Hand-painted porcelain plates in Hotel Francés, Santa Rosalía, Baja California Sur, Mexico. At the height of their popularity, heirloom plates were used as decorative household objects on sitting and dining room walls between celebration meals. Photo: Getty Images
Hand-painted porcelain plates in Hotel Francés, Santa Rosalía, Baja California Sur, Mexico. At the height of their popularity, heirloom plates were used as decorative household objects on sitting and dining room walls between celebration meals. Photo: Getty Images
Jason Wordie
Opinion

Opinion

Then & Now by Jason Wordie

How heirloom plates – personalised, hand-painted porcelain – went from having pride of place on walls and tables to second-hand shops

  • Families once showed their status by commissioning personalised, hand-painted porcelain dinner services and would display plates on walls between meals
  • Mostly made in Asia, especially Canton and Japan, they fell out of fashion with the rise of mass manufacturing, and later were consigned to second-hand shops

Hand-painted porcelain plates in Hotel Francés, Santa Rosalía, Baja California Sur, Mexico. At the height of their popularity, heirloom plates were used as decorative household objects on sitting and dining room walls between celebration meals. Photo: Getty Images
Hand-painted porcelain plates in Hotel Francés, Santa Rosalía, Baja California Sur, Mexico. At the height of their popularity, heirloom plates were used as decorative household objects on sitting and dining room walls between celebration meals. Photo: Getty Images
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