Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Would you like a set of Noritake? Or a place setting of Lenox? At a discount!

By way of clearing out some space here at the Funny Farm, I’ve decided to sell some fine China that my then-young self and my then-young husband purchased in late ’60s or early ’70s.

The most interesting of the two items on offer is an 8-place-setting set of Noritake in the “Trudy” pattern. Apparently Trudy is no longer made, so you have to go to places like Replacements, Ltd. to get it — or find it serendipitously in an estate sale. Here’s what it looks like:


That’s the cup and saucer, and below is the plate:


This is stamped on the back of each  piece:


Proof positive:

Noritake — yes
Trudy — yes

They’re quietly elegant China. Tiring of the heavy, casual-looking stoneware that was the rage when I was married, I bought this set because I wanted something a little more formal for entertaining, part of the job description for a corporate wife. I found them at Goldwater’s, probably in the early or mid-1970s. Was very proud of them until it dawned on me that hand-washing dishes for eight people was not my cup of tea. It’s been lightly used, and as far as I know (I haven’t unpacked the entire box yet), it has no chips or dings. I think some of the plates may have a little wear of the platinum ring around the outside.

Then we have one place setting of this:


I have one, count it (1),  full place setting of Lenox in the Solitaire pattern: plate, salad dish, bread & butter dish, cup, saucer. It’s in perfect condition, having never been used.

When I was a young bride about to marry a corporate lawyer on his way to partner at one of the most prestigious law firms in the Southwest, I did what all the other young brides did and signed up for the registry at every department store in town. For our China, we chose this Lenox Solitaire, which to this day I think is just gorgeous.

Lenox still makes this pattern. Today it’s selling for much less, relative to what Americans earn, than it did back in 1967, when I entered the blessed state of matrimony. The firm bought us a full set of the silverware we craved. But only one person gave us a place setting of this stuff. There was no way my husband and I could afford to buy any more of it — and he made very good money. The company was acquired in 1983; I have no idea whether they made changes in their production or quality control, but one reviewer at Amazon observes that pieces she purchased within the past couple of years don’t compare with Lenox from the 1960s.

Apparently not all the newer products carry the Lenox stamp on the back, which you can see on mine:


I’m going to sell both sets — the eight place settings of Noritake and the single five-piece place setting of Lenox, either through a consignment shop here in Phoenix or through e-Bay. However, first I’d like to ask Funny about Money’s readers if anyone would like to purchase one or both directly from me.

The Noritake has been offered at Replacements, Ltd. for $630 for 45 pieces (eight place settings, of course, will give you 40 pieces); Classic Replacements has had it for $60 for five pieces but evidently has no Noritake in stock; and on e-Bay it has been sold for $55 a place setting (that would come to $440 for the complete set). I’d be willing to sell the Noritake set to a reader for $400, plus shipping.

The Lenox is $90 per place setting at Bed Bath & Beyond, and I spotted it at Amazon for the same price. Replacements, Ltd., is selling it for $70 a place setting. I think $65 plus shipping would be a fair price.

If you would like to purchase one or both of these, please let me know. You can reach me at funnyaboutmoney {at} gmail {dot} com.

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  1. A very nice offer, but my wife and I decided early on taht having nice dishes or china wasn’t going to be for us! No room for storage and me or my daughters always break things, lol. But a pretty sweet deal for someone who wants them!

    • LOL! You know, the darnedest thing about little kids: they don’t break anywhere near as much stuff as you expect. M’hijito, the man who when he was a mere stripling of a five-year-old caused his mother to say, with a straight face, “Please don’t walk on the ceiling,” never broke a dish or a glass. Why, I do not know…maybe because I refused to eat off plastic and somehow by word, gesture, and menacing snarl communicated to him that he ought not to use the dinnerware as hockey pucks?

      Seriously. Surround yourself with the best things you can afford (doesn’t have to be fancy…just what YOU like) and take your chances with the kids breaking them. Don’t worry…when you’re in your dotage, you can break their things! 😉

      Now, the “no room for storage” strategy is good. Comes under the same heading as mine: GET RID OF IT!!!

  2. You must have been a very young bride.

    Good luck with your sale. I’ve been getting rid of stuff, but it is a slow process. If my son gets a bigger place, a lot of things will whoosh out of here.

    • Uh oh…hang onto your hat. When Son gets a bigger place, he learns a new word: “No!”

      I’ve been trying to foist the China on M’hijito for two years. Finally he allowed as how he didn’t want it and it would be okay (in fact, more than okay) to find some other home for it. Please. Don’t bring it down here.

  3. Funny that this subject came up now. Last fall I tried to unload my 16 serving set of china on craigslist. I kept cutting the price and finally said make offer. No bites. It is still sitting in my dining room china cabinet. I would love to get just a few bucks for it and all the crystal wine glasses I had to have in the 80s. It seems no one wants the stuff now; I certainly don’t. I bet I used it once a year for 10 or so years. Big pain in the butt hand washing it all. I want it out of here, but unless I donate it, it won’t go. Hopefully you will have better luck than me.

    • @ Barb: Dang! Try billing it as “retro.” Have you seen the latest Crate & Barrel catalog? It’s a blast from the past. Might even be worth mentioning C&B and saying the spectacular retro china will go with it. And try eBay.

      Hand-washing. What on earth was the MATTER with us that we seriously thought we would DO that? Grass? Ovulen-21? Whiskey? Airborne cat fur?

  4. They look so pretty! If we didn’t just get given hubby’s grandmother’s set, I would seriously consider it. Good luck!

    • LOL! It’s amazing how fast grandmothers will “gift” the young people with precious heirlooms…within minutes after moving into a house with room enough to hold a breakfront!