The Perfect China Pattern -- Lenox Solitaire

Lenox Solitaire

Choosing the Perfect China

My mother was right. We married in 1969. At the time that I selected china, I was less than twenty years old. I got the following advice from my mother:

Pick something simple. Tastes and styles can change. If you want something colorful or trendy, use it for your everyday dishes. Silver is better than gold. Most tableware is silver. Sterling silver, silverplate or stainless steel will mix well with a platinum band. The food should be the star of the show -- not the dishes.

She urged me to select Lenox Solitaire because of its elegant simplicity. It remains beautiful today, and after all these thirty seven years, Solitaire, and its gold banded counterpart, Eternal, are the only two patterns that remain open stock from Lenox since 1969.

I tried to urge both of my daughters in law to choose this pattern. Oddly enough, they disregarded my advice. I hope to have more influence in this format.

The trend today is away from matched formal table settings in favor of mixed settings that may feature mismatched pieces or flea market finds. The china makes a great background setting, and can be mixed with all manner of other dishes. At Christmastime, I use the Lenox Holiday pattern, and often mix in the Solitaire for large groups.

The only drawback to Solitaire is the styling of the serving pieces. I love the shape of the cup and serving bowls. . In fact, the cup shape was a deciding factor in choosing the pattern. The platters are elegant. The creamer and sugar, and coffee pot design look a little dated. If you're into mid-century modern this is not a problem, but you may want to mix in other serving pieces if you think these are a little "sixties."

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6 comments

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Paul Edmondson 9 years ago from Burlingame, CA

Nice Hub! I wish we had gone with the Lenox Solitare or none at all. Is wedding china still popular?


Daughter-in-law #1 9 years ago

You were right Glenna. We should've chosen the Lenox Solitaire. I'll work on listening better in the future! ;)


Rob 8 years ago

Your advice is 100% accurate. 25 years ago, my wife chose a very expensive pure white Royal Doulton pattern with blue and gold bands. We only received four place settings as gifts, and after collecting it sporadically, we never had enough pieces for a dinner party. It is now discontinued and the color doesn't match anything in our house. We have sterling silver utensils and my wife says the gold bands clash with the sterling silver. So, we have only used the Royal Doulton about 3 times in 25 years.

Later, we purchased a complete set of service for 12 in Lenox Solitaire with the platinum bands. It is much more classic pattern, it is still available for purchase everywhere, and the ivory and platinum goes with everything. If you are picking out a china pattern, I can testify to the fact that this china looks great with any kind of food, too. You can serve "fancy cuisine" on it - or it looks just as good serving cold cuts and casual food.

I would recommend buying Lenox Solitaire as your only china pattern - and use it every day. Why get separate formal and every day patterns, when you can buy one like this that works with both.

I also recommend using your sterling silver flatware every day. It looks much better when is is a little worn - and you will enjoy your food much better, too.


derekluther 8 years ago

Has anyone mixed some of the original Lenox Solitaire with what's being produced today?

My wife and I have found that the older pieces (given to us by her parents) seem a slightly different shape and thickness than what's being sold today.

Has anyone else experienced this?


Stacy 2 years ago

Well said, Glenna. This pattern is timeless and simply elegant! I really enjoy mine.


Amira 2 years ago

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