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Dinner Service

Used for events from weddings to housewarmings, ceramic and porcelain dinner services exude family togetherness while simultaneously celebrating the rich lineage of porcelain design. They are the defining pieces of a well-set dinner table.

Though the heritage of ceramic plates and serving pieces dates far back into history, elegantly designed dinner services are more recent and correspond to the rise of the great European porcelain producers. In the 18th century, as makers like Limoges and Meissen broke into the hard-paste porcelain market, the demand for decorative and dazzling dinner services began to accelerate.

Nowhere was this surge stronger than among the royal and aristocratic courts of Europe. So enraptured was French King Louis XV with porcelain that he, encouraged by his mistress Madame de Pompadour, established his own porcelain manufacturing facility near the town of Sèvres. Soon, the notion of an elegant table became synonymous with refined and regal dinner services, a connection that still exists today.

Quick Facts

  • The world's most expensive dinner service is the Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica pattern, which can sell for up to $7,000 per place setting
  • The ancient Roman dinner party was known, in part, for its elaborate place settings and serving pieces. Wealthy Roman tables included matched sets of plates, bowls and trays. Their medium of choice was not ceramic but rather, silver
  • Different services correspond to different numbers of pieces included. The most basic ceramic dinner service includes three pieces: a dinner plate along with a matching cup and saucer. The sets can grow up to seven pieces

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