Safe use of 'fine china' Covered Dish?

chas045November 17, 2012

We will be using our nice early 50's china for several meals during the holidays. A few years ago I acquired a covered bowl from e-bay at a pleasantly low price. These often sell for well more than $70. This china includes a gold band. It looks very nice in the china cabinet.

So: is it useful for anything but looking at; or dumping some cooked item in it at serving time? In other words, can I bake in it? It seems unlikely, or very risky to me, but it is shaped like a casserole dish although not as heavy. I suppose that the rest of you learn about this early in life, but I didn't have anything like this back then.

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Don't cook in it, it is a serving dish

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 3:32PM
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I agree - it's a serving dish only. China is not made to take cooking heat. Nice that it has a lid to help keep the food hot until you sit down. :)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 3:45PM
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Sounds like a serving piece to me also. I would not bake or microwave in it, the gold band would likely lose it's color and luster.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 3:47PM
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Well...I disagree. What kind of "fine china" is it? I have several Royal Worchester Evesham covered and open dishes I bake in as well as some Villory Bach Botanica dishes I bake in. I have baked in a certain vegetable dish in my Mason's Pink vista...but I don't bake in a white Herchenruther gold trimmed covered dish....go figure?
You SHOULD be just fine baking in it, after all the dish was fired at a much higher temperature than you will be using for baking. But be aware of sudden temperature changes, as you would with pyrex.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 5:06PM
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Any gold trim or metalic details are almost always "painted" on and not intended for high heat. Also never microwave anything with gold or metalic details, the sparks in the microwave are pretty cool, but it will ruin both the gold and the microwave!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 7:09PM
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Chas - I don't think you should bake in it. However, I don't know what brand/kind it is. The internet is full of information - not always correct of course. But I do think product information is pretty reliable. And you might run across a discussion or two on the pattern/brand that you own. It could not hurt to do a search.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 7:25PM
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Again...only partly true. Many antique and semi antique dishes have the gold applied over the glaze, that eventually wears away with ordinary washing and use. But many have the gold underglaze and while that won't stand microwaving, it sure has been fired at a very high heat.
My everyday "fine china" has a gold band. I have used it as my "daily dishes" for more than 25 years. The grand sons sometimes put a plate into the micro to melt the cheese on a bagel or a burger....the fireworks are eye popping!!
At any rate it has been in the dishwasher many times...the small plates likely several thousand times....figuring 3 times a week times 25 years.....and the gold is not worn.

You will find lots of china say "14K gold hand applied"... but mostly lots older than the 1950's.
Gold that has been applied under the glaze has already been subjected to high heat and won't self destruct in the oven. be sure, we need to know what the vintage china the OP is speaking of.

Here is a link that might be useful: Making of Lenox gold decorated china

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:00PM
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Thanks for all the thoughts. I should have given a site for the piece. It is apparently known as a 'covered vegetable serving bowl' at least by Replacements. It is the pattern known as 'Margaret Rose' by Homer Laughlin from 1953. I gave a link below, but it may only get you to replacements. I see that it only gets you to the listing. Scrolling down to the second page gets you to a listing of 'covered veg...' with the picture.

Lindac, I was sort of thinking the same thing, but I certainly wouldn't want to risk being wrong. I gather from the tenor of the responses that none of you has actually tried and failed or been warned off of baking by someone who actually failed?? Or for that matter, were you warned off emphatically by your mother? I was asking to find out if it was a piece of common knowledge that I was missing or if these pieces were so uncommon these days, that usage was obscure. Of course, if 'covered vegetable serving bowl' is the actual Homer Laughlin formal listing, then baking is clearly out.

Thanks skeip, I was aware of the microwave issue after attempting microwaving a modern flashy pattern, in both meanings. It was an eye (and ear) opener!

Here is a link that might be useful: Replacements site

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:50PM
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lindac, I was searching before posting and didn't see your latest response. I do know that the gold bands do wear somewhat under normal use (holiday hand wash yearly since '53) but generally still in very good condition. Actually my worn pieces probably came from other owners poor treatment. In any case, I suppose that means the band is set after firing.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 9:00PM
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Homer Laughlin made some fine china ( porcelain) but also lots of lower fired pottery ware. I don't know what your pattern is....but I suspect it's not porcelain nor stoneware and probably would be "iffy" to be used in the oven. Safest not to try.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 9:31PM
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LindaC, she said it was "Margaret Rose" from 1953.

I will be of no assistance since I've never owned any "fine china" of any type, but that's a lovely piece and I doubt that I would risk baking in it.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 9:37PM
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I know the pattern name....but don't know what it "is"....porcelain, pottery semi porcelain etc.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 9:58PM
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Margaret Rose is porcelain. However, it is a serving piece. One of the clues is the light weight. If you have the one with the decorative band of gold on the lid and side, that's a decal but is fired on. Then the edge gold is hand painted on and fired. Fired gold is pretty stable but naturally you don't take a scrubby to it. Enjoy your pretty china.

[Early on I was a painter for Cybis Art Porcelain. My specialty was animals, especially birds but also the gorgeous carousel animals. We all did anything that was on order too. Figurines, etc. Later I worked as a decoration designer for Lennox, designing the paint jobs for their decorative collectables. Painted for Edward Marshall Boehm for a while too. Anyway, I've painted gold on plenty of porcelain, although not dishes. Smiles. Cybis will always hold a special place in my heart.]

Here is a link that might be useful: Cybis latest carousel animal-Reindeer

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 2:24AM
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Cybis!! still my heart!! Boehm birds! And Lenox! Perhaps you can answer a question that has puzzled me for a few years.
A friend wanted to replace a couple of pieces of her Lenox ( circa 1956 or so) and asked me if I could find some on ebay as she didn't have nor know how to use a computer. Anyhow it was not well packed and a bowl broke...and I was very surprised to see that the "stuff" that the dishes was made of was a fairly dark brown clay. Now I have seen my share of broken bone china and French, German and Chinese porcelain...but never brown. Is it just that the clay in south Jersey is brown??

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:57AM
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coconut-nj, thanks for the impressive response. I had plowed around the internet for at least an hour attempting to verify the quality of the Homer Laughlin eggshell series and found absolutely nothing. Yes, the lid (like the rest of the set)is very thin with multiple bands and an edge band.

I have never considered covering the veggies to keep them warm but perhaps it is a good idea. Or if we still had kids around, they would be happy to keep them hidden so they wouldn't have to take a serving.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:10PM
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You're welcomed Chas. Glad I could help. I like having a lid on veggies because I like to put butter on many and they often don't stay hot enough to melt it. LOL.

Linda, hmm.. not quite sure. Lennox made so many kinds of china and pottery. If it was supposed to be porcelain it should have been white, no matter the color of South Jersey clay. Smiles. I have some old Stangel pottery pieces from that era and they have a tan color where chipped, but they weren't supposed to be porcelain. I'd wonder if the piece was a replacement piece.

Oh yes, Cybis. Always to me the very best of the art pieces. Cast as one piece, painted as one piece. Boehm is done in pieces, decorated, then put together. Plus, parts airbrushed.....

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:23PM
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I am scratching my brain for the pattern name...turquoise band with a rose in the center of each piece....very 1950's.
One of the reasons I am curious is because the piece broken was a bowl and wondering if it could have been different from the cups.

I had a friend who collected Boehm birds...big collection. They both have died....wondering what happened to the birds?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:59PM
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Does the name Corinne sound familiar? That has a wide band of color and a flower in the middle. Comes in several colors.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Not corinne...Kingsley...but it has a full blown rose in the center. Have eaten off of it several times....very 1950's pattern.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:24AM
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