When New Orleans was heavily populated by French citizens, many of them longed for the accoutrement’s of their homeland- including porcelain plates.
Dinnerware was shipped in by the boat load and auctioned, in complete sets, to the dealers who would resell them to families of fine taste, but sometimes, little money.
To keep up with the demand (and command a smaller price), manufacturers stopped signing their products so that no one would be the wiser for having lesser quality (soft-paste versus hard, but still hand painted).
The plantation families, especially, accepted these ‘un-signed’ pieces as fine quality (maybe it was the cost of running a slave-labor farm?) and much fine china became known as simply ‘Old French’.
These porcelains are still here, though not always in sets.
I have seen them plated on every plantation dining table I have toured- very beautiful in spite of their presumed inferior quality.
Two years ago, while perusing my favorite shop in the Quarter, I came upon a stack of eighteen dessert plates, one serving dish, and three pedestal cake stands- very beautiful, excellent condition, and cheap (because the entire set wasn’t present).
Now, we use them for our Christmas Eve finger food festivities, and when they’re not in service they decorate our ‘Old French’ walls…
|One of eighteen different flower images.
Each plate is different.
|As displayed on a dining room wall.
610 Chartres St.
Specializing in culinary antiques, art & objects