I have always thought that polychrome Imari porcelain sets a stunning table for the winter holidays. Stylist and flea market guru Eddie Ross agrees in this month’s issue of Lonny Magazine. He uses a mix of antique Imari plates with some great do-it-yourself projects to set a lovely Thanksgiving table. The usual Imari colorway of orangey red, mixed with the cobalt underglaze, and highlighted by greens and yellows is perfect for Thanksgiving – and can be pulled out again at Christmas. 

Ross says “The key is restraint. You don’t want a floral fabric and a floral china.” I am not sure I’d call this a restrained table setting, but that is exactly why it is so fabulous.  He loves to mix color and pattern in every way he can. 

Sweet Mizue Sasa, proprietor of Okura Oriental Art, let me have fun playing with antique Imari plates and serving pieces at her shop. I layered Imari on Imari, but it works with the calm obi table runner and the simple floral arrangement. I think it would also be lovely paired with simple white dishes on a deep orange cloth. A great feature of Imari porcelain is that you can mix and match all kinds of pieces and patterns (and I have even squeezed in a tiny orange-red sake cup) and it looks great together. And mixing is almost always necessary as most “sets” in Japan are sold in groups of 5 (as the number 4 is unlucky).  You can change the look and feel of your table simply by highlighting a different color – for instance, playing up the blue instead. 


Imagine your turkey and mashed potatoes served on these giant beauties…

Dish your stuffing out of this fluted bowl…

Thanks to Sasa-san and her assistant Eiko for this post. Watch for an upcoming “Shop Talk” about Okura.

Image credits: 1-3 Lonny Magazine October/November 2010, 4-6 me, courtesy of Okura Oriental Art.