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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rescuing Waterford and Wedgwood

It is Three or More Tuesday, graciously hosted by Tam at The Gypsy's Corner. Click here to visit and read more Tuesday tales. Thanks, Tam.

What to share? I considered my big white ironstone pitchers
-- I have three -- but two of them are 'way up high on a breakfront, and I don't feel like clambering up to get them, so it's Wedgwood today.

I love dishes. One cannot have too many of them; who knows when 683 people will show up on your doorstep, and clamor for their chili to be slung out onto pretty plates?

I have, I think, 7 sets of dishes, not counting my Christmas china, and not counting this sweet but very incomplete set of Wedgwood, a gift from my in-laws some years back:

It's the Patrician mold, which is not too hard to find, but until today I haven't found it with just this exact floral design. Found it today on Ebay! (Wish me luck; I'd love dinner plates in this pattern.) I don't have much of this pattern so far:

I've got a small platter . . .

Six luncheon, or dessert-sized plates. . .

And six cups and saucers. . .

These pieces are not valuable, but they charm me, and that's what counts.

Wedgwood is an endangered species; its parent company, Waterford, is bankrupt and looking for a Sugar Daddy to rescue it. Waterford owns not only Wedgwood but Royal Doulton as well (oh dear, what would Hyacinth Bucket say?).

Thomas Wedgwood (yes, one of those Wedgwoods) fished the loose coins out of his sofa cushions, intending to make an offer to buy back the family biz, but a U.S. private equity fund nipped in ahead of Mr. Wedgwood and is closer to sealing the deal. Waterford, Wedgwood, and Royal Doulton, soon to
be owned by a company from the upstart colonies.

Royal Worcester and Spode are in the same boat, also having filed for bankruptcy protection. Why? It seems that today's young buyers just aren't interested in fine china and crystal, and don't buy much of it. At least, that's what the news reports say. Too bad. Waterford went belly-up in the 1850s but returned a hundred years later to dominate the cyrstal field, but Wedgwood has been around for 250 years.

I'd love to buy it myself, but we're cutting back on our purchasing this year. :-P

Let's keep our fingers crossed for these venerable companies, and their many employees. I don't want to turn over my next piece of Wedgwood and read "Made In China."


  1. Beautiful!!!! I didn't know all that about Wedgewood and Waterford!


  2. OMGosh, I love this set. I see why it charms you...I believe I've been charmed too. I know, it's just magical that way.
    I'd heard this news about those companies and it just struck me as unbelievable. They've been "here" so long, it's hard to imagine them "gone".
    Enjoy your day!

  3. Beautiful set! I love how this set was both stamped and engraved with Wedgwood seal.

    Carolyn of What Now? Tablescapes

  4. Oh Cass, I'm in some serious like with your dishes. They really are a great pattern and the embossing is terrific, too. I hope you can add to your set!

  5. Oh your set is beautiful, Ilove Wedgewood and Waterford. My mother gave me a Waterford crystal vase and it is one of my most presious treaures.
    I had no idea these companies were in trouble, it would be a great shame if they were gone.

  6. Thanks for taking the time to visit with me, sweetpea. I always love and welcome comments and lookers. It's funny because I'm reading a novel at the moment and it takes place in New Jersey. Never been there. Western gal here for sure.

    Nice meeting you and I love the "old house" but there is nothing like a new house where the water doesn't chill in the shower while dishwasher is going and washer is washing!! I love it!!!!!


  7. Oh I do so hope that they all manage to stay in business somehow. Seems like all of us are buy a bunch. Where are the young folks, and don't they like pretty dishes. Thanks for the lovely post and I too really like your china. Hugs, Marty

  8. Happy Three or More Thursday!

  9. Thank you for stopping by and for the additional info on my "Graces". I must say...your china is beautiful. The pattern is so pretty. Have a good week!

  10. Wow! I would love to have that china, it's just fabulous. I really loved your post. Cindy

  11. Happy Three Or More Tuesday!
    What a wonderful post. Your china is just stunning - little pieces of art for sure. It was also very interesting reading all that you know about those companies and their current struggles. Thank you so much for sharing and for particiapting in 'Three Or More'.
    Have a wonderful evening,

  12. The pattern of that embossed border is a knock-out! What a beautiful set. The finish looks somewhat bisque, it's very unique.

    You know, I often think about how we have such a wide variety of things available to us these days at such cheap prices, they almost become disposable with changing trends. It's unfortunate that timeless pieces like those offered by these great old companies are no longer coveted by every young bride as they once were. But as they say, what comes around goes around, and someday they will be appreciated again.

  13. So lovely! Not only the pretty flower design, but the raised pattern on the edges. I'd feel like a queen eating off of those pretties!

  14. The set is really charming. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I absolutely love your plates! What a great collection.

  16. Thanks for sharing...I do love china as well. I only have one set of dishes, and another I'm trying to start collecting, but so far I only have four saucers!!

    Take care!
    Christy Lee
    *~Petals and Pine~*

  17. Good luck on ebay! Those dishes are beautiful. Everyone needs a sugar daddy every now and

  18. Your set of dishes is just beautiful. I love pretty dishes too....much to my husband's amusement. He doesn't understand it but has learned to live with it. Really these are so pretty and I can see why you are charmed by them! Love the info you threw in on the different companies too! I think I'll spend a little time looking at your past posts...lovely blog!

  19. Good Morning,
    Please pop over and visit my blog, I have an award waiting for you.
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  20. On behalf of Wedgwood, we were so happy to hear of your enthusiam for our brand and really enjoyed seeing the photos of your beautiful china. We are happy to report that we are currently working to restructure the business and have entered into a letter of intent with KPS Capital Partners LP, a New York-based private equity limited partnership. In addition, 2009 is the 250th anniversary of Wedgwood and we have great events planned all throughout the year. Visit to read more and use promo code WEDG250 to get free shipping on any order of $100 or more through 3/31/09.

  21. Hyacinth & the rest of us would grieve their passing. I have a lovely Waterford decanter I bought when I was a “shop girl” at Wanamaker’s Department store in my late teens. I was starting a china club layaway and the total purchase price had to meet a $200.00 minimum. I was about $2.00 short, so I bought the decanter to meet the minimum. My china pattern was Mikasa Peking-(I still have them). Dishes-why are they such a fascination!?!


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