Sunday, November 25, 2012

Swooning over Old Country Roses

I promise to stop talking about dishes real soon... maybe... but right now I just have to SQUEAL with delight over Old Country Roses. Why? Because I recently completed a "Buy It Now" listing on Ebay for four dinner plates, and they arrived on my doorstep yesterday, just as described (perfect!) and for a great price. With the purchase of these plates, I can now serve dinner for six and am only one plate away from dinner for eight!  

This beautiful pattern by Royal Albert of England is the fairest in all the land as far as I'm concerned. It is  the Holy Grail of dishes for me. It was launched in 1962 (the same year as me!), and is still in production today. It is the most popular pattern ever produced by the Royal Albert company. Yet I cannot remember the last time I saw an individual piece in a thrift or antique store, let alone at a bargain price. And on Ebay, individual dinner plates generally range from $10-16 each, plus an additional $10-12 for shipping. I am just too cheap, and too impatient, to pay that much and wait for reasonable auctions to come along, so my OCR journey has been long and frustrating. 
This past week, however, a few stars aligned. I found an Ebay auction for FOUR dinner plates, with a "Buy It Now" price of $45 - that was only $11.25 per plate, and that included shipping! After carefully reading the listing and consulting a Royal Albert web page devoted to Old Country Roses and its various backstamps, I determined that the plates shown online were actually made in England (not Indonesia, as has been the case more recently) and were at least purported - by a seller with 100% positive feedback - to be in excellent condition. I even had (arguably) a spare $45 to spend. 
After thinking it over for... oh, maybe 30 seconds, I realized that if I were at the antique mall where shipping is not a consideration, and I spotted four OCR dinner plates in excellent condition for $11.25 each, I would snap them up. So I did the "Buy It Now" and then waited anxiously for my plates to arrive intact. Yesterday, they did - and they're beautiful!  

I tell you, I almost cried. For now, after a dozen years of collecting, I think I will finally serve Christmas dinner on Old Country Roses! 

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