Monday, February 7, 2011

Bless Our Nest

We love our Oysters in Louisiana and I fell in love with the old tradition of the Oyster Plate...

In, Louisiana eating raw oysters is not uncommon today or in the past. Left over from the Victorian age, when eating oysters were one of the top fashionable fads, are colorful and varied oyster plates collected and appreciated by many today. These beautiful collectibles are said to have been made from about 1860 into the first part of this century.

For the Victorian hostess who wanted to serve oysters in proper form, there were different "styles" of plates to do it with. One was quite deep-welled to allow the oysters to be served on ice on the half-shell. Another type of plate was sculpted to present oysters on the half shell, but without ice. A third style was designed to hold shucked oysters, with those wells usually looking like the inside of an oyster itself. 

Moss Antiques has been in business for four generations, since 1898 and is located on the famous Royal Street in New Orleans. They have an amazing display of oyster plates ranging from a modest collector investing in the $100's to the very serious collector investing in the $1,000's.

Example of plates offered for sale at Moss Antiques

Deep rich colors of reds and blues are most sought after. And, the more colors incorporated into a design the more valuable the plate. Also more detailed patterns and of course, maker's mark also increase the value. You can create a lovely display of oyster plates from such famous makers as Haviland/Limoges, Wedgewood, and Minton. The amazing variety of shapes, colors, and decoration makes for a spectacular wall or cabinet display in any decor.

My beginner display in the dining room

I immediately fell in love with their beauty but I truly love the tradition and started shall I say a "modest" collection of my own. My goal is to complete an arch over the mirror in the dining room, so I will keep you posted!   


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