Millions of people around the world will soon be gathering with cherished family and friends to celebrate the holidays, and few images evoke the warmth and joy of this season more than the well-appointed dinner table.
The décor you choose for your antique dining room table helps strike the tone for your dinner party. From fine porcelain plates and glistening crystal glassware to exquisite flourishes of silver and gold in the form of flatware, hollowware and the like, let’s explore our most beautiful pieces currently in our gallery that will certainly bring the “Wow” factor to your holiday dining room table in 2018!
FIT FOR A KING
Sterling silver is always on course for a memorable dining event, and what better silver to make the focal point of your dining table than one that was made for royalty? Exquisite and elegant in every way, the Royal Ice Pail is the perfect blend of form and function, resembling a breathtaking sculpture formed in a fantastical nautical style. Hailing from the iconic Grand Service crafted by royal silversmiths Rundell, Bridge and Rundell and designed by the great John Flaxman, this ice pail was originally made for King George IV.
This ice pail is one of six that were originally part of the Grand Service, which is regarded as the greatest silver service ever made. This particular pail was one of two taken by the Duke of Cumberland when he became King of Hanover and bears his arms. The only known piece from this service currently on the market, the vast majority of the Grand Service is still in use by Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.
Learn more about this Royal Ice Pail from Bill Rau in this video
POUR A GLASS OF PERFECTION
Blending the innate elegance of silver and gold is always on trend when it comes to holiday trimmings, so don’t be afraid to explore this option when designing the space for your feast. Without a doubt, this George I Royal Silver Gilt Wine Fountain gets the gold medal for beauty, rarity and royal history.
Made for the Royal Collection circa 1720 during the reign of England’s King George I, this wine fountain caught the eye of the Prince of Wales, later King George IV, who had his arms applied to this piece. It is said the Prince revived the Royal Banquet tradition during his reign with lavish dining events where this wine fountain would have surely held a place of prominence. So important is this wine fountain that it eventually found a home in the most outstanding and significant collection of silver ever assembled, the Al-Tajir Collection of silver and gold. Impeccable craftsmanship and provenance make this wine fountain a true treasure.
GREETINGS FROM RUSSIA
You can’t enjoy a fabulous holiday meal without an equally fabulous set of flatware from which to eat and serve the fruits of your culinary labor. If you’re looking for the epitome of Continental silver artistry and opulence, look no further than this incredibly rare Fabergé Silver Flatware Service.
The most stunning works created by Carl Fabergé and his artisans were specifically made for the Tsar, and this grand 197-piece service for 24 certainly ranks high in the stunning category. Crafted in a gracefully understated Neoclassical motif, the service is complete with several serving pieces, many of which feature parcel gilt bowls and tines that bring together the refined beauty of silver and gold.
After the House of Fabergé was nationalized during the Russian Revolution by the Bolsheviks in 1918, Fabergé was no more. The new regime looked down upon “objects of luxury”, and with the economic turmoil the country soon found itself in, many of Fabergé’s creations were melted down and used as currency. What is left are the few pieces that were lucky enough to have escaped, most of which are small, utilitarian objects, which makes an entire flatware service even more spectacular.
BEAUTY THAT’S CRYSTAL CLEAR
What would a holiday dinner be without the crystal? Gleaming and refined, this remarkably rare Baccarat Crystal Service may be over a century old, but its unique splendor is eternally stylish. Comprising 128 brilliantly crafted pieces, this service comes complete with five decanters and a breathtaking array of gold-trimmed glasses for serving everything from water and red wine, to liqueurs and even dessert.
Learn more about holiday entertaining with this Baccarat service in this video
THE MAIN DISH
Perhaps one of the reasons a holiday meal is such a special treat (aside from the fantastic food, of course!) is that it gives the host a chance to use all those special dishes and dinnerware that come out only for special occasions. Blending creamy white porcelain with brilliant pops of gold and red, this porcelain service made for the Duke of Hamilton will certainly be the focal point for a holiday tablescape.
Created in the late 18th century by Crown Derby Porcelain for the 8th Duke of Hamilton, this remarkable and complete 76-piece service features an outstanding array of platters, tureens, serving dishes, baskets – even wine coolers and monteiths – to accommodate whatever delicacies and family favorites are on your holiday menu.
Explore more about the Duke of Hamilton Porcelain Service in this video
Discover a world of dining table rarities in our Dining Collection