Daily Dinnerware

True story. Circa 2010, when D and I lived in a high-rise in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, I found some dinner plates in the trash and recycling area of our building. The design and color spoke to me, so naturally, I just picked them up from the dump pile and brought them home.

The freebies included 4 dinner plates – one with a crack and another with a chip – and 2 dessert plates – both with chips and wear. Over the years I used them with no special care really (eventually breaking 2 dinner plates and 1 dessert plate that were already cracked).

About two months ago when we were reasonably settled in our renovation and thinking of all the new things we want {what a rabbit hole that one is, but I’ll save that digression for another time}, I realized that I loved my rescued-from-the-trash plates so much that I wanted a whole set for daily use. And that’s when things got interesting.

Turns out, with the dinner plates, I had stumbled upon a highly coveted dinnerware pattern created by a company called J&G Meakin in England. Wikipedia informed me that starting in the 19th century, J&G Meakin “was known for the vast quantities of cheap ironstone china it produced for the domestic English market and for export …”

The “cheap” china has since escalated in status because to find an original J&G Meakin Classic Blue Nordic Dinner plate in good condition is if not impossible then quite pricey! On Ebay, I have found sellers selling one or two dinner plates (with chips and cracks) for over $30 a piece. Which, compared to what people spend on their nice china, might not seem like a lot, but you know, for daily use, with four kids, I wish they cost a bit less and were easy to find and replace.

At some point in J&G Meakin’s history, they were purchased by Johnson Brothers, also a British tableware manufacturer, who copied many designs by Meakin to sell under their own brand name. This means there is a “Blue Nordic” print by Johnson Brothers that looks exactly like the J&G Meakin but that too still retails for about $25-$28 a dinner plate at Replacements, LTD.

The dessert plates are Myott’s Finlandia pattern which are no less enchanting and pricey. Made in Staffordshire, England in my birth year of 1982, this pattern also comes in a full set, and is my Plan B should I fall short on Plan A mentioned above.

Not knowing that you have something semi-valuable means that I put my found plates through the daily rigmarole of dishwashers and microwaves, and they have held up so so beautifully over all these years! To be able to use more than just three of these plates everyday would bring me so much joy.

Isn’t this crazy! Beside the obvious wish for finding a whole set in that trash room, my second wish is to eventually piece together 8 of the original J&G Meakin Classic Blue Nordic dinner plates (or Myott’s FInlandia).

So friends, if you come across a good lead, please send it my way. I will be forever grateful!

{A special note to Dottie who has recently discovered the excitement of estate sales – memorize these patterns, and my phone number, okay? :) Thank you!}

Also, naturally now I am wondering, what treasures have you found in the trash? AND what is your daily dinnerware set of choice?

featured image via unsplash

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.