Getting to Know Your Vintage Tabletop & Bar Options
Prepping and hosting dinner parties can be loads of fun—if you have all the essentials. To get your dinner party game in gear, stock up on used tabletop and bar accessories. Not sure if you need Collins glasses or Cordials? Read on to get familiar with the common types of antique tabletop and barware accessories, including our votes for the essentials.
Dinnerware accounts for a wide variety of vintage tabletop accessories, including plates, glassware, and cutlery. Several types of plates are available to choose from, whether you’re aiming for an antique tabletop or a sleek, modern look. Popular types of plates include Earthenware, Stoneware, Porcelain, Bone China, Glass, and Polycarbonate.
Until you develop an interest in flatware, the quality of your flatware may not seem like a tipping-point. However, it’s important that you choose a flatware that will last and won’t rust, bend, or scratch over time. Sterling Silver flatware contains 92.5 percent silver, making it the strongest flatware available. Also available is Silver Plate. Less expensive than Sterling Silver, but just as gorgeous, Silver Plate is perfect for entertainers who straddle between casual and formal fettes. Solid Gold and Gold Plate flatware are other flatware options, with less expensive options offered in the form of Gold Accent and Vermeil.
Glasses used to drink non-alcoholic beverages are typically referred to as water glasses. Water glasses and juice glasses are sold in a variety of sizes and colors, ranging from chic, clear cylinders to colored glass cups etched with classic designs like fleur-de-lis.
From kitschy souvenirs to certified barista-ware, ceramic mugs are custom-made for keeping your hot drinks hot and your hands not. Usually crafted of porcelain, they’re super durable for of secondhand tableware and are difficult to break, even when dropped.
Family-style dining requires serveware, and lots of it. Among our favorite versions are oven-to-table options served up by makers like Le Creuset and Staub. Collect small oval platter for serving the main course, along with a deep bowl for serving sides like mashed potatoes or polenta, and a shallow bowl for cooked vegetables. On deck keep an assembly of small dip bowls, a sauceboat, a creamer, a large pitcher, and a covered sugar bowl at the ready.
Wine racks are an elegant and convenient way to display your bottles of vino. Wine racks can showcase a single bottle or hold dozens. Depending on your collection, opt for one that fits with your home’s style (and your habit).
Consisting of a wide variety of tumblers used for cocktails, bubblies, and brews, vintage barware can feel a tinge overwhelming. To help, check out some basics below.
Balloon Glass: Featuring a full, high-soaring silhouette that we love, a balloon glass is a wide-mouthed wine glass featuring a round bowl. It’s typically used for serving red wines.
Brandy Snifter: With a classic, men’s club look that will have you pining for your smoking jacket and slippers, bandy glasses feature a large, round bowl set on a short fluted stem. They’re meant for drinking what else? Brandy.
Champagne Coupe: A saucer-shaped bowl and tall stem makes champagne coupes the sweet darling we can’t get enough of. Originally designed for serving sweeter wines like champs, these petite coupes have since seen a resurgence thanks to being refashioned as specialty cocktail glasses.
Champagne Flute: The wedding toast classic, these tall glasses feature a tall, narrow cylinder shape and a long, graceful stem.
Collins Glass: A tall, cylindrical tumbler that borrows its name from the classic Tom Collins cocktail, this glass typically hold between 10 to 14 ounces of liquid. We love to use these glasses for mixed drinks topped off with sodas and sparkling waters (think the mojito).
Juice Glass: Perfect for that prerequisite shot of grapefruit or tomato juice at brunch, juice glasses are tumblers that typically hold between 5 to 10 ounces of liquid. Look for adorable jelly jar-like silhouettes and colored glass if you have a penchant for whimsical collecting.
Margarita Glass: Also known as a coupette glass, margarita glasses feature a broad rim (ideal for salting) and a pyramid-stepped bowl. Use them for margaritas, or other types of mixed fruit drinks.
Martini Glass: Dirty or dry, a martini glass is a forever classic. A cone-shaped bowl and long stem makes these glasses among the most recognizable barware pieces. Use them to serve specialty drinks like cosmos, Manhattans, and of course the Holly Golightly-must, the martini.
Pilsner Glass: You needn’t be a craft beer buff to appreciate the Pilsner. A shapely glass if there ever was one, the Pilsner is a tall glass with an hourglass silhouette.
Old Fashioned Glass: Call us old fashioned, but we deem these squat tumblers a must-have. Also referred to as rocks glasses, these glasses hold 8 to 10 ounces of liquid. They’re frequently used for dark, smoky liquors like whiskey, and often showcase deep-cut etchings for an extra touch of Art Deco flavor.