Auction Review: Elegant Dinnerware Leads Hindman’s Dining at Home Event

Liz Catalano
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Hindman’s Dining at Home auction of fine dinnerware and table settings saw strong results this November. The online event included a broad selection of vintage and contemporary items. Bidders showed particular interest in pieces from industry giants such as Herend, Royal Copenhagen, and Lalique. 

A Herend porcelain Rothschild Bird dinner service. Image from Hindman.
A Herend porcelain Rothschild Bird dinner service. Image from Hindman.

The top lot of the auction was a Herend porcelain Rothschild Bird dinner service. It sold for USD 18,750 against a presale estimate of $2,000 to $4,000. The Rothschilds are among Herend’s most loyal customers, and this famous design honors their extensive patronage. It immortalizes an old family story. One day, a pair of birds stole a valuable necklace from the Rothschild home. The family spent hours searching for it before spotting the birds playing with the necklace high in a tree. In 1850, Herend artisans used the story of these mischievous birds to create a new porcelain pattern. The Rothschild birds now star in one of Herend’s most famous and popular designs. The hand-painted dishes bear gold trim, fish scale finishing, and butterfly details. 

A set of 14 Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica dinner plates. Image from Hindman.
A set of 14 Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica dinner plates. Image from Hindman. 

Another iconic porcelain pattern crossed Hindman’s virtual auction block during the Dining at Home event. A set of 14 Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica dinner plates achieved $13,750, comfortably above the high estimate of $10,000. Now over 230 years old, the Flora Danica pattern began as a reconciliation gift commissioned by King Christian VII of Denmark. He promised to give a dazzling porcelain set to Russian Empress Catherine the Great after he failed to support her armies at war. Royal Copenhagen designers specially created the Flora Danica pattern for this gift. It took 12 years to develop and gain approval from the Royal Family. 

The work of Enlightenment-era botanist Georg Christian Oeder directly inspired the Flora Danica pattern. Oeder and his successors compiled a massive collection of copper prints that detailed each native Danish plant in the 18th century. The style of those original botanical drawings can still be seen on Royal Copenhagen’s porcelain. Hindman offered a mid-20th century Flora Danica dinner plate set in the Dining at Home auction. The gold-rimmed plates feature delicate flowers in shades of yellow, wine red, and violet.  

One plate from a collection of Laney K. Oxman ceramic dinnerware articles. Image from Hindman.
One plate from a collection of Laney K. Oxman ceramic dinnerware articles. Image from Hindman. 

Bidders also favored contemporary designs in the sale. A collection of plates created by Laney K. Oxman reached $11,250, more than 22 times the high estimate of $500. The American multimedia artist works in ceramics, glass, painting, and photography. Though she trained with traditional clay techniques, Oxman spent the next several decades of her career intentionally breaking old-fashioned rules. Her works are often deconstructed or irregular in form. Oxman takes women as her subjects and places them in decadent environments filled with color and texture. The ceramic plates offered by Hindman reflect this style. They contain tiny flower and fruit motifs alongside Cubist nudes, geometric patterns, and gold accents. 

A Lalique Poseidon vase, second half 20th century. Image from Hindman.
A Lalique Poseidon vase, second half 20th century. Image from Hindman. 

Beyond porcelain and ceramics, Hindman’s Dining at Home event presented a selection of Lalique glass items. Leading these lots was a Poseidon vase from the late 20th century. It sold for $8,750. Designed to evoke the mythology of Poseidon, this vase features two seahorses tinted a light blue color. Ancient Greek art often showed these seahorses pulling the god’s chariot as he governed the seas. Lalique’s interpretation replaces the chariot with a clear crystal vase marked by strings of bubbles. The auction catalog presented several other notable pieces from the French glass manufacturer, including a Champs-Élysées chandelier and a frosted glass Chrysalide vase. 

Hindman’s Dining at Home sale also yielded high prices for Baccarat stemware, Nymphenburg porcelain services, and Royal Crown Derby plate sets. Find the complete results by visiting Hindman

Looking for more inspiration as you set the dinner table this holiday season? In Auction Daily’s 2021 Thanksgiving treasure hunt, we examined the top seasonal items coming to auction in November.  

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Liz Catalano
Liz Catalano
Senior Writer and Editor

Liz Catalano is a writer and editor for Auction Daily. She covers fine art sales, market analysis, and social issues within the auction industry. She regularly collaborates with auction houses and other clients. A Chicago native, she holds a BSW degree and is based in Pennsylvania.

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