For those who favour dining in style, Oberon is a must. Not only does it add rich colour and a touch of glamour to the table but it also provides an edge of luxury to the presentation and enjoyment of fine food. Oberon is an exuberantly detailed pattern featuring a swirling floral design. The floral themes are highlighted with a striking green edge trimmed by gold lining.
last night i was helping my dear friend, for whom i play the role of maid of honor (i refused the title matron…too matronly). we visited our local department store to register for her wedding gifts. as i was helping her choose a china pattern, we took into account the metallic border, whether or not it would clash with the flatware, and if she would be able to mix and match it with her grandmother’s light blue rosenthal lusterware. as her grandmother’s china is gold banded, she changed from her original platinum banded pattern of choice to a gold and platinum mix, and eventually settled on wedgwood’s gilded leaf by vera wang. i know all my best friends’ china patterns by heart. when a friend registers, the first thing i look at is their china pattern. i know this makes me a nerd. but i really think of china dinnerware as an every day art. china is a usable art form, and how people set entertain their guests says a lot about who they are.
i actually let my husband choose our wedding china. i’m not sure what came over me, if i wanted him to be more involved in the process, or if his first choice actually caught my attention, but we selected wedgwood’s “oberon” chinoise pattern. i like it because it reflects a ming influence, and he enjoys the bright colors and interesting pattern. we both like the 24-carat gold accents that add to the warm flicker of our formal dinners together or with friends. it’s a pattern that is neither too bridal, nor too feminine, nor attached to a certain style or time period. we selected a pattern we could use to entertain his business contacts when we host business dinners at our home, and could use for romantic candle-lit dinners for two.
not that i didn’t oscillate between patterns. as my engagement went along i frequently thought of changing my pattern to something more modern, more feminine, or with a platinum band over gold.
i am a little schizophrenic when it comes to china! i’d love to be able to have a set of each pattern i liked, and display it in some fantastic case. despite all the going back and forth i’ve ended up loving my china, so it was a good decision in the end. it’s a classic design, colonial in origin. the wedgwood museum in stoke-on-trent, in the uk, wrote me a while back, to answer my question about it’s origins. it was first released in 1979, the china design a result of joint collaboration at the barlaston factory in england. while it’s gone through several iterations, my most pressing regret is that it does not currently boast a gravy boat.
i derive such an amazing pleasure out of hosting events and using my china. i love to set a lace table cloth, starched, and lay my table with dessert plates and tea cups, with my matching coffee pot, sugar, and creamer. i fill dinner plates with scones, tarts, and crustless cucumber dill creme cheese sandwiches. for my dear friend who prefers coffee, i prepare a french press, and for my lovely, glowing, pregnant friends who are avoiding caffeine, i prepare a pot of vanilla roobois. filled with a thousand delightful and delicious details, it’s still the bone white china that shows through to create a perfect afternoon tea party.
afterwords, i scoop up all the dishes and wash them in warm soap water, by hand, and let them air dry. the next day i stack them back in my china hutch, where i can admire them every day.
i’ve actually spent a lot of time agonizing over my china pattern choice. because i do believe that it says a lot about who i am, how stylish, trendy, or impressionable i am. but i’ve noticed that time magazine published a photograph of madeline albright with my oberon teacup, and vouge in march 2009, featured my china with lovely sophisticate michelle obama. i can’t complain about sharing tastes in housewares with them, i suppose.