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Friday, September 16, 2011

Rotate Your China

I like to change my china seasonally to reflect my mood but there is a very good and practical reason to do this. Well several reasons really.

If you are a china horder collector, it gives everything a rotation for use and enjoyment. 
It's a rotation of memories for me.

It gives the opportunity for the dresser/cupboard to get a thorough dusting and de-cobwebbing.
You'll rediscover pieces you'd forgotten about.

The CSR sugar tin in the background has no monetary value but it is a little reminder of home (QLD). There is additional writing on the tin below the picture titling it "Early Queensland Cane Grower's Bungalow" and it reminds me of places around Bundaberg.
The glow in the dark statuette of Mary standing on the snake is a recent find from my day trip a couple of days ago. It was from the antique emporium and only $4.50. It is very dear to my heart of the child going to sleep with such things glowing comfortingly after lights out (or was it scarily? sometimes I swear I could see them moving) Whats more they were also quite common in other houses too, so very much a part of growing up Catholic.

I sold china for more than 15 years and I also advised my clients to rotate and handle and clean their china at least once a year. Nobody knows definitively what causes stress fractures in china but in my experience it was always a piece that had remained in a cupboard, never touched for years.
It is devastating when it just springs a large crack for no reason.
My theory is that there is a lot of tension held in the round. When you tap them there is a sound you hear, a subtle vibration through the body, almost like a ring from crystal. Remember, bone china is 50% animal bone ash. I believe handling your china and figurines prevents the tension build up that can lead to a spontaneous crack. I can't explain it scientifically but can only express what I know from experience.

The dinnerset is an old J&G Meakin sometimes back stamped "Greenways" and it is not worth anything really as it is a plain clay composition body (so quite prone to chipping) and is well worn but it is a link to family times. It is the dinner set that we used to have Christmas Dinner on when we were young. It was brought out for birthdays but my brothers favoured the soup dishes for their weet-bix and now the few we had are all gone. 
This is the dinner set that shall go to Emma and she will be the next keeper of these family memories.
The little embroidered doily set was recently given to me recently by a friend who is at the stage of her life where she is scaling down her household and I, still accumulating, treasured it.

Those yellowy mustard bowl are Bessemerware and belonged to my Nanny. These are the "crockery" we used at her house. She lived in outback QLD and when I see these I can; feel still hot days, smell bull dust and bore water and see cloudless blue skies and horizons that go on forever.
And the song that I hear is my grandfather, Norm, singing 
This link will take you to a clip. The song was written in 1901.
See, it's not an obsession or lunacy, just memories.


  1. The china, glassware and other items in the display hutch look absolutely beautiful Tanya. All those wonderful memories that so many of those pieces bring back :-) I used to do something similar with my china...but somewhere along the line...I 'got too busy'. No excuse now though! Lovely photos, lovely items and lovely memories...thank you for sharing

  2. I love your display of greens and yellows, perfect as the hot weather comes to the fore and seeing all those cool colours will be so refreshing. Good advice too..I have just cleaned and washed my china cabinet out too and rearranged the display.

  3. I love the colours too. I suppose you use a different pallete at different times of the year.

  4. What a gorgeous display of yellow and green you have - very Spring like!!

    Jodie :)

  5. Hey Tanya, lovely dresser full of beautiful crockery and other special pieces.
    Memories of staying at your Nanny's, nice to have something to remind you of those times............

    Must be the Spring influence perhaps but I see a green and yellow theme appearing in your last couple of posts!!

    Hope you have a lovely weekend and a successful time at the market.

    Claire :}

  6. Oh Tanya your dresser is so gorgeously dressed! So fresh with the yellow and green and meaningful with all the sentiment. x

  7. As a fellow china lover - I just loved this post - all delicious yellow and green - beautiful! So lovely to meet you 'in the flesh' today!

  8. Those greens, yellows and white look so lovely and fresh together.
    I especially like the embroidered doily set and the cute little rabbit in his yellow coat and hat!


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