Are you looking to beginning a collection of collectible kitchen plates? This is a hot area of collecting right now — but there are some things that you need to look out for! Let me share with you some basic guidelines and brief recommendations.
One of the big issues with collectible kitchen plates is that these plates are not always suitable for use as tableware in your home. The problem may stem from several sources — for example, many collectible kitchen plate items are prohibitively expensive. I’ve seen these plates selling for $40-$50 or more a plate — hardly the kind of thing you would want to use on a daily basis! It is a rare collectible kitchen plate indeed which is also priced inexpensively enough that you could purchase a set of six or eight for day-to-day use.
The problem may come from a different area — the plate itself may not be suitable for serving food. The plate may, for example, be made with lead, not be glazed properly, or not glazed at all. Again, if you are looking for collectible kitchen plates that you can press into daily service, these types won’t do at all.
A third problem may arise when it comes time to clean up. Some collectible kitchen plates cannot be put into your dishwasher — they’ll need to be hand cleaned in your sink instead. As well, some plates may not be used in a microwave oven — I’ve even seen collectible kitchen plates that should not even be used for serving hot foods, as they are made from untempered glass. Your only option when using these types of plates is to use them for serving cold foods like lunch meat or deserts and salads.
Another problem stems from the fact that children may be using these plates. I think the primary issue here is one of cost — specifically replacement cost. If your kids happen to drop and break one of your dishes, can you really afford to purchase a replacement?
You see there’s quite a tug-of-war issue here: on the one hand you might want to own a beautiful collection of kitchen plates; on the other hand they may be too expensive to risk using on a day-to-day basis. But who wants to keep their collectible kitchen plates collection up on a shelf somewhere and never use it? I, for one, don’t want to turn my kitchen into a museum — kitchen plates are to be used, not to be put on exhibit behind a glass box! Tableware
So before you rush out to begin building your collection, consider: how much you use are you going to be able to get out of those plates — or better yet, how much you use are you willing to get from them? Will it be worth it to use kitchen plates that cannot be microwaved, or placed in your dishwasher? Will they even be safe to eat off of? Don’t just make a judgment based on appearance alone — consider issues of practicality and functionality as well.