Did you inherit china or silverware?

bspoffordFebruary 1, 2013

I've been wondering how many people have inherited nice china or at least have it passed on to you.

If so, were you happy to have it? Why?

If you didn't like it, what did you do with it? Store it in the basement, pass it along, sell it, etc.


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cyn427 (zone 7)

I received my first set of china and sterling flatware when I was married. Now, I have inherited my mother's sterling and some of her china. My sister ended up with my grandmother's sterling (Pointed Antique which I absolutely adore)and her one-inch wide gold edge china (huge setting for 12 with extras)that is around 100 years old at this point. I like what I have, but wow, I would have loved to receive my grandmother's china and sterling. I was closer to her than to my mother, so that would make it even more special.

I do use what I have. I have begun to like my mother's sterling flatware more as the years have passed. It is much more ornate than what I normally choose, but it looks lovely with my simple china and with the "good" stuff, too. I have tried to pass my wedding silver to my son, but they don't have the space and maybe don't like it so much! :)

There are also lots of odds and ends such as plates from the 1830s-1850s, sterling sherbets, Limoges plates, etc, that I don't really use much, but that sit in the inherited corner cupboard. I don't know what to do with some of the plates. I am not one to keep a lot of purely decorative things around, but these are family history, so I haven't been able to bring myself to sell them. I suspect my son will dump them when I am gone. Maybe I should start using them and not worry about damaging them when I do. Thanks for this question! Now that I think about it, I really should use them or lose them!


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Fori is not pleased

I inherited my great grandmother's china and sterling so I didn't register for any. The china is from the 40s and dirt cheap so I've been adding to the set (which fills an entire china hutch inherited from another grandmother). The sterling is a little earlier and tame. Tasteful but unexciting (I wish she had had the tea set which is wonderful) and I've added to it some. Later my mother gave me her wedding sterling which she just got tired of using. I wanted to use it for my everyday stuff but it's weirdly expensive (MCM is trendy plus they are REALLY heavy) and I don't have enough pieces. I wouldn't have picked out any of them, but whatever I would have picked out I would have gotten tired of so I'm good with these:

(The fork in the middle I DID pick out for myself. I have terrible taste!)

I do have a sterling tea/coffee set from my grandmother. I guess if I had use for a tea set I would use it. Not my style at all--it's overly flowery. Towle Old Master? I think.

This post was edited by fori on Sat, Feb 2, 13 at 22:16

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:16PM
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I have my mother's china and sterling, and my grandmother's sterling.
I have a dozen Limoges dinner plates and a fun assortment of Limoges luncheon plates, cups & saucers, and fruit dishes. And, i have my own china and silver.

My sons have expressed no interest in any of it. So, I use it and enjoy it!
Every day! Of course I don't use all of it every day, just something. Depending upon the linens, etc., they can be used for casual or formal entertaining...or just for eating alone.

I see so many sets of beautiful china at estate sales. If you are in the market for some nice things at a better price, that is the way to go!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:31PM
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I was chatting with a lady that does estate sales and they had a pattern I loved. setting for 12, extras, etc. It was over 2000 miles away and would have had to be shipped. She hates to ship stuff like that, but shared she couldn't give away china in her area, and if it was unsold at the end of the sale, she would box it and ship it to me. Well, don't ya know, yeah it went. Dang, I need a friend in every town in the country! I always check out the china if I go to a tag/estate sale, and see some very good buys.

Only one grandmother had nice china, which was given to her by her children. My mother bought it from her estate and gave it to my sister for a wedding gift. At least I get to appreciate it at special family get-togethers!

I gifted myself with a set of china about 12 years ago, and love it and using it. My husband will inherit a set of china that has been in the family over 100 years, and it will coordinate with the china we have now.

No kids, but 7 nieces and nephews, and I need to have the 'someday, I'll be gone' talk with them. I'll be curious to see if any of them have any interest in the china, or anything, for that matter.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 2:08AM
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My younger sister took my mother's sterling and good china. I took her crystal and silver plate serving pieces. My grandmother had had a couple of sets of Haviland Limoges, and I loved it, but it went to my cousins. So, when I saw a Haviland Limoges set of china on a PBS fundraising auction, my husband bought it for me. I wish I could tell the family that donated it how much I do love it. We use it for family holiday meals and special occasions.

My daughter married a family that had a set of very nice every day china waiting for her from her husband's grandmother, and then she received a nice set as wedding presents. One Christmas, her in-laws gave her the money to buy a Christmas set of china, so she is really all set.

