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The history of serving a festive table

history of serving a festive table from antiquity to the present day begins about 2,000 years ago.It was at the dawn of the new age Chinese invented porcelain.They liked to eat the culinary delights served in the translucent white dishes, painted mythological and everyday scenes.And while sipping tea from elegant fragile cups.For a long time they have carefully kept secret from the neighbors magical chinaware.In ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia is also smart enough to do pottery, glazed.But they rather resembled the modern pottery.For manufactured using the same materials as for the production of porcelain, and similar technology.The only difference was in the ratio of components.

In Eastern Europe the secret for a long time no one is not particularly interested.Dishes are made from clay, wood, metal.In the Middle Ages common people treated common bowls, of which ate the whole family.Sometimes the replacement of plates - even the rich - were large chunks of bread.They usually put solid food and pieces of

meat.But in the Renaissance in solid houses are increasingly can be seen on the tables of the individual plates.It has been developing and manufacturing highly artistic ceramics.Especially tried Italians, inspired by the work of Moorish craftsmen who covered tin glaze pottery.

And in the XVII and XVIII centuries, thanks to the opening of new sea routes in Europe, there were exotic drinks: coffee, tea, cocoa.For them, it requires special dishes: elegant cups, saucers and teapots.Traders willing transported from Eastern countries precious china and for big money selling it in Europe.Connoisseurs quickly realized how great enjoy for lunch on highly artistic items made of this material.And in the end, they want to do on their own.

Once Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony invited to his service chemist Johann Bottger.This chemist vowed that he could open a way to manufacture gold.To extract the metal mount alchemist never learned.But, following the example of the Chinese, came up with a recipe for making porcelain from kaolin.Kaolin - white clay is plastic, which adds to the feldspar white mica and quartz or sand.

must say that Oriental porcelain was no less valuable than gold.Augustus the Strong quickly realized what it promises profits invention.And in 1710, he ordered to build near Dresden Meissen porcelain factory, soon became famous.Initially Saxon artists painted items in oriental style.But gradually they began to decorate a variety of ornaments and pictures - landscapes, hunting scenes and other beauties.Cost is very expensive these masterpieces!But the demand for them was great.Rich clients, including monarchs from all over Europe, not individual items ordered, and whole sets of a plurality of persons.A variety of dining, tea, coffee sets.So there was a tradition to lay the table utensils in the same style.By the way, in Russia the largest collection of Meissen porcelain assembled Count Sheremetev.It can still be seen at the Museum of Ceramics in Kuskovo.

In France, meanwhile, is also in full swing experiments.In the XVI century in Saint-Porchaire figured out how to make pottery, imitating Italian ceramics.Actually, imechko French faience and assigned him the title of the city of Faenza in Italy.But these achievements did not stop local craftsmen.As a result of clever manipulation of sand, saltpeter, soda and gypsum in 1738 it was obtained by the so-called soft porcelain.Clay it hardly contained, so it was even more "transparent" than hard, not pure white and cream.Products Sevres (respectively, in the town of Sevres) successfully compete with the Chinese, and the Saxon.And not only because of its quality, but also because of its unusual design.French master produced sets of various shapes and colors.For example, the meal might resemble a grape leaf.Saucers - melon.Sugar - cauliflower.A teapot - pineapple!

In XVI-XVII centuries.success achieved in the production of earthenware Dutch.Manufacture in Delft in large quantities produced cheap dishes.And gradually, this ceramic beginning to be popular with people with average incomes.However, no matter how expensive may be compared with her porcelain sets, the demand for them is still not decreasing.After all, they demonstrated the wealth and high position of the hosts.Porcelain Manufactory in Europe appeared one after another.Russia from Western colleagues did not lag behind.Even in 1746 chemist Dmitri Ivanovich Vinogradov opened the cherished technology.Lomonosov Porcelain Factory, established by order of Empress Elizabeth, became a worthy rival European companies.Before the revolution, he was in the royal property and in particular flourished under Catherine the Great.She generously ordered parade sets, and some numbered up to a thousand objects!And in the XIX century, a host of small little factory - especially in the area of ​​Gzhel.

the middle of XIX century, a set of dishes on the tables of the rich houses of Europe grows to the limit.Prior to each guest at the table cloth lining up as if on parade, numerous plates for appetizers, first, second, salads, desserts, fruit.That's not counting all castors nipples, jars for jam, sugar bowls, milk jugs, cups, vases for fruit baskets for candy.

It would seem that there is nothing more to invent _ everything was invented!But in our times sets continue to improve.Thanks largely to restaurateurs who want to present profitable foods their chefs.They set a fashion so-called assiette de presentation - a large plate of "feed", with beautiful painted edge on which the hoisting plate with first and second courses.Restaurateurs also expressed the idea that all things must be "docked", easily storable.If they are fully inserted into each other, the less likely they break when you carry in the hands of a mountain of dishes.And, besides, on the face of modern-sets often work very famous designers.After all, even the most familiar dishes can be not only a container for foods and beverages, but also a piece of art!This story with a festive table serving like to remind you that even the most delicious dish is even tastier if, decorate luxurious dishes.

Since then we heard dishes that have become legends:

- «Green Frog", designed for 50 people and consists of 994 items.It was created by the English factory Wedgwood to Catherine the Great and is now kept in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.All items are decorated with a variety of landscapes to the queen and her close admired forests, fields and country palaces of England.By the way, all this beauty had survived two evacuation: in 1917 and 1945.

- «Swan service" master Kendler was made in the XVIII century Meissen porcelain factory in 2200 and consisted of porcelain pieces.They are decorated with reliefs of all kinds of creatures that live in the water element.

- «The service of Queen Victoria", created by the manufactory Herend, was named after the British queen.Since during the World Expo in 1851, she was fascinated by his uncomplicated pattern with fluttering butterflies.

- The most famous Russian porcelain dinner services - "Guryev" ("Russian") - was made at the beginning of the XIX century.Now most of it is stored in Peterhof.It is named after Count DAGuriev, under whose leadership the work was going.The service is decorated with miniatures made of engravings and lithographs depicting the character and customs of the peoples of Russia.Also sealed views of different cities and all sorts of genre scenes.

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