The Entertainer

By Karen Parr-Moody

 

Cupcakes, champagne, even a rich brunch casserole — these are just a few of the dishes with which a hostess might tempt her guests. And temptation is a dish best served in high style — with GasLamp Too’s help.  

 

If you have a cupboard full of fine china, then you have shelves filled with possibilities. With 14 dinner plates and 14 salad plates, this set of Homer Laughlin china in the Angulus pattern, photo above right, is a wonderful find in its quality and completeness ($645; Booth T-255). Comprised of 110 pieces, this set includes 9 dessert plates, 12 large bowls, 13 medium bowls, 11 oval bowls, 11 serving pieces and much, much more.

 

The Homer Laughlin china company was founded in 1871 by Homer and Shakespeare Laughlin, two brothers from East Liverpool, Ohio. At the time of its entry in 1907, Homer Laughlin’s Angulus pattern was the most marketed line the company produced – with  more madethan of any other one shape ever marketed in America,” according to the manufacturer, as quoted in the book “Homer Laughlin: Decades of Dinnerware.” It originally included everything from eggcups to bone dishes to batter pats, as well as the larger, standard pieces.

 

Angulus was gradually discontinued between the years of 1916 and 1920. Today, it is not found in abundance due to its being more than 100 years old.

 

If you need a stylish cocktail shaker or barware, GasLamp Too is the place to find them. The glassware in the photo, left, makes a beautiful presentation for a reasonable price. The 10 etched cocktail glasses, in particular, are a find at $58 (Booth T-114). Their ultra-feminine shape is perfect for champagne-based cocktails such as Bellinis, mimosas or Kir Royales. The eight diminutive tumblers, for $24, are a must-have for any starter bar set (Booth T-114).  

 

I have said it before, and I'll say it again: vintage hammered aluminum, as seen in the platter in the photo, right, is a stellar choice for modern hostesses ($36; T-114). This versatile serving ware, which arrived in homes from the 1930s to the 1950s, mimics silver, but is lighter in weight (making it easy to carry to any table, even one on the lawn). Popular collectible makers of hammered aluminum include Arthur Armour, Continental Silver Company, Everlast, Pamer-Smith, Rodney Kent and B.W. Buenilum, the maker of this platter, which is heavier than most of the era.  B.W. Buenilum was a high-quality aluminum ware maker of the ’40s and ’50s founded in 1944 by metalsmith and industrial designer Frederick Buehner and his business partner, Franz Wanner, in Norwalk, Connecticut. While some call aluminum ware “poor man’s silver,” it was also designed so that it would appeal to the affluent. The well-made handles and clutch of grapes on this B.W. Buenilum piece speak to this idea.

 

Ah, the Lazy Susan. Once upon a time, this rotating serving platter was a staple for dinner tables – and it’s a piece that should be revived, as it saves guests from passing every single thing around a big table. Today, vintage ones can be found – such as this mid-century one at GasLamp Too Booth T-114 (photo, left; $38).  (Trivia: Although we think of the Lazy Susan as a kitsch piece from the 1950s, historians actually trace the concept to 18th-century England.) Not only does a Lazy Susan contribute to a “take a dab of everything” spirit, they also are helpful during meals with lots of condiments or on the breakfast table for different jams, jellies, butters and whatnot.

 

Another serving piece that makes dining a breeze is a cruet set, such as the one in the photo, right ($88; T-114).  The culinary use of cruet sets was first introduced in the late 17th century in Europe. Such sets, used for oil and vinegar, are common on Italian and Portuguese tables to this day

 

Some people love to entertain. Others are intimidated by the idea. But no matter what your take is, after preparing at GasLamp you will be happily toasting your guests’ arrival.

                                                                                                                      

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