Back in July I had one of those moments in a thrift store where you find something so awesome at such an incredible price, you can’t wait to get out of the store because you feel like it must be mis-marked and you just want to throw the money at them and get the hell out before they realize their mistake.
The find was a Fitz & Floyd ceramic soup tureen – generously sized, with a beautiful sculptural top depicting traditional Christmas bells and ribbon, in classic holiday colors of red, green, gold, and ivory. I could never justify spending full retail on Fitz & Floyd anything, so I was more-than-delighted with my find.
I immediately did a Christmas-in-July tablescape with it, which to be honest I had completely forgotten about by the time I got around to doing a Christmas-in-December tablescape. Oddly enough, the choices I made in July were pretty similar to the ones I made in December, long after I’d forgotten about the original. Here’s a comparison:
Now granted, I didn’t try very hard in July – I just wanted to set a Christmas-themed table to show off the tureen. So let’s take a full tour around the December tablescape, which I view as the more “official” of the two – trying to do full justice, as it were, to this gorgeous piece!
I’ve set the stack with a gold-shouldered dinner plate, a red-and-gold-shouldered salad plate, and an antique green-and-gold bread plate. This is a bit of dinnerware sorcery, because honestly that dinner plate is big enough to be a charger and the middle plate being used here as a salad is actually a smaller dinner.
Of course normally, the bread plate would go to the upper left of the place setting (see below), but for the sake of the stack I decided that at this dinner party we would all be seated and then I as the hostess would demonstrate that we are to remove the small plate and place it upper left with the butter knife already in place. In this way no one would wonder what to do with the green plate or be confused about its intended use. Rather like Bertha Russell showing her luncheon guests how to unwrap their table favors when Ward McAllister comes to dine in The Gilded Age – which is my new obsession, by the way, both in terms of historical reading and in terms of television.
But I digress.
So moving around the table, we also have some gorgeous glassware – new to my tables are these four beautiful footed water glasses. They are “Dublin” by Godinger, available on Amazon (affiliate link – if you purchase through my link, I earn a small commission but it costs you nothing extra). I have been completely spoiled shopping for new stuff after decades of haunting thrift stores, but these are quite affordable even for my cheap self.
Thrifted “Longchamps” by Cristal d’Arques and vintage King’s Crown Thumbprint with cranberry-colored rim serve as wine glasses for our two courses.
Flatware is real mid-century silver handed down from my grandmother – it is “Flair ” by 1847 Rogers Brothers, which she acquired in the late 1950’s. She re-married in 1956, so perhaps it was a wedding gift. I certainly wish I had asked her – it is so lovely!
Our centerpiece is literally just a showing off of the gorgeous soup tureen (no soup on the menu), flanked by crystal-drop candlesticks and a pair of thrifted ceramic Santas.
The salt and pepper set is a pair of Baum Brothers Christmas trees from their “Formalities” line. Napkins are simple ivory polycotton with a bit of gold sparkle via the rings. And our tablecloth is actually a thrifted fabric shower curtain.
Looking back on it, there probably isn’t much about this table that’s actually “traditional,” but I do hope it has kind of an old-world European feel to it. What’s your interpretation?
I’ll be sharing my Fitz & Floyd Christmas table for “Tablescape Thursday” over at Susan’s amazing blog, Between Naps on the Porch. Please click through for much for holiday inspiration!
And here’s an image to pin if you would like to save this post for future ideas!