So I don't know what will happen to my well loved Haviland Limoges. I suspect neither our new daughter-in-law nor my bachelor son would want it. But I do think they all love the holiday meals here when I set the table with the lovely china and my mother's crystal and silver plate.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 12:03AM
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I inherited a set of "Dainty Blue," which is very pretty but totally unrealistic for my family. If I dared use it for a family holiday meal, at least one piece would be broken by the end of the day because it's so very delicate. I want to sell it but just haven't gotten around to it. I know I'll get very little from a place like Replacements.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 2:13PM
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I have inherited china and silver flatware, neither is a pattern I would have picked, but I like them well enough and use them for all the family get togethers. My sisters both swooped in and took most of my grandmother's china and other household items. That happened because I live out of state. But I don't mind. I love china and sparkly glass, and go to the flea markets and junk store to find treasures. It wouldn't occur to me to buy dishes new; where is the fun in that?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:07PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Perfect outlook, Diane! :)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 6:30PM
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My mother-in-law, bless her, gave me her sterling flatware when DH and I married. She was elderly and never entertained anymore, but it was still an amazingly generous gift. I've added pieces to the set since. I don't use it for everyday, but I do use it many times a year. When DMIL died, I got her fine china, since DH was her only son. Although I have my own fine china from our wedding, I love to use her set, as well.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:37PM
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Does everyone here know who Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank is? She was on TV selling houses. She recommended that the dining room be converted to a rec room since people don't use dining rooms any more.
I am so sad to say that she is right. The last several family functions that I have attended, we ate off of disposible plates. Guests come and go at random times, sitting down as a family is a thing of the past. The central feature is the big screen TV loud as possible.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:28PM
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Seems sad to those of us from an earlier generation. But gracious living is not dead yet. We don't have a TV on the main floor of our house, and since we don't have an eat-in kitchen, we eat in the dining room every day. I have dinner parties often enough that even if I had an eat-in kitchen, I'd still want a dining room. But I'm older. Many younger people - though not all - entertain differently.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:56AM
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I've heard so many young people today say something similar to, "Oh, we can't entertain formally. We have small children. They would break things."


I had young children once and so did my parents and grandparents. The china, the crystal, the sterling are all still in my cupboards doing just fine. I think it's an attitude shift. Today, I see young people going to church in jeans. Do their parents think little Johnny/Susie can't take care of a good set of clothes either?

The china has gone to the same place as manners. There's more to manners than "please" and "thank you". :( Since being flooded out of our house by Sandy we've been eating in restaurants constantly for 3+ months. I saw kids (yes, that's meant to be plural) that were 3-5 years old eating French toast/syrup with their fingers. Oh, please. Don't get me started.

To the original question, yes, I was lucky enough to inherit a set of sterling silver flatware that we use and I treasure.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 2:24PM
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I inherited my Great Grandmother's china & crystal, My grandmothers crystal & my great Aunts china & crystal. The pattern on the set from my great Aunt is Havilland's Apple Bloosom. There is quite a bit of it on eBay-must have been a popular pattern in the 40's-50's. I love it but as I live alone it seems silly to use it. I do use the Fiesta ware also from my Great Aunt. My GGM china is more sedate, white or bone with a dark blue & gold pattern around the rims of plates etc. One set of crystal has etched roses on it. I looked at lots of crystal but didn't find the exact match although I saw several that were similar. Another set of crstal ihas gold around the rims & on the foot-a round a ball-like structure where your fingers would grasp the glass. For some reason I never cared for that particular pattern. I keep saying I'm going to sell some of this as I need the money more tha the china but haven't gotten around to it yet. Sorry for the long post.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:06PM
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Thanks to all of you who have posted a response so far.

The reason I asked is due to postings on the 'organizing' section of GW, where I spend a lot of my time. So many people there have posted about inheriting 'stuff', including furniture, china, etc. that they feeled compelled to keep just because it belonged to a relative, and they have no more room for it or it isn't to their taste.

Thanks again for your input.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 4:01PM
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Yes, I was given my MIL's Noritake china (Lexine 7007 pattern) when she passed away. My DH gave it to her as a gift, so I was glad to get it. We don't use it everyday, but use it when we have company or for holidays. I'm hoping one of my granddaughters may want it in the future.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Fori is not pleased

Every generation thinks the next is taking society to hell in a handbasket.

BSPofford, I always have room for china. It's the furniture I inherited that I need to replace but can't due to sentiment that gets me!

I do have a set of what we think was my grandmother's (or great grandmother's) every day china. SHE gave it to my aunt (her daughter-in-law's sister) who gave it to me. My aunt did not treat it well. So I have a bunch of chipped unusable china I have trouble parting with. But I use the celery (?) dish for butter and the sugar and creamer and a few of the serving dishes. They don't match anything else--they don't even match themselves. I love 'em.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:18PM
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Fori, I have a pattern very similar to yours.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 3:49AM
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I want to know more about my nortike China set 8 place settings with the set and it say s Nippon toki kaisha on it with emblem pic included of emblem

    Bookmark   November 29, 2014 at 11:27PM
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I think today's generation would be just as happy eating off paper plates and using plastic utensils as they would be using beautiful china, crystal and sterling. I have tons of gorgeous china, and other accoutrements... Some inherited and others purchased. I use them all on a regular basis. My guests are always thrilled to sit down to a beautifully set table. Not only is it visually pleasing, but more often than not provides a great topic for dinner conversation. I am posting a photo my dining table from last Christmas. Who wouldn't want to sit down to a fabulous dinner at a table like this? I feel sorry for people who have no appreciation for beauty.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2014 at 12:03AM
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My parents and grandparents were not well off so no I did not inherit china or sterling silver from them BUT I inherited and have since added to this set of Federal Glass Normandie iridescent. The picture is from a few years ago when I did not have enough dinner plates for the group so I used the grill plates.
I currently have 20 place settings which is just enough for the family at Thanksgiving. I use a hodge podge of utensils inc. sterling that I bought years ago along with my grandmother's Sears silverplate. I did inherit a set of 8 place settings of Easterling Venetian Star stemware from my mother but do not use it much as the wine glasses are too small. DD and etal prefer "cereal bowls on stems" for wine glasses. LOL

    Bookmark   December 3, 2014 at 11:00AM
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Interesting thread! I inherited my parents' 1960 Wedgwood White china and some Waterford of my mother's, along with the International silver and some other pieces she got from her mother. We don't use it often, but I like that the white china will go elegantly with anything.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2014 at 6:57PM
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