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Grandma’s Old Plate

Have you ever had an experience where a sound, smell, or maybe  seeing an item seemed to take you back in time?  It’s just like someone flipped a switch in your brain – and all of a sudden you’re 10, 20, or 30 years in the past recalling  a fond memory. . . something  you hadn’t thought of  in years!    Such was yesterday for me when I was given a plate . . . one I’d been trying to find for more than 30 years.

knowlesplateLinda and Kathleen – 2 of my cousins –  have been clearing out my Uncle George’s house  since his death and I had asked them if they came across a plate with a Mexican scene on it – would they save it for me.  This had been my favorite plate to eat off of at my Grandma’s house.    Luckily for me – not only did they find a plate but a wonderful oval platter to match – both  with the Mexican scene of the little boy sitting under the palm tree with all the pots and jugs around him.  Holding  that old, chipped plate brought back such wonderful  memories of  my Grandma’s house.  All of us cousins – seems there were 5 or 6 of us at the dining table –  all scrunched-up  sitting on the old wooden bench.    I never wanted to be the first one in – because you  had  to go all the way to the end of the bench  and then couldn’t get out until all the other kids were through eating as  the table and bench were set  in a corner against 2 walls leaving only the 1 exit.    Can you say ‘claustrophobia‘?  

Now that I have my treasure, I’m going to freshen-up it up as much as possible by soaking it in a solution of  Hydrogen-Peroxide (3%)  – like you buy at the store.  To whiten it, I’ll completely submerge the plate  in container containing the HP solution, cover the container to prevent the HP solution from evaporating and then just let it sit.  Probably for at least 2-3 weeks.  Old china will clean faster in a stronger solution of  HP (50%) but it is dangerous to work with – so I prefer the weaker HP you get at the store.  Same results – just longer wait.  This process will work on almost any china, ironstone, etc. that is stained.  For more info on cleaning china visit  Texas Antique Mall Compendium.  One last caution  – NEVER  soak  dishes in bleach – it can leach in through the hairline cracks, chips, etc.  leaving an ugly yellow color under  the finish. 


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