Shax Riegler’s book Dish: 813 colorful, wonderful dinner plates is a treasure trove of delightful dinner plates.

Running the gamut from ancient times to modern, Tiffany to Picasso, Minton to Noritake,  the book is organized by themes and contains large beautiful photographs by Robert Bean.

Dish, book

The first section titled “Elegance and Tradition” takes us back to 1295 when Marco Polo brought ceramic dishes from his travels back to Venice where “their translucence and pure whiteness captivated viewers.”  He called it porcella which became porcelain.

Always a favorite of mine, Blue Willow is an example of china that has been synonymous with elegance and tradition for centuries…

Blue Willow

My “Wedding Band” porcelain, Washington by Pickard…

Pickard Washington

china, Washington, Pickard


Here is the “art on the edge” of mine…

china, Washington, Pickard

Japan’s Imari porcelains with their rich blues, golds and reds were interpreted and copied.

A hanging display of English interpretations in my living room…

English china

English china

The second section of the book is titled “Form and Color” and focuses on the less formal china that became popular as lifestyles became more relaxed in the twentieth century.  Think Fiesta Ware, designed by Frederick Hurten Rhead for the Homer Laughlin china company.

Fiesta ware

Imagine my surprise when I saw a picture of a fiesta plate from the 1939 World’s Fair depicting a potter at a wheel.

1939 World's Fair pottery

 I seriously picked this one up on one of my fleaing expeditions because I loved the color…

World's Fair pottery

The third section, “Art and Craft”  covers hand made pottery and hand painted china.


A Mississippi favorite is McCarty Pottery in Merigold.

Most of mine is the brown color, but the blues and greens are beautiful…

McCarty pottery

A hand made plate brought to me by my parents from a trip to Israel…

Pottery from Israel

The section on “Flora and Fauna” contains many examples of floral patterns, delicate and bold, chintzes, majolica…


patterns depicting fruits and vegetables, fish and foul,

I picked up five of these little plates while fleaing around Jackson…


and of course, man’s best friend…

dog plates

There is a section on “People and Places” highlighting “Travel and Transport”, “Pretty Views”, “Storied Plates”, “New England Life”, “Souvenirs” and “No Place Like Home”.

In the final section “Holidays and Celebrations” everything from Christmas to Children’s Plates gets a spotlight.

The beautiful oyster plate has a spot in this section.  I have one that was given to me by a very dear friend…

Oyster plate

It lives on my living room ottoman, taking center stage…

oyster plate, living room

Children’s china, I love!  These mugs were given to my children from their Memphis

(now Louisville, KY) cousins…

children's china

Sweet bunny motif (another favorite)…

children's china

signed and dated…

children's china

The final touch is an appendix of the “100 Most Popular Patterns”.  It is so much fun to go through all of these and see which ones have been a part of your life.  I count twenty, how about you?

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  1. Marilyn Brookes says:

    Loved your blog today… I’m rushing out to get that book tomorrow. I have a collection of vintage McCarty that I love. Let me know and I’ll show it to you.

  2. LOVED your blog today! I love that book! A very dear friend gave it to me and I never tire of the beautiful pages!

  3. says:

    So happy that you all enjoyed it. I would love to see your vintage McCarty, Marilyn!
    So nice to know that you are still enjoying the book also Ang! Thanks so much you all for reading!