To own fine china was quite an honored item of social class and other fancy traits. Below is an article about such from Table Talk Magazine ©1899. I"m also including a link to "Blue & White China ©1892 with details and pictures of some of the china designs.
TREASURES—ANTIQUE AND MODERN.
“These plates, cups and bowls of ancient ware,
Alas! as frail as they are rare,
Do hear historic record!"
The woman in the present day who does not delight, in the possession of rare china is indeed an anomaly. Many fine collections in this country have been made by purchase, while others have descended as heirlooms. Just now that of Mrs. O. L. Hurd, of Lakeville, Conn., is of great interest and pleasure to connoisseurs, much of it inherited, and other pieces selected with the utmost care as choice replicas of antique designs. Probably no other collection of its size is of greater historic interest than this, and although kept in a private dwelling, better or more artistically arranged to display it to advantage. Counting pieces that go together as one (as instance cup and saucer, dish and cover), it now numbers over three hundred articles, but if listed by the trade method would far exceed that. An entire room is devoted to it—truly a museum of ceramics to those permitted to behold its treasures. A wall-shelf extends around the four sides with deep grooves in which platters and plates may with safety stand erect. Between them are placed bowls, pitchers and tea-pots. An ancient side-board (in itself a curio), supports a beautiful display of pink and white ware, together with some choice pieces of old pewter now so eagerly sought and highly prized.
To describe some of the designs upon articles in this choice collection of Mrs. Hurd will best indicate its value. A large platter (genuine Jackson ware), presents as decoration in black and white, a view of Newburg on the Hudson, the border in flowers. Upon adark blue jug is the old Masonic Hall,_Baltimore, and on a bowl, also blue, the old State House, Hartford, Conn. A pink and white platter is decorated with a picture of the Battle Monument of Baltimore, and upon a dark blue Pittsfield plate the landing of General Lafayette. Views of Baker's Falls, Hudson river, the Erie canal, old Castle Garden, etc., etc., are included. Most of these were manufactured in early colonial days. Collectors behold with eyes of envy the specimens of Jackson’s, Adams, Mayer, Lowestoft, Staffordshire, Wedgewood and Clews. Knowing that the unique display is strictly a private possession, beyond price as far as sale is concerned.
With what lasting regret the present generation think of the china closets of long dead ancestors, and of the dishes used and ruthlessly broken in by- gone days, which now would be so cherished from association and pridein possession. Great-great-grandmothers did not appreciate the landscaped and flowered china of their corner cupboards as their pretty granddaughters would to-day, if posing as antiques in modern cabinets.
It is but a step from the old to the new,' and how lovely and costly are the pottery products of the present period ! As illustration a set of dinner-plates painted by Charles Le Brun in designs taken from Greek mythology. It almost suspends breath to be told that “the exquisite works of art are eleven hundred dollars each," but so it is, and yet they find enthusiastic buyers even at that figure.
Imagine a dozen tumblers—upon each a panorama of German mythology, and cost