Restaurant ware, also called hotel china, describes plates and bowls, cups and saucers, and smaller items such as creamers and monkey dishes made especially for use in restaurants. Potteries such as Homer Laughlin, Shenango, Jackson, Wallace, Syracuse, Tepco, and Buffalo are some of the best known manufacturers of restaurant ware, which is generally heavier than dinnerware produced for the home. Some of the most collected types of restaurant ware include airbrushed pieces, western themes (wagon wheels and cowboys throwing lassoes are popular), and plates bearing an establishment’s logo.
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I’m the curator of the ceramics bit of the Bowes Museum. It’s a big museum with 30 galleries of which three or four are devoted to… [more]