Chipped China

Bumblebeez SC Zone 7July 9, 2007

Do you keep and use chipped things? I do because I want to make sure I have enough if I need 12 of something. I always think Dh and I could use the chipped pieces...

Maybe I should just get rid of them.

I have lots of glasses and china patterns and hate it when something gets chipped and ruins the set.

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I never chipped anything, but if I did, I probably would NOT want to place it on my formal table....

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:56AM
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In general, I don't think I would set the table with chipped pieces if I could avoid it. You could look into replacing pieces through a china replacement service. I have been searching on one website for pieces to my grandmother's set.

However, if your plates are quite old and rare or too expensive to replace, I would just use them if they are small chips. I admit I have a couple of serving dishes that I love and use even though they have small chips. They are barely noticeable and don't detract from the appearance or affect the item's performance. I don't have a very formal home, and it has its own chips and cracks, so small imperfections don't stand out much around here!


    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 11:25AM
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It is possible to restore chipped china, if you find the right craftsman. Even if you don't have the missing piece.

I have a couple of pieces w/ chips on the underside (the rim that it sits on), and I use them. But I probably shouldn't. And I wouldn't use them for a fancy tablesetting.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 12:15PM
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I have one set of stoneware from the 40's called "Bride of the Barnyard". Its a funky farmyard scene that includes hayracks and chickens. It belonged to an aunt who passed away 30 years ago.

I love it and yes, it has a few chipped pieces. And yes, I use them. I always get compliments when I use them and they are so much fun in 115 year old farmhouse.

Now -- if I was holding them together with super glue -- I wouldn't use them. And for some silly reason, the small chips don't detract. Just makes the age and the provenance even better!


    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 1:57PM
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Over the years I've read about hygiene concerns numerous timesÂabout how germs collect in cracks. I don't know if the same is true of chips. In either case, I'd be less worried about a serving dish than I would a cup, for instance.

I'm just now opening up boxes I had shipped from my parents' home 11 years ago, after they died. Trying (as ever) to be ruthless, I'm using chips and cracks as the #1 criteria to determine what I keep and what I discard.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 4:04PM
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I have a set of Pfaltzgraff dinner wear that I've absolutely loved since I bought it 28 years ago. I use it as my "everyday" dishes. One of the dinner plates has a chip under the rim and one of the bread plates has a crack all the way across. But both pieces still are functional. My MIL taunts me by saying I sahould throw out the broken dishes and get a "better" set of dishes, more like hers. Grrr...I found out Pfaltzgraff stiill makes this pattern, but only once a year. I have to find out when their sale is.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 4:41PM
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Jannie, you might be able to find replacement pieces on eBay.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 7:17PM
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You might also contact Pfaltzgraff and see if you can place an order in advance, and have them send it to you when they *do* make it. Call or e-mail them (today?):

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 9:49AM
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I use a set of dishes that are about a century old, and yes, a few of them have chips! If they don't affect the integrity of the dish, I see nothing wrong with using them. And yes, DH and I have many times used the dishes with more than one chip, so as to leave the best ones for the "company". I have never set a table that didn't get a rave review, so the fact of the chip here and thread pull there in the antiques, must not bother anyone much if the overall view is lovely! I am a bit more careful with crystal...if the rim is chipped and I cannot smooth it sufficiently, it becomes a tealight holder or something that a person would not be asked to use.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 1:46PM
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I would use it if it were chipped. I figure I wash in hot enough water to kill any bacteria living on a chip. I've heard about the bacteria in crack thing before too & wouldn't use something cracked all the way through. When they get to that point I save them for a future project I have planned to "tile" broken china on a picture frame.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 6:37PM
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Either replaced the chipped pieces or size down to serving for 10 or whatever. Aren't you worth it to have everyone eating off of prime plates?

For whomever said her chipped old farm scene china added to her old farm homestead.. yeah, I've got a distant relative that has an old farm home with 1/2 inch cracks in the bathroom door that are VERY noticible as you pass by. Needless to say, I don't use the 'facilities' there.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 3:00AM
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I remember seeing a magazine layout of a table set for four for dinner. All the dishes were mis-matched antique-looking. It was quite attractive. They used a cloth tablecloth and napkins that did all match, and that sort-of pulled it together. Made me not be ashamed of my ecclectic collection of coffee mugs!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:39PM
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I am not ashamed to be using chipped dishes or mis-matched china. I am an excellent cook and I do own very lovely china and crystal -- in fact, 9 sets of china. But my guests are here to enjoy our company -- not scrutinize my china.

