Thursday, February 25, 2016

Family Treasure: Name that China

Noritake China Pattern #N3151

Our family treasures take many forms: Bibles, jewelry, documents and photographs. Among the treasures passed down to me are dishes and glassware. They are treasures because they belonged to other women in my family, not because of any monetary value.

I have an old black and white family movie of Christmas dinner at the New York City apartment of my great aunts. When the home movie camera pans around the table I can see my mother, as a young girl, seated between her parents. My great aunts, my grandparents and my mother wave to the camera and smile. It is brief but it grabs my heart every time I watch it. I have had it transferred to a DVD and shared it with my brothers.

In the movie the dining table is elegantly set with fine china, candles and bowls of food.  I have that china and other sets of china and glassware owned by my great aunts. I display it in a glass front cabinet in my dining room and I use it. My brothers and I sit down to holiday meals and use the same china. That makes it a treasure.

Celeste by Meito

However, I wanted to know more about the china. What is the name of the pattern? When was it made? Where was it made? Is it of any monetary value?

I found the perfect website to answer those questions: 

I found it when I was searching the internet to find out if I could buy more pieces of my mother’s Christmas china. Replacements, Ltd. had the Nikko plates I wanted and more accessories for the same pattern. I ordered the dinner plates and they arrived a few days later in perfect condition.

Then I wondered about my great aunts’ china. Looking at the back of the pieces I found ‘Noritake’ who made a couple of the sets. On the website I went to China/Noritake and then, in the search bar, added ‘gold rim, blue roses’. Looking the long list of results I found Noritake, Mystery #42 pattern, circa 1915 – 1919. The sugar bowl & lid are selling for $27.99 and the gravy boat sells for $33.99. Other items are out of stock. If I wanted to I could sell my pieces through Replacements, Ltd. Or, I could ask them to search for more pieces for me.

Another set of china was also Noritake but I could not see a photo of it in the long list of china. No problem. I photographed the pieces & photographed the logo on the back. They have a ‘Pattern Identification Request Form’. Add your photos and your contact information. They got back to me in less than a week with all the details on the china pattern I was seeking. This search was free.

Noritake Mystery 42

You can also ‘Register Patterns’ and they will watch for pieces you want as they become available.

The website also has crystal, silverware & collectibles. If you have family treasures that you’d like to learn more about, go to this website. Or, if you just like old china and glassware, this is the place for you to spend an afternoon!

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  1. I agree - Replacements is the best. They have identified lots of old china and crystal pieces for me including odds 'n' ends of punch cups none of which match. I have purchased quite a bit too including some crystal to complete a set of water goblets I inherited. I enjoy using old china and crystal - there is just something different in how they feel.

    1. Wendy, I agree completely! Using the old family pieces makes any meal special. The china and crystal add elegance and a family connection. With Replacements I can add pieces so there is enough for everyone.

  2. They are also a great source for replacement pieces should you accidentally break a piece.

    1. Yes, Charlie, you are right. I have purchased more of some plates so we have enough for large family meals. I just found this site but i love it!


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