By Karen Parr-Moody
Elegance is well within your reach when you create a Thanksgiving or Christmas table with antique tableware. If you’re lucky, your family heirlooms can infuse the table with much-needed pizzazz. But if you didn’t inherit these prized possessions, there is an abundance of them at GasLamp that are well priced, just in time to elevate your soirées for the season. (Bonus: Putting antique pieces on the table is a guaranteed conversation starter.)
Among the hundreds of antique dealers at GasLamp and GasLamp Too, Chris Freeman stands out. His booth, Designs in a Second (B-109 at the original GasLamp), always features a staggering array of high-end, yet affordable, tableware, making it the go-to spot for filling up a china cabinet (or two or three). Among the current offerings are stunning silver-plated items, as well as a wealth of crystal, including a Waterford “Quadrata” vase that is the perfect vessel for floral arrangements ($145). Equally lovely is this set of eight Waterford stemmed glasses, which are reasonably priced at $265 for the set when you consider a single glass can cost $75 to $85. The heft – and sound when clinked – of lead crystal? Priceless. (We love how Chris has styled them on this glamorous, silver-plated butler’s tray; we’ll take a page out of his book!)
The inexpensive silver-plated items are made of silver-plated brass, but the finer silver-plated pieces – such as this champagne bucket – have a copper base and a thicker coat of silver ($67.50). This gleaming champagne bucket at Designs in a Second will keep glamour on the table from the first appetizer through the bread pudding. It comes with a special protective liner on the interior that will prevent corrosion. Visually impressive, this exquisite piece of barware is a must-have for holidays, showers, wedding celebrations and weekend brunches (serving chilled bubbly from such a vessel infuses any scene with Old World sophistication).
The classic domed lid serving dish isn’t just a bit player; it can carry the whole show. Not only is it great for meat and entrees, it’s also great for neatly displaying hors d’oeuvres that need to stay warm. This Victorian silver-plated dish at Designs in a Second features a revolving dome top, an ivory handle and cast ornamental feet ($185). It includes two removable liners (one is solid and the other is pierced), as well as a hot water compartment that will keep food warm while presenting it in style.
Hand-blown lead crystal is still made at the House of Waterford Crystal through an ancient craft of shaping molten glass in wooden molds, after which master cutters painstakingly cut into the crystal to create the distinctively Waterford patterns. Sophisticated, such well-designed crystal is ideal for bar, table and counter-top placement, which is why there is so much of it at Designs in a Second. We love this set of eight Waterford low cocktail glasses ($200) paired with a Waterford decanter ($165). Chris has placed this crystal on an ornate silver-plated platter by Poole Silver Company, because cocktails are best served on a silver platter ($95)
While not fancy, this set of 12 green Depression glass plates at Designs in a Second is versatile and cheery ($37.50). As you can see, stacking the plates creates a deeper green color, but when placed alone they are a transparent pale green. We know you want to bring out the fancy china for your big holiday meals, but why not use some green dishes for a Christmas brunch? Just think of the possibilities!
At GasLamp, we’re champions of vintage-inspired celebrations. The eclectic styles found at Designs in a Second, as well as our many other booths, span so many eras that you’re sure to find one that suits your style. Such charm-filled collectibles will make your celebrations unforgettable.