Using heirloom pieces connects me to family history and the struggles they had --just trying to put a meal on the table. Maybe its because of the farm background -- but I know that meals were often what was in the pantry. So using a set of china that was a premium from buying feed in 1920 -- means a lot to me. Chips and all.

I believe that the value of a person is not measured by value of their possessions. I have my flaws -- I'll accept a few flaws in my china.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 1:57PM
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We have 4 sets of inherited dishes - 2 nice china and 2 pretty stoneware. We use them all, but only one set of china actually has service for 12. The other "complete set" of china has service for 8. Sadly, I've never had to seat 12 at once for dinner. If I did, it wouldn't worry me that I was restricted to that one set. I think I could mix and match for that matter. I say sadly, because I wish I had more family nearby, or had the energy to have large groups of friends over.

Anyway, the whole point of my post is that not every set of dishes has to be enough for a large group.

Back in the 1930's my grandmother (with several children) dealt with the problem of broken dishes by refusing to buy any that weren't sold open stock.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 12:32AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Thank you all for your replies!
I don't think I could ever give a guest a chipped dish. (the Martha in me) but I don't mind having one for myself.
I tend to think that with all the internet sites available, I can easily replace any thing I have.
We have Thanksgiving for 30 every other year ( I alternate with my SIL) and I do pull out most of my dishes then but never use anything chipped.
I have a friend who told me as soon as something gets chipped she throws it out. Whoa!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 1:29PM
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Fori is not pleased

I looked into replacing some dishes at (not an endorsement because I didn't use them, but they DO have prices listed which is nice) and was kind of appalled to see that replacing my great grandmother's good china was cheaper than the everyday china I got when I married 15 years ago.

*sigh* I need to get new dishes. But really, having enough non-chipped ones for guests is good enough, almost!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 12:36AM
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I think it can be a lot like acquiring a wardrobe. It is easy to fall in love with china patterns (for me, anyway), but one approach is to restrict yourself to only ones that coordinate with each other and with your basic table linens. Easier said than done, of course, but can help satisfy the desire for an occasional fun change of dinnerware for family meals but also makes every piece earn its keep by being nicely usable in large gatherings. Then you can have 7 of one setting and 7 of another and not care.

Plain white is great for this idea.

I also loved an earlier poster's use of solid red dinnerware for multiple holidays. Much more practical than a Christmas pattern.

For some time I have "collected" magazine photos or similar ideas for table mix-and-match. A few of these can give you ideas of what kind of "collections" work the best for you. The key is to not just drool over ones that work only for the special occasion featured in the magazine, but that have good long-term, multi-occasion appeal.

Of course, the most practical thing is not to give a hoot about any of it--chips, matching, or anything else!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 11:20AM
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I once knew a woman who frequently bought just 2 plates or 2 place settings of a china pattern. She liked to use them for her husband and herself, and also as buffet plates for really large gatherings.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 12:20AM
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Since I read that you alternate with your SIL, that brought back a long-ago memory that I was reminded of this summer ... my mother and her two sisters got the same patterns (family of 7 kids, +wives, husbands, +kids +various other inlaws and outlaws)... whenever they had the family get togethers, they'd pool the china. Each had a mark of a different color nail polish on the bottom so they went home to the right place. They also used this method of identification on serving pieces they might bring to other folk's gatherings.

You and SIL (and anyone else in the family) might want to do something along the same lines so not everyone has to store the 'entire set' (x2 in your case with your SIL).

Just a thought that might simplify your life. I also like the plain white to be used at every holiday idea.. that's what I did, the linens and decor dictate the holiday, and food looks good on white.

Happy holidays!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 12:20AM
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If you care to, you can read my story to understand why I am using many pieces of chipped dishes.


Here is a link that might be useful: Ron Meyer's column about Chloe's Amazing Dish-cleaning Day

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 11:23PM
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