Only a few practical suggestions can be given here. This is a topic for the art class.
Buy from "open stock." This means, not a single set, but a pattern that the manufacturer and retailer have always on hand, so that the purchaser can buy one plate or cup and saucer, to replace breakage.
An elaborate or highly colored design becomes wearisome, is not practical for those who have a limited supply of dishes, and is in questionable taste. A positive color demands always the same general scheme for other decorations. A band of color, or a narrow design at the edge, of a color harmonizing easily with other colors, is in good taste. Gold and green are safe colors. See Fig. 72. White dishes with a raised border are dainty, and any color scheme may be used with them. See Fig. 71.
The number of dishes depends upon the simplicity or elaborate-ness of the method of living and the size of the family. It is much better to begin with a few, and increase the number when necessary, than to have the shelves filled with unused ware. (See exercises.)
Glassware is pressed or cut, the latter being beautiful, but an expensive luxury. Glasses for water, and dishes for berries, are made with simple and attractive designs in the pressed ware, and serve all ordinary purposes. A pretty shape for the glass for water is shown in Fig. 71.
Courtesy of Gorham Co.
Fig. 70. - Good designs for table silver.
Silver and plated silver for knives, forks, and spoons, coffee and tea sets, all add to the charm of the table. A large collection is not necessary for everyday use, and it adds greatly to the labor of the housewife. Figure 70 shows some good designs in spoons, and spoons and forks of different sizes come in the same design. A simple design is easy to clean. Three sizes of spoons, tablespoons, teaspoons, and coffee spoons, and two sizes of forks are all sufficient, with a few larger spoons for service and desserts.
Triple-plated ware lasts for years, if well cared for, and comes in good designs.
Pewter, familiar in olden days, is being used again in Colonial designs, and makes an attractive tea or coffee set, is less costly than solid silver, and has a better tone and color than plated ware.