Porcelain service: history, types, rules of care
Starting with children's sets for toy tea drinking and ending with luxurious antique porcelain, the services that came to us from the East became an integral part of everyday life. Without them, there will not be a friendly meeting, a gala dinner, or family gatherings. Porcelain set is not only an ornament of an interior, but also practical ware which over and over again will bring aesthetic pleasure to those who uses it. Read more about its history, types and subtleties of care.
Back to the past
Pottery accompanied the man from time immemorial and is found in excavations around the globe. However, tea and dining sets in the closest understanding to this day appeared in China, where porcelain was invented in 620. The ruling Song Dynasty has built factories for the production of utensils from this material. And in the north of the empire produced white porcelain, and in the south - light blue. In Europe, it came about in 1400, where services of unprecedented beauty for those times became very popular among the rich layers of the population.
And for 300 years the Chinese managed to remain monopolists in this field. And only in 1708, experimentally managed to get European porcelain. In Russia, his formula was discovered by the scientist DI Vinogradov in the late 1740s, which made it possible to produce such dishes in St. Petersburg.
What is the traditional Chinese porcelain tea set?
It includes not only the usual elements for us, but also a lot of interesting utensils:
- small cups strictly in the form of a bowl;
- tea tools (a spoon for transferring tea to the brewer, a needle for cleaning the spout of tea, a funnel for falling asleep tea, tongs to take hot pialles, a knife for cutting the pressed product);
- a beautiful small clay figure of an animal - this is a necessary piece of decor, which is contemplated while enjoying a drink.
The Chinese porcelain service, as a rule, is painted with complex patterns with a very high degree of detail.
Europe actively picked up Eastern customs and eventually defined its standards. The first was popularized by porcelain and tea Denmark. The services of this country differed in light color, practical, slightly rough, but strong design. They are often painted on drawings that depict scenes in the pastoral style. The cups had a round wide bottom to keep the warmth of the drink longer.
Russians were inferior in their love for tea only to the British and achieved unprecedented skill in making beautiful dishes. Services were made from fairly thick porcelain with complex, ornate patterns. The dishes had rounded edges.
The English, who treat tea not only as a drink, but as a lifestyle, made the porcelain service a real work of art. Especially popular are elongated shapes and floral patterns. In the Victorian era, beautiful tea and dinner sets were mandatory for all meals in well-to-do homes. And since porcelain - a fragile material, then for a long time there were several popular drawings on sale, and if necessary, buyers could replace the broken element or simply increase their set of dishes, keeping everything in one style.
The modern porcelain set includes at least 6 cups, 6 saucers and 1 teapot. But there are also larger sets. In addition to a larger number of cups and saucers (12 pieces), they can include: a few teapots, a sugar bowl with a lid, a scoop for cream, a cake plate, a tray.
And what is the difference between a porcelain coffee service and a tea service? First of all, the size of the cups: the stronger the drink - the smaller they are. In addition, for tea, the saucer should be with a groove, so that you can drink from it, and the coffee can be completely flat.
Table set can have much more components: deep plates for soup, small ones for snacks, plates for dessert or pies, soup tureen, salt shaker, lubricator, etc.
For everyday use it is better to have a separate set with thicker porcelain and a stable form of dishes. Especially popular is white color, because it beautifully shades and does not distort the color of drinks and dishes. In addition, it is easy to combine with other dishes and the general style of the kitchen.
Porcelain set with exquisite decor can become a family heirloom. But in order for it to remain intact as long as possible, it is important to know some rules. Here's how to care for tea and table sets from porcelain:
- wash dishes with a non-corrosive detergent and do not rub the areas with gilding, otherwise they will quickly erase;
- when storing saucers "pile" put between them a piece of thick paper;
- gently lift and lower the lids on the dishes;
- try to carry kettles, cups, tureens and other similar items not only by handles, but also by slightly holding them by hand;
- saucers and trays should not be taken for the very edge, but closer to the center.