Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mismatched Fine China

It all started with this. . .


My mother in-law is an amazing host.  Every time she has a party she always has the cutest favors.  This adorable tea cup was one of those favors.  She found them at the DI, a thrift store.  She grew some wheat grass in them, and had one at each place setting.

I immediately fell in love with the idea of having fine china.  When I got married we didn't register for china (who knows why?!).  I mentioned to my mother in-law that I would love to start looking at thrift stores for fine china.  I didn't want them to match at all, the more eclectic the better.  This was in April, in December to my surprise and delight I opened my Christmas present from her and fell in love.


She spent 9 months combing thrift stores in search of fine china.  I now had a place settings for 8.  Each place setting has a matching dinner plate, salad plate, saucer and tea cup.  Some of the sets even have a matching bowl, or an extra plate.


Even though they match within each place setting, all of the settings are totally different.  To top it off she also bought me 8 water goblets, 8 wine glasses, and 8 sherbet cups, all of which are real crystal.



 I couldn't believe she had done that for me!  At the risk of sounding tacky, I asked her how much she ended up spending on the whole lot.  I researched the china and found the price for each item if I had paid full price.  I was able to find all of the patterns except one, if anyone knows what pattern this is I would LOVE to know!!



For the main dinner plate she spent $1 on each one.  For the other salad plates, bowls and dessert plates, she spent $.50 each.  The saucers and tea cups were also each $.50.  When you add this up it equals $22.50!!  I couldn't believe it.  After all of my research, the estimated (due to the one mystery place setting) total is around $275.


I wasn't able to identify the crystal glasses, but I did research how much it would be to buy a similar set.  To average out the prices I am going to say around $10.  This would mean that all of the crystal would cost around $240.  My mother in-law paid $1 for the water goblets and $.50 for the wine glasses and sherbet cups.  Add this all together and you get $16!


 Now I have a whole set of shabby chic dishes worth over $500 for less than $50!  I am definitely going to keep building my collection.  Even though it takes a lot of time and searching I think it is worth it, who wouldn't want these awesome dishes for that price!

17 comments:

Emily said...

Wow! I love my mother-in-law, but I'm having a case of mother-in-law envy right now.
Can you give some tips on what to look for at thrift stores?

Mindi Hoellein said...

So pretty! I would LOVE to have a set like this too. I just have no idea where to start or where I would put it all once I had it!

Hannah Jacklyn said...

Love the character from all of the different combined china patterns. I notice assorted china at goodwill a lot, the teacups especially make me swoon, I have been considering using some to organize items on my desk.

And wow, that's a great, thoughtful and time consuming to collect present!

Shauntel said...

Erica, this is amazing! I love it! I didn't know the crystal was also thrift! How neat. She is an amazing woman. Mother in law envy coming from this direction also.

casandra said...

what a fun gift!
if you're trying to find the name of the one pattern, and the glasses, you could try replacements.com

my dh and i went on a trip and stopped at their warehouse this summer. they have the largest collection of dish/glass/silver settings in the world and have a service where they will find specific pattern names, etc. for you. very cool!

Jill said...

Awww, what a sweet mother-in-law! Gorgeous china!

Ann said...

This is just a fabulous idea! I love how it looks.

Mbini said...

Keep that mother in law. She is cool. I love it.

Jodi Gallagher said...

I have a collection of mismatched teacups and saucers that I've been collecting from garage sales. I love them! The first set you showed I have a set of 8 of this one that I use for my kids when they have friends over for tea parties. Your yellow rose set I have too. So fun!

Louise Gordon Taylor said...

I have a whole plus set of mismatched china, have had it for years. I chose pink roses for my theme and bought pieces for it with pink roses on them. I used to use them all the time but have put them in my china closet and not done anything for awhile, I was even thinking of selling them but after reading this I think I am going to have a girlie party with my friends and one with all my daughters and daughter in laws and granddaughters. Looking forward to it! Thanks for the blog!

A Few Pennies said...

Lovely tablescape! I could not decide which one I loved the most; all so pretty. Thank you for sharing.

grammy and papi said...

WHat a sweet MIL. Sounds like a keeper to me. You are so very fortunate, I had a GREAT MIL also, but she would never have thought of doing such a thing. Sure miss her.

Have a God Filled Day
Shirley

Landon said...

I have a feeling your unidentified place setting may be one of your most valuable.

shopannies said...

I have a place setting that was very common among common folks in early 1900s but because of it little survived now my set is worth $$$ I wonder if your story of the un ID is common to mine

FlyAwayHome said...

What a wonderful,thoughtful and really cool gift. Just the idea of it was so sweet. Makes me want to start a mismatched set. Thanks for sharing.

poindextr said...

Erica, you are one lucky girl!! I look for china pieces now and then, but never see plates for that price. I tend to feel great if I spend $10 for a dinner plate. Keep that collection going! Looks gorgeous.

Christina @ The Tattered Tag said...

Lovely collection!! China is fine regardless if it matches or not. :) Thank you for sharing your great collection by linking up to my blog bash K.I.S.S. @ The Tattered Tag. Please remember tomorrow is another fun blog bash, so drop by and link up more of your creativity! :)

Drop by The Tattered Tag