So, there I was, on yet another historic home tour, minding my own business when Herend’s, Rothschild Bird bit me in the nether regions! It all started out innocently enough. We (me and two friends) had made the trek to Newnan, Georgia for what The Georgia Trust calls a “Ramble.” And ramble we did…in and out of some of the most beautiful historic homes and buildings you’ve ever seen, not to mention a fabulous garden here and there.
And then it happened, the start of a new obsession. We were in the dining room of a lovely, very old and very beautiful home when I spotted this exquisite china in a corner china cabinet. I made a beeline as fast as my little feet would carry me, trying not to knock down everything and everyone in my path. I stood there gazing upon this magnificent china! I’m sure I heard birds singing, or maybe it was just my heart pounding as I drooled all over that corner cabinet. What ever it was, it was definitely LOVE at first site!
And this was one of those rare times when the owner of the home was actually present in the room. Normally I don’t like that…it’s a bit uncomfortable to oooh and aaah over the architecture or furnishings with your tour buds, when Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner are listening to your every word. But this day, I was happy Mrs. Homeowner was standing only five feet away. And I gushed, “Pray tell, what is this most amazing china?” Ok, I didn’t quite say it that way, but I definitely gushed! She replied with a word I’m embarrassed to admit I’d never heard: Herend.
Now, I know some of you are shocked that Tablescape Woman had never heard of Herend, but I hadn’t. I suppose I’ve led a sheltered china life. Later, when I began to learn more, I realized Herend was the maker of those adorable bunnies I had so often seen, but never, ever had I laid eyes on this china. This china combines my love for birds and china, with a little whimsy thrown in for fun!
I asked Mrs. Homeowner to repeat the name again; she probably thought I was a real doofus for not knowing the name, Herend. She repeated it. I asked for the pattern name and she couldn’t remember it! What? How could she not remember the pattern name of this wonderful china?
It was ok that she didn’t know. I knew I’d search high and low into the night to find that china…after all, this WAS to be my new obsession! Mrs. Homeowner, casually mentioned it was still being made. She forgot to mention I would need to mortgage my home to actually buy it!
I didn’t get back home from our “ramble” until close to midnight and I was definitely a tired puppy, but straight to eBay, I did go. I was soooo excited when I found it on eBay, that is until I found out how much it cost! I had figured it might be a bit expensive, but I had no idea!
That night I found an entire set on eBay that included 8 or so place settings and several serving pieces. My heart fell when I saw the starting price for the auction was set at $4,000, with the expected selling price thought to be around $8,000! Waaaaaaa! That’s me crying because there’s no way I’m paying the price of a nice used car, for a set of china!
Over the last few months I have visited eBay, hoping and watching to see if a miracle might occur and the price for a plate, never mind a place setting, might be within range of what I’d be willing to pay. No big, fat chance.
And if the china wasn’t cute enough by itself, it also has the cutest story behind the design. The story goes, this china was created for the Rothschild family of Europe in 1850 and is considered by connoisseurs to be the epitome of hand painting on porcelain. The china is said to portray a 19th century tale about a Baroness Rothschild, who lost her pearl necklace in the garden of her Vienna residence. Several days later it was found by her gardener, who saw birds playing with it in a tree. Is that not just the cutest story?! If you look closely, you can see the little necklace up in the tree on the dinner plates I have pictured here.
All of the Herend porcelain is hand painted and trimmed in gold, hence the price.
The following pic is of “Rothschild Bird”…the pattern most commonly available on eBay and Neiman Marcus. A dinner plate cost $135 on NM’s website…
This style below is like the china I saw in Newnan and is my favorite…it’s called “Rothschild Bird, Green Border.” This pic doesn’t do it justice. The green is a gorgeous green…really pretty. It is a lot more expensive than the Rothschild Bird and almost never available on eBay.
It has the “fish net” design for which Herend is so well known. A dinner plate in “Rothschild Bird, Green Border” is $380 and Neiman Marcus doesn’t even carry it online. That price is out of the Herend price guide I received in the mail recently. Herend has created 12 different “scenes” or motifs so you could have 12 place settings and each would be unique. I love that…but not so much the price.
Since I haven’t robbed any banks or won the lottery, I am consoling myself by buying a few small, and I do mean small, pieces off eBay. So far I have collected this lovely little dish that I’m using to put my rings in each evening…
I found a sweet egg cup on eBay for $39.99, plus $7 for shipping. That same night I saw another egg cup just like it go for over $80 (not including the shipping) so I was happy with what I paid in a “Buy Now” auction.
Here’s the other side. Don’t you just love all the little bugs and butterflies?
And here’s a piece I just purchased last night. It sells for $100 on many sites and is listed at $120 in Herend’s price list. I got it for $18.50 plus $5 for shipping. Gotta love eBay! You can see the necklace up in the trees in this piece.
Do we have any collectors of “Herend, Rothschild Bird” out there? Something tells me I won’t be finding this at a garage sale or on Craig’s list anytime soon.