The State of China
Noritake Ridgewood china, pink rose swags with a grey and tan border. Fond memories of special, home cooked birthday or holiday meals prepared by Mom. Leaves inserted to grow the table, accommodating friends we brought home. A tablecloth was spread with love; the silver chest came out. The table was set, ready with forks on the left and knives and spoons on the right. Later the dishes were hand washed and dried by me and my sisters.
We grew up, got engaged and made a wedding registry. We choose our china, a delicate blue floral on white called Caroline by Noritake. Today, multiple sets of dishes live at our house, not just china: two sets of everyday, and at one time, two sets of Christmas dishes. An observation by our daughter Haley, then nine years old, was “Did you see the pottery mom and dad bought?” Out of the mouth of babes, her comment was not lost on me. Oh, and I almost forgot about the china my husband lugged home after his mother moved to a retirement place.
Who knew he would have an appreciation for dishware, and a fascination with the holidays? Between our two collecting habits, like many of my clients, we face the state of our china.
A client is moving cross country and doesn’t want to bring her inherited fine china. The plates are offered on Replacements.com for a hefty price; however, the client would receive only a fraction of that, after packing, shipping and her split from Replacements.
Other options for disposal include:
- Post online locally – Nextdoor or Craigslist, where you won’t deal with shipping.
- Take to a consignment shop. If they take it, it will sell for next to nothing.
- Donate it to your favorite charity and claim the tax deduction.
I spoke with Jane Alexiadis, Personal Property Appraiser about the state of china. She said there isn’t a market for it. Reasons cited were storage space, less formal entertaining, and the need for dish washing by hand. On the other hand, she recommends using it anyway. “Our mothers and grandmothers would want us to enjoy it, rather than be burdened. If something breaks, the angels will comfort them.”
Noritake representative, Laura Fess, voiced a similar sensibility. Rather than save the china for guests, “We should celebrate everyday! Just use it.”
When our daughter Jacey married, she had no interest in registering for china. Times had changed. Casual dining and a simpler lifestyle was the thing. She did, however, take one set of Christmas china off our hands.