Shop our fine collection of antique and designer tableware, barware, and serveware and transform your next gathering into a sophisticated soiree.
Add Sophistication with antique tableware & barware
Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply stocking a hutch for show, antique tableware and barware is an imperative component of the well-styled home. Consisting of entertaining essentials like plates, tureens, and flatware, antique tableware is perfect for mixing and matching with everyday dishware or used simply showcasing. Likewise, antique barware—composed of such basics as shakers, champagne buckets, and cocktail glasses—is perfect for lacing throughout a modern bar set, or displaying on a designer or antique bar cart.
The beauty of antique tableware and barware is that with just a few pieces, you can create a most theatrical (and show-stopping) tabletop. Not sure where to start? Let us walk you through the basics of antique tableware and barware.
Setting the table with antique tableware
Indeed, like the approach one takes to creating a guest list—seeking just the right balance between personalities—curating a dinner party tablescape is an exercise in mixing and matching. No dining table should be too heavy on patterned dishes or white-on-white basics, as the elegant and eclectic table is all about striking a chord between the two—it is approachable, yet clearly a departure from the everyday.
To begin, consider your dinner party’s theme, as a formal sit-down dinner will have a much different temperament than a champagne brunch or an outdoor clambake. Collect a color palette that will complement your theme, such as light-as-a-feather pastels for showers or the grand-almighty blue-and-white combination for nautical affairs, then look for antique and designer tableware in those hues.
Of course, the pattern of your antique tableware will require some consideration, but this is where things can take a delightful departure from the norm, if you desire. In example, try setting the table for an al fresco clambake with designer blue-and-white chinoiserie dishware. It may be a deviation from the crisp white dishware one expects, but the colors will be perfectly on point, while the Eastern-leaning pattern will feel unexpected without veering into disjointed. Similarly, set the table for a spring shower in Oriental-patterned porcelain, using a pastel color palette as your only rule of thumb.
To ground antique tableware in less-than-mum colors, bring in dinner plates or chargers in solid colors and keep flatware relatively simple. Glassware, however, is a wildcard, so opt for colored wine glasses and water goblets if you seek a more themed look, while sticking to clear glassware if you prefer something slightly more refined.
Curating a stunning tablescape does not stop at the dishware, of course. When entertaining, there’s no reason not to be a bit indulgent. So, with your dishware in place, consider feathering in antique tableware like candleholders, decanters, and pitchers. Thread them strategically throughout your floral centerpieces, clustering them in groups if you seek a pointedly lush look. Opt for these types of designer tableware is versatile finishes like sterling silver or brass, and you’ll be able to use the same pieces again and again, as metals compliment virtually every color and pattern. While some are adamant that metal tableware be shined prior to use, consider your theme before doing so. Sometimes antique tableware with a patina is perfectly appropriate, especially if your theme isn’t overly formal.
Setting the bar with antique barware
The bar is often your guests’ first impression of your home, so make sure it impresses by stocking it with antique and designer barware (and, yes, lots of champagne). If you don’t have a bar, quickly fashion one on top of a credenza or sofa table, by setting out an oversized tray and filling it with bottles of booze and bar tools. Unsure what antique barware should be on your list? Let us guide you through the essentials.
A must-have, the cocktail shaker is the centerpiece of any bar. The shaker is an artfully fashioned piece of designer barware, most often found in silver finishes. Look for Art Deco shakers, which feature a pour spout and handle (occasionally made of delicious bakelite), or opt for Mid-Century shakers which trend towards more streamline silhouettes. For an intimate party, you might also consider setting out a group of cocktail shakers, should you like to give guests a subtle cue to craft and pour at their leisure.
Other pieces of designer barware to consider include jiggers (a divine little measuring tool intended to ward off heavy-handed pours), decanters, corkscrews, and cocktail picks (your martini drinkers will thank you). Look for all of these pieces of antique barware in designer finishes like sterling silver, stone, or—a staple of Art Deco era barware—lacquered goatskin. You might also think of investing in antique bar glasses. From coupes to champagne flutes to rocks and Collins glasses, a comprehensive set of antique or designer bar glasssware is not only lust-worthy, but will also ensure your guests are treated to their drink exactly how they like it.
Procuring antique barware with DECASO
Curating a personal collection of designer tableware and barware can be an exhaustive task. Thankfully, DECASO makes it simple to view antique tableware and barware from dealers across the nation. If you love a set, contact the dealer and see what else they might have to offer. Whether you crave a set from a master like Dorothy Thorpe or Aldo Tura, or you simply desire crème de la crème basics, DECASO is the place to satisfy all of your antique and designer tableware and barware needs.