Friday, September 10, 2010

Before there was porcelain...

We’ve come a long way from the loaf of bread to the fine china.

Not long ago, porcelain was very expensive and only the richest of the rich were using the fragile items from which to eat. At dinner time, at almost every European castle throughout the Middle Ages, trenchers were used instead of plates.

Trenchers were a vital feature in medieval feasts. They were made from stale loaves of bread, cut out so as to hold soup, meat, stew. After the meal, the loaves were either eaten, flung to the dogs, or handed to the poor. Later, trenchers evolved into a small plate of metal of wood.

Colonists of the USA had an individual salt dish or a squat sale cellar near the trencher. These salt cellars came to be known as trencher salts.

The porcelains from China arrived in Europe as the trade with Asia opened up around 1500. It still took another two centuries until hard porcelain was actually made in Europe. That happened around early 1700. It then took another two centuries to make the use of porcelain common and to ensure its place in every household and at every table.
Fancy That offers rentals of fine china and not trenchers. (grin). We also offer vintage glassware and other unique accessories for your special event. As the holidays begin entering our consciousness, keep in mind that you may need fine china, ruby red glasses, or other items for your holiday party. We’d be pleased to help.

Thanks for stopping by!

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