Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Mother's Dishes

When I was growing up on the far west side of Fort Worth, my mother's dishes weren't something that I gave much thought. Now, somewhere along the way, I have become a collector of mid-century modern dishes. Several years ago I was in Dishes from the Past on Montgomery Street and spotted a group of dishes that I fell in love with designed by Ben Seibel for Stubenville in the 1950's; Contempora in the color charcoal. They are almost black in amorphic shapes with rows of wiggly lines across the bodies. I continue to look for them whenever I can and search for them fairly regularly on ebay.
The synchronicity is that my mother's everyday dishes that I grew up with, and thought of as tired and old fashioned in my teens, I discovered were also designed by Ben Seibel. Seibel is now a sought after commodity among those who collect modern dinnerware. My mother was ahead of her time and I hadn't given her due credit. Her pattern was Bridal White, solid white, by Iroquois China. My mom passed away in 2003, but she still had a few of those original dishes in her cabinets.
I look on those dishes today with combined amazement and nostalgia. How could I have ever have considered them so pedestrian? The dishes are the same, but I have come full circle. They are fresh and hip once again, and I will continue to seek them and add to the partial set in Dad's kitchen.

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