Decorate Your Dining Table with Majolica

One of my favorite things about the holidays (or any day, for that matter) is styling tablescapes. That's why I've managed to squirrel away tons of plates, chargers, placemats and linens over the years.

I find treasures around every corner, and get a little weak in the knees when I stumble across majolica plates and platters. Majolica is easy to identify because of its brightly colored glazes and whimsical, natural patterns. Lavish birds, animals, flowers, fruits and veggies are all hand painted before the pieces are fired. Happily, this style of table decor is trending again.

Some of my most brag-worthy buys were snagged at flea markets or rummaged from the clearance aisles at Home Goods. Whether you prefer the authentic earthenware versions created in the 19th century or are perfectly content with basic cabbage-style tableware made recently in Portugal, this lively, mix-and-match tableware is fun to collect.

Show off majolica in your china cabinet or display an assortment on a wall. Best of all, you can set your table exclusively with majolica, or add just a few pieces of it to your tablescape for added interest. Use a little or use a lot.

I recently found an old European plate at an antiques shop. Its outstanding bright-blue glaze and bird-flower-fruit motif was irresistible. What a buy at just five bucks! Of course, I immediately jumped on ebay.com to discover the same majolica plate offered at $75, still a reasonable price for this super-collectible earthenware.

Right now, One Kings Lane is having a huge majolica sale, so check it out. Even if you aren’t ready to buy, it’s fun to look at all the gorgeous, colorful patterns. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy welcoming all the floral and fauna patterns into your home.

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