Monday, January 5, 2009

Has the Waterford Ball Dropped for Good?


LONDON – Waterford Wedgwood PLC, the maker of classic china and crystal, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after attempts to restructure the struggling business or find a buyer failed. Read the full story here.

The article notes that Spode and Royal Worcester had previously filed.

Blue Italian at Williams-Sonoma Home.

What sad signs of the times to see such icons bite the dust.

I'm not sure if it's the economy or if the market for goods such as these has just dropped off due to the fact that people live so much more casually now. Or if quantity rules over quality. Or if the companies' products are just too dated.

What do you think?

I have Waterford because my mom bought it for me when I graduated from college and Spode because I liked it then and still like it now (no small feat for me, as fickle as I am).

Do you have formal china and crystal, etc.? Do you use it? Did you buy it or inherit it or receive it as a gift?

13 comments:

Christina said...

I have not one but two sets of china (at the age of 28!) that have been handed down to me. My sister has another set and one day we will both end up with another one or two sets plus the waterford crystal and the silver. It's like china overload! I have yet to use mine at all (except to wash it and put it on display in my handed down china cabinet).. at the same time I have yet to be put in the "family loop" of having a major holiday dinner... I'm trying to keep it this way for as long as possible..
My mother was quite in shock when I informed her that none of my married friends had registered for actual china for their wedding. It's like they all created a major wedding sin!

Raina said...

Wow, that is some major interiors news. No company is safe, even the stalwarts.

Robin said...

I have china and crystal from my wedding (1991) that was trendy for the time and looks dated now. I wish I had gone with plain white with gold or silver band and plain goblets. The crystal was not that expensive (compared to something like Waterford) so I do take it out for large parties and such and if it breaks, oh well (it never does, I need sloppier friends). I rarely use the dishes. When I do, they set a nice table, but they bore me. I'd rather use my plain white Pier 1 everyday so-what-if-they-break-they-are-$4 plates. Plain white means its all about the food, just like at a restaurant. I guess that's my inner chef speaking.

Robin said...

Oh, and I have my grandmother's silverware (real silver) and I use it all the time.

David said...

I bought my aunt's wedding china at auction. It's 1962 Flintridge in the Bellmere pattern, an absolutely plain ivory with platinum rim. Classic shapes for the cups, c&s, platters, etc. Looks as good today as I'm sure it did then.

My mother's wedding crystal was equally as simple and had a platinum band, but she sold it before I wanted to own it.

I would love to have a set of Blue Italian. Maybe now's the time.

Decorina said...

I have Waterford crystal bought with my ex. The surviving glasses are used everyday. I love them and priced a couple of replacement glasses recently. I almost passed out at the prices. Whew! We will be getting by with what I have on hand. I'm very sad to think they may go out of business. It is truly fabulous stuff.

I have 4 place setting of Limoge china bought 35 years ago. I don't use it, I use the Noritake china that was my Mom's good china. It is used every day - I got rid of the other stuff I had.

I found a second set of the same pattern at an antique store when I had some extra money so I bought it and now have about 12-14 place settings. I love it because my Mom is gone and it reminds me of her every day.

I have another set of Noritake that was my great-aunts; it has gold rim that can't go in the microwave so I don't use it. Old old pattern with violets.

No silver from anywhere - I sold my silver flatware in the 1970's when the Hunts tried to corner the silver market because I needed money. I use some really heavy beautiful stainless flatware I bought at BBB about 20 years ago.

erin@designcrisis said...

Having survived many cross country moves, I am left with a hodgepodege of new, vintage, and overly fussy wares. I do have a full set of my hubby's grandmother's china, but I don't think it's particularly swank.

In short, I need some new dishes. Maybe now's the time for a deal?

The Nerdy Fashionista said...

Next time I'm home with a car to haul it back in, I'm going to wind up flush with Arabia's Ruska pattern, courtesy of my grandmother who no longer needs it. Holy midcentury hotness!

http://images.google.com/images?q=arabia%20ruska&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&sa=N&tab=wi

Jill said...

I love china...I usually ask for two place settings of a different pattern each year for Xmas and then I just mix them all up. This really makes me sad. It's so fucking depressing. I have a set of Gien that I use everyday. Unfortunately the pattern been discontinued. I've registered with that replacements site, but the only thing they ever get are the cups and saucers.

Michelle Parks McCourt said...

Interesting post. I think people are passing on luxury items for now..and it has made a massive ripple effect on retail. Sad, but this time shall pass!

ArchitectDesign said...

I have a few sets of china, I collect it on ebay -and I use it often. I use some smaller items daily -such as teacups and a good teapot. I always buy vintage, but this has me wanting to go out and buy new!
I was lucky enough also to get my grandmother's set of waterford crystal which I don't use daily but is always a joy to use. I hope these companies stay around for years to come -what would we do with a world full of Pottery barn and Ikea dishes -how depressing!

qerat said...

It is sad yes and different people have different views on why it is happening. Most say that demend has dropped over the last decade that this crisis was just the last straw. It is sad and scary, especially for us business owners.

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