Dishware is collected by many people, and in many cases, a dish isn't something special to someone until they find that unique pattern or print that speaks to them on a love-type level. When that happens, a person's personal taste might just end up being responsible for getting them some big bucks later on down the road... If they so choose to part with the dish they love so much.

The same rule applies to glassware, serving ware, and complete sets, especially. Many types of dishware have both an artistic and historical value, especially in the US, where so many imports are not uncommon. During the 17th and 18th centuries, traditional serving dishes were wholly popular and shipped around the world. As many people emigrated to America, they also brought with them dish sets - as time went on, the value of these only increased. Now, many people find that their grandparent's or great-grandparent's dishes that have been handed down for generations are now worth quite a lot. Whether someone is looking to sell or hang onto a set of dishes for sentimental value, it's nice to know what to look for, the history of specific popular packs, and what the actual value is.

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Updated by Gabriel Kirellos, November 7th, 2021: Antique dishware is a valuable item to have in anyone's home. Some of the most expensive antique and vintage items are even preserved in international museums and safe places. Many types of antique dishware are worth a lot of money. We have updated this list to reflect some other kinds of these, including the silver dishware and the stoneware.

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Dishware From 18th Century Europe

Regarding a dishware timeline, Europe was a bit behind the eight-ball when it came to crafting their own. However, that doesn't mean European dishes aren't valuable - they are. When Europe began making porcelain during the 18th century, many makers procured beautiful, trademark dishware. Each had its own style, markings, and indications that signified how rare and artisan it indeed was. Germany was the first country to get a porcelain handle, with Meissen being founded in 1710.

Meissen

With Germany leading the charge in porcelain dishes, Meissen is a well-known maker of plates, and these are worth quite a bit. The patterns on a Meissen dish will be highly intricate and recognizable simply from the complex style of plate-making, which is why they're still such a collectible item to this day.

Limoges

Limoges is usually quite stunning, featuring delicate, floral patterns and bright pastel colors. The use of kaolinite was significant when making these plates which soon became a trademark of fancy French dishware. Just looking at these makes one feel elegant, and that's also how they're easily discernable from companies who have tried to replicate the style of Limoges over the years.

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Sevres

Sevres was started by King Louis XV, so these plates are so historically and artistically significant. The china that was produced was purchased by his nobles, and any of the dishwares around today is highly valuable and, not to mention, highly historic in its French origins.

Spode

Nowadays, Spode would be known as Copeland and Garret, but that doesn't mean the original Spode name doesn't carry any weight because it does. According to Hobby Lark, these were first created in 1770 with the process of transferring and printing engraved designs, and they also made fine bone china.

Wedgwood

Josiah Wedgwood is responsible for the Wedgwood china that's so valuable today. Created during the 18th century, this dishware was sold in London. It was known far and wide thanks to its brilliant marketing. Wedgwood china was used for high society gatherings, and Wedgewood took on artistic commissions, as well.

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Silver

The most expensive antique and vintage dishes are made of silver. The German soup tureen custom-made for King Louis XV of France was sold for $10 million in New York at a Sotheby's auction. This made it the most expensive piece of silverware that was ever sold. People can still find some silver antique dishware nowadays, although their value won't reach King Louis's soup tureen.

Stoneware

Stoneware from which some antique plates are made is impervious to water. This is because this type of pottery has been fired at high temperatures until vitrified. The glazes used for stoneware consist mainly of three kinds, lead, salt, and feldspathic glazes. Stoneware is usually opaque, non-porous, and heavier than another dishware.

What About China Prior To The 18th Century?

Anything that predates the 18th century is incredibly rare, however, it does exist. China was producing dishware long before Europe was and had a handle on the process for some time, hence the term 'china' in regard to dishware. The term came from the country, China, where it was first created. China saw porcelain production between the years 960 and 1127 AD, and this is the earliest-known record of formal porcelain use for dishware. This is also when kaolin clay came into play as it was what allowed dishware to be fired at the high temperatures needed to create solid, sturdy china, as well as the vibrant, bold white color that appears on much of it.

Marco Polo was the first person to bring china back to Europe and thus, the fascination began. The first designs on these dishes were of Chinese origin, featuring delicate blossoms, lotus petals, and even dragons. The most popular - and coveted - design from China, however, were those dishes that had bright blue designs against a bright white background. To this day, it's still a design that many companies imitate in their own collections.

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