I wanted to participate in "Let There Be White II," hosted by the gracious Kathleen @ Cuisine Kathleen. Be sure to visit her and all the talented participants!
My thoughts of blogging have been minimal during the past few days. I was awakened by an early morning phone call on Sunday. My father was displaying symptoms of a heart attack and was being rushed to the hospital. Thank goodness my brother and sister-in-law live nearby! I tossed a few things in a bag and made the 120 mile drive in record time. A stent was installed, and his respiration returned to normal. The pains he was experiencing in his chest, both arms, and his right leg disappeared completely.
There was concern for his kidney function, but it appears that early test results were a false alarm. Once he was no longer dehydrated, readings returned to normal. We're deeply thankful that his heart muscle seems to have sustained no permanent damage. His readings are those of a healthy, much-younger-than-he-is man. There's another blockage (70 percent) and other narrowings, but those should be easier to address, at a time when he's not in an emergency situation. His doctor told him solmenly on Sunday evening, "We saved your life this morning."
I've barely checked e-mail during the past few days, but I did contact Susan of Between Naps on the Porch. Thank you, Susan, for your friendship, support, and prayers on my father's behalf.
Now, dedicated tonight to my wonderful father, the white/beige tablescape:
I’ve wanted to set an all-white table for you for a while now. It’s difficult to go wrong with white; it’s clean, classic, and can be very elegant.
But … what’s the old joke? Something about the blank canvas being a polar bear in a snowstorm? I decided to fudge a little and incorporate off-whites, creams, and beiges. Even at that, it was … interesting … photographing a table with a limited, pale, neutral palette. Naturally, I also used crystal and silver on the table, but they too can be difficult subjects to photograph.
Everything on the table is vintage except: the tablecloth, the sugar bowl, and the pearl ornaments.
I hope you’ll enjoy the result:
You’ve seen the ironstone dishes before in my first (and thus far, only) Pink Saturday Post. You can see it HERE.
The dinner and bread plates were Goodwill finds. The pattern is "Snow White Regency" by Johnson Brothers. The backstamp indicates that they’re from the 1960’s. I purchased at least a dozen of each size for a total of just under $10 (they were on sale for half price). They were in very good vintage condition (slight crazing on a few pieces … which doesn’t bother me at all).
Looking across the dining room, into the sitting room. It seems to me that the white and ivory items on the table harmonize nicely with the pale yellow walls and off-white woodwork.
Looking down at the center of the table.
Swans seemed to be the right color and, for me, they evoke a tranquil image. Graceful creatures gliding across a crystalline lake…
The round serving bowl and the white pitcher on opposite ends of the table were both GW finds. The swan and the shell-shaped container are flower pots … the swan from GW, and the other, part of a set of three graduated sizes from a thrift store. They’d been used, so I gave them a bath before I served you “pearls” for dinner! The inexpensive pearlescent ornaments were on clearance after Christmas at Hobby Lobby.
The little ceramic cherubs scattered about came from my favorite junk store … and cost almost nothing. The silverplated napkin rings are monogrammed with an “S.” That’s a nice, curvy letter to have … even if it’s not my initial, right?
The crystal stemware is by Heisey, stem number 6003. They were made from around 1953-1957. I found the set on sale at an antique mall in Benton, Illinois. They were dusty, but in quite good condition. The mall owner said the dealer who had brought them in is an elderly man who enjoys buying from estates and selling the items (and not too concerned about making money, which is why they were priced very reasonably).
A closer view of the stem on the sherbet glass. The silverplated chargers were on sale at an antique mall. They can double as small serving trays. These paper doilies came with the glass plates ... probably had been sandwiched between them for decades ... the edges are turning brown and curling, but they were doing their job ... protecting the plates from scratches while in storage.
The flatware is “King Cedric” by Oneida, introduced in 1933. This set was an eBay purchase … well under $50. "King Cedric" was one of the few silverplated patterns duplicated in sterling. The plated version was so popular that Oneida began selling "Cedric" in sterling beginning in 1949. I noticed that one of the teaspoons on the table is marked “sterling” on the back … otherwise, it looks identical to the others.
Oneida also produced china and crystal in the “King Cedric” pattern. The designs featured urns, fruits and flowers. At one point, that was a popular trend for silver companies to coordinate everything for the bridal registries. It simplified making selections and boosted sales … not a bad idea, was it?
I like the way the underside of the plates is reflected by the chargers. The sugar bowl in the upper right is by Wedgwood. I bought it for 75% off at a local gift shop. I’ve used it as a container for small flower arrangements.
Those faceted stems really sparkle, don’t they? I hand washed all the crystal just for you before setting the table. Thirsty?
A close-up view of the pattern. I think the cutting is called Southwind. If not, it’s a very similar pattern.
You’ve seen the flowers before. These Oak Leaf Hydrangeas were used in my first “Christmas in July” post. It’s HERE.
They’ve dried nicely now. I plopped them down in a crystal candle holder (reg. $5.99, half price at Goodwill). It’s two pieces and wouldn’t hold water but, fortunately, no water’s required for this centerpiece! The candleholders are by Lenox (older ones, made in USA) from an estate sale … half price on the second day (of course!). The large white cream pitcher, bottom of photo, left of center was on sale for 49 cents at GW.
A swan's eye view .....
The silverplated “silent butler” for brushing away crumbs between courses is by Godinger. It cost just a few dollars at an estate sale. Godinger manufactures plated items that look old and expensive, for a fraction of the cost of genuine antiques. It appears tarnished in the photo, but it must be reflecting the colors of the hydrangeas and of the chandelier. I DID polish the silver for you!
How many swans do you see?
I was glad the skies brightened for a few minutes to provide some natural light to illuminate this un-colorful setting!
This shows the detailing of the vintage linen napkins.
The table runner and placemats match the napkins. I purchased the set at a recent estate sale. They were in perfect condition (possibly never used). I think I paid under $5.
You can see the details of the flatware pattern here. Art Nouveau design is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly-stylized, flowing curvilinear forms. “King Cedric” strikes me as an art nouveau design, with a deco twist. What do you think?
The sterling salt and pepper shaker set also came from an estate sale …. another Day 2 bargain!
The charger looks gold here, but it’s a trick played by the incandescent lights of the chandelier. I liked this photo because it shows the pattern of the Heisey salad plates.
I ended up using this setting for a small impromptu dinner party. I’d been in the mood for chicken and dressing (stuffing for you non-Southerners!), so that was what I served. I realize it’s not typical summertime fare but, if it sounds good, why wait ‘til the Holidays?
Dessert in the sherbet glasses was super simple … Heath Bar ice cream drizzled with coffee liqueur. Mmmmmmm……