Mr. O-P was a fan of neutrals. In fact, I often have to laugh to myself when I think about the 1995 film “Get Shorty” (the first we saw together as a married couple), where Bette Midler walks into Gene Hackman's apartment, looks around and says, “My favorite color...putty.” That was Mr. O-P. So, I was mindful of that when I put together this table setting in his honor.
He was not the fan of tabletop “excess” that I am, so I tried to keep things simple and meaningful. Paying homage to him, his past, and his studies.
The black plaid placemats were purchased at a local shop called Three French Hens and are extremely versatile. They make up the first layer here.
The spice colored dinner plates are from Pier One.
Topping them are these wonderful salad/appetizer plates featuring illustrations by William Hogarth (1697-1764).
Hogarth was an 18th-century English painter, critic, social commentator, printmaker, and editorial cartoonist. Mr. O-P's specialty was 18th-century British literature, history, as well as bookmaking (the actual making of books, not placing bets), printmaking, and periodicals.
When I found this set of plates at Williams-Sonoma, years ago, I was absolutely thrilled. It's hard enough shopping for men, I think, but Mr. O-P was particularly difficult, and these seemed so fitting.
He was very pleased, as you can imagine, as was I because, hey, more plates! We kept these on display and easily accessible because we often served snacks with cocktails, and being neutral, they went with everything.
The cups and saucers are part of my rather meager collection of restaurantware, these being Incaware. I love these cups and use them every day for my morning coffee.
The knobby glassware is from Uncommon Goods, a fun catalog filled with unique items.
The centerpiece features an old jug that he bought while in Spain back in the 60s. I had forgotten all about this until my son unearthed it during one of our cleaning expeditions. It seemed the perfect addition.
The books are from the 18th century, and a part of my husband's collection and now, I guess mine. He'd have been horrified, I am sure, to see them on the table, but they were only there briefly and then put back onto their specially designated shelves. The eyeglasses were his.
This little salt and pepper set belonged to his mother, as did this coffee pot, a part of a rather large tea service. The silver has all but worn off, but I like it just the way it is.
My sister-in-law, now gone, along with all of the rest of Jim's siblings was quite concerned as to what would happen to her mother's tea set. Mr. O-P and I talked about this, and I was more than willing to ship it to whomever he saw fit when the time came. No, he told me, no one would love it the way that I do, so it was already in the proper hands. I'm sure his mother would have agreed.
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