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Sotheby’s Dining IN Online Auction

by habituallychic

08 . 05 . 20

Even though I have a very small kitchen and no separate dining room in my New York apartment, I obsessively collect antique china and silver. So when Sotheby’s asked if I’d like to collaborate with them on their Dining IN online auction happening now, I jumped at the chance. Since everyone is spending so much time cooking and dining at home these days, it’s the perfect time to think about how to elevate your tabletop game.

“Dining IN” is a new addition to the Sotheby’s international sale calendar and is being presented both in New York and London as two concurrent online auctions, open for bidding from August 3rd – August 12th, that celebrate the dining experience in all its formats.

The sale is eclectic in content, ranging through three hundred years of design including regency porcelain, Italian silver and glass, and brown furniture. In times where dining in restaurants is somewhat limited, this sale perfectly caters for clients wishing to create their own beautiful tables settings.

Since I live just a few blocks away from Sotheby’s auction house, I was able to style my favorite pieces from the auction in person which was very fun. Especially since we haven’t been able to do much in New York lately.

As soon as I saw this Berlin (K.P.M.) Tea and Coffee Service, I fell in love with the beautiful flowers and molded swags decoration. The pale green panel is one of my favorite colors for china and it could easily be mixed and matched with other sets.

Here’s a detail of the Berlin (K.P.M.) Tea and Coffee Service.

I collect the Fiddle Thread and Shell pattern in silver and silver plate so this Assembled George V and Victorian Silver Kings Pattern Flatware Service is clearly my favorite flatware in the auction. I have a way to go until I catch up to this collection. Alessandra Merrill, Specialist, Silver & Vertu, was with me today as I styled the table and she said one should always buy an antique set of silver flatware since a new set would never retain its value.

The furniture was all at the warehouse, otherwise, I would have styled the china and silver on this gorgeous Regency Style Rosewood Circular Dining Table on Giltwood Dolphin Supports. This would look especially nice as a dining table in a man’s apartment or as an entry table topped with a vase of flowers and books.

The funny thing is that I lamented in my Instagram Stories that “influencers” don’t know who to set a table and always place the napkins on the wrong side of the plate and then I forgot to even lay the napkins out because they were in my bag. I feel like that’s the Universe’s way of trying to keep me humble. Just so you know, the napkin is always placed to the left of the forks. It can also be placed on top of the plate but nothing should ever be placed on top of the napkin. That means no flatware on top of the napkin except for a very casual meal.

Instead of flowers, I decided to use this amazing Large Dodie Thayer Pottery Lettuce Ware Tureen as the centerpiece.

If you lack patience for collecting and want a full set of something now, I highly recommend this Extensive Dodie Thayer Lettuce Ware Service of 141 pieces. This is the dream.

If you know the rules, you can break them but it’s clear from Instagram that a lot of people don’t know how to set a table so I’m going to put together a more extensive post on table settings and dining etiquette soon.

One rule we broke was by using the red wine glass from this

This pair of George I Silver-Gilt Sugar Nips, circa 1740, currently have a bid of $1. How much more elegant would your morning coffee be if you used every day?

You could elevate even the most basic dessert on this beautiful Italian Mario Buccellati Silver Dessert Stand.

Could you imagine serving ketchup and hot sauce from this stunning George III Silver Cruet Set? It also has a tag for soy sauce for your sushi and a Harvy tag which might have been for Harvey’s Fish Sauce which was popular condiment in Victorian homes.

I’m not someone who saves my nice things for a special occasion. If I had this Georg Jensen Danish Silver Pitcher, I’d use it every day to remind myself to drink eight glasses of water.

Three is an odd number for a set so I’d use these two Chinese Famille-Rose Wares basins and one plate as serving dishes.

I own a few pieces of Meissen but nothing like this Pair of Meissen Small Oval Baskets. One of the reasons I love collecting antique porcelain and china is because it would be rare to find anything made like this today.

I’d use this Chinese Export Armorial Hexagonal Plate as the centerpiece of a grouping of plates hung on a wall.

There are also a lot of masculine pieces in the auction. This Empire Style Gilt Bronze-Mounted Mahogany Console Table with marble top would make a great bar.

This Pair of Georg Jensen Glass Decanters with Danish Silver Tops would love perfect on said bar above.

I’ve seen sets that look similar to this Rare Chinese Export Armorial Part Dinner Service in museums and always admired the style. It’s another great look for a man’s home.

I think most people have caught on that silver toast racks make great stationery holders but you could also use this George II Silver Mug for pens or pencils or even a chic toothbrush holder. Now that I’ve see that it’s engraved with the presentation inscription “The Dutchess of Devonshire gift to FBD”, I want it for myself!

If you a cabin or hunting lodge, you need this Extensive Bohemian Amber-Tint Engraved Glass Hunting Service from circa 1870. It’s pretty spectacular.