How to Display Your Plate Collection

Using Plates As Art

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Several people collect plates and apply them as a decorative component in their homes. The custom of hanging ceramics arose in Europe. Plates of all kinds were used to dress walls, along a mantelpiece, around mirrors, and around the top of a wall under the crown molding. At least as far back as the Renaissance time, there were ceramic plates having holes in the backs for hanging. They were discovered in very ornate, formal homes as well as in simple country ones.

Today decorators often hang plates as they would a grouping of paintings. Even so, unlike framed art, hanging plates produce dimension. They can supply pattern on a wall where none exists. And, unlike wallpaper, plates are easily removed when you require a change.

When interior decorator Mario Buatta adorned the White House guest house he hung a few of the old family china on the dining room walls. If you do not have old family treasures you could find pretty and inexpensive plates to apply for decoration and no one will be the wiser.

Plates with Something in Common

Those who gather plates for decorative intents often have particular themes, colors, or patterns they favor. Some people just collect plates from a particular period, while others collect pretty plates, old and new, and fuse them together. Creamware in various patterns, for instance, makes a lovely exhibit if you desire a monochromatic traditional look. Antique Spode dishes having blue and white scenes are among some valued collectibles often displayed on a wall. There are also quite lovely reproductions. Wedgwood is another collectible utilized this way. Actually, blue and white patterns seem to be the most popular composition, and they add interest in a room filled with blue and white fabrics.

Where to Find Interesting Plates

Many antique shops have old and often valuable plates. A lot of better craft shops feature plates in all types of patterns, sizes, and shapes made by artisans. In gift shops we find fanciful, sophisticated, and whimsical plates like those designed by Mackenzie-Childs. Early majolica and Quimper, both old and new, are among the common collectible plates.

Hanging Plates

It's rather easy to hang plates. They look best if the holder isn't too obvious. Simple wrought-iron plate holders can be found in novelty shops. They are designed to display three, four, or five plates in a vertical row. In this way they could be a decorative element in a room, and also easily available for use. To display the plates on the wall you may also find simple, inexpensive spring-tension wire holders at most hardware stores. You can also discover a variety of fancier holders like brass ones having decorative elements on them, which hold one plate each. Freestanding brass and wooden plate holders are your other options and come in different sizes for exhibiting one beautiful plate on a shelf or table.

Finding Plates in Unexpected Places

Finding a plate while traveling can be the basis for a collection. For one thing, a plate is easily packed between clothing in a suitcase. Stop by any antique shop whenever you travel. You'll be surprised at what you might come across.

Suggestions for a Collection

Mixing and matching plates for decoration and for use can give one an interesting hobby, a safe fixation, a focal point of interest during shopping, and may even become a valuable collection. If you prefer to start collecting plates here are some suggestions: Biscuit, Delft, Faience,  Limoges, Lus-terware, Mochaware, Porcelain, Quimper, Spongeware, Staffordshire, Stoneware, Spatterware, Transferware, Wedgwood, and Yellowware.