If you are in the market for fine china, you may have asked questions about this refined and elegant form of pottery. Its rich history, delicate beauty, and distinctive artistry contribute to its charm and allure. At Around the Block, we've been Toronto's go-to destination for formal and casual china on consignment, and we get many questions regarding the quality selection in our showroom. So, in this week's blog, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about fine china dinnerware.
1. What does 'fine china' mean?
Fine china, also known as porcelain, is a high-quality type of ceramic tableware notable for its white or ivory colour, translucency, and strength. Despite its delicate appearance, it is extremely durable due to its high firing temperature during production.
2. Where does the term 'china' originate?
The term "china" comes from the country of its origin, China. During the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD), the art of creating delicate and translucent porcelain items was first mastered. This craft was then exported to the Western world, where it became known as 'china.'
3. What is bone china vs. fine china?
Bone china is similar, but there are slight differences. Bone china includes an ingredient not found in fine china - bone ash. The bone ash gives bone china a warmer colour and even greater translucency. Both types are considered high quality, but bone china is typically more expensive.
4. How do I identify a china pattern?
If you're trying to identify a pattern, look on the underside of the piece for a manufacturer's mark. The mark may include the company name, pattern name, date, or other identifying symbols. You can search for this information online or in china and porcelain identification guides.
5. How should I clean and care for my china?
To maintain the beauty of your formal china, hand-washing it using mild detergent and warm water is generally recommended. Avoid harsh scrubbing tools or the dishwasher, which may cause scratches or other damage. Always dry thoroughly to avoid water spots.
6. Can I use my fine china in the microwave or oven?
Unless explicitly stated by the manufacturer, it's best not to use your formal china in the microwave or oven. The high temperatures can cause damage or discoloration, especially if the dish is adorned with metallic gold or silver.
7. Is fine china lead-free?
While some older pieces of fine china may contain lead, any china manufactured since the 1990s is typically lead-free due to regulatory changes. It's always a good idea to check with the manufacturer if you're uncertain, particularly if you plan to use the dish for serving food.
8. Can I repair broken or chipped fine china?
Yes, china can often be repaired if it's broken or chipped. There are china restoration professionals who specialize in this sort of work, though minor chips can often be fixed at home with a ceramic repair kit. Always remember to handle it with care, as fine china can be fragile.
9. Is fine china worth anything?
The resale value of fine china can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the manufacturer, age, rarity, condition, and current market trends. To get an estimate, consider getting an appraisal from a certified professional such as those at Around the Block.
10. Is fine china a good investment?
Fine china can be a good investment if you appreciate its artistry and history. It's also a traditional gift for weddings and anniversaries, and many people pass down their china as heirlooms. However, like any investment, its financial return is not guaranteed and depends on the abovementioned factors.
Formal china is much more than just dinnerware; it's a form of art, a piece of history, and a symbol of sophistication and elegance. As you grow in your knowledge and understanding, may you find even more joy in this delightful world of fine china.
11. Where can I sell china near me?
If you live in greater Toronto, consider selling your used china at Around the Block. With 14 years of experience selling quality preowned porcelain dinnerware, our vast knowledge and market expertise makes us the ideal outlet for fine and bone china dishes, serving ware, coffee and tea sets, and more. And at our consignment store, you will receive 60% of the final sale, the highest in the GTA.
Around The Block for Fine China Consignment
At Around the Block Consignment in Toronto, you'll discover a treasure trove of exquisite, quality formal and casual china pieces that will make a remarkable addition to your collection or a one-of-a-kind gift for someone special in your life. Our distinct selection of preowned fine china, including name brands such as Aynsley, Royal Albert, Royal Crown Derby, Royal Doulton, Wedgewood, and more, is ideal for those seeking a unique touch of elegance for their dining experiences.
Selling with us is just as rewarding; we're committed to showcasing your fine china dinnerware to a vast, appreciative audience, ensuring that your cherished pieces find their perfect new home. Let Around the Block Consignment be your trusted partner in your fine china journey. Experience the thrill of a wonderful find or the satisfaction of a profitable sale with us today!