99), garden greenery added
Candelebra: antiques mall
Todays tidbit of table setting trivia:
"Before forks were introduced to Italy in the 11th century (and later brought to France by Catherine de' Medici) there was no need to 'set the table.' Individuals all would have been expected to have brought along their own knives."
Please join Susan of Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursdays. Susan and her talented friends always provide wonderful inspiration and heart-warming hospitality.
Thank you for your visit. I'm very glad you stopped by today!