Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Victorian Dining
by Miriam R. Randazzo

During the Victorian Era, society's elite filled their dining tables with beautiful porcelain dishes and serving implements. Nine course meals ranging from soup and savory ramekins to sorbet intermezzos and desserts, were elaborately served to impress guests.

Oysters were served on oyster plates; eggs, served on egg dishes; and cocoa poured from chocolate pots. Perhaps the most unusual porcelain oddity I've discovered from this time period is the soup bowl shown here.

Made in France, this Limoges dish was manufactured and decorated by the Charles Field Haviland, makers and purveyors of some of the prettiest porcelain dinnerware used during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The soup bowl is non-traditional in form, which at first glance could easily be overlooked.

Careful inspection of the bowl's rim reveals the head, tail and four legs of turtle. Fascinatingly enough, the dish was designed for serving of all things, turtle soup!

Collectors of porcelain rarities search for these strange little oddities and it my pleasure to present this one for you to enjoy.

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