Dining with the Russells

IMG_4738I was lucky enough to attend Historic Charleston Foundation’s Nathaniel Russell House Instameet, which allowed a few of us instagram addicts access into the the house with our iPhones. Photographs are not usually permitted within the house, so this was a very special opportunity. Completed in 1808, the Nathaniel Russell House is one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in the United States. While I am always in awe of the architecture at the NRH this time I was quite struck with the china. Before moving to Charleston I had very little interest in china and china patterns, but I think there must be something in the water in the south because I rarely meet a southern woman who isn’t interested in china.IMG_4734These pieces of Chinese export porcelain, referred to as the “double peacock and peony”, are Qing Dynasty, Qianlong period, which date from approximately 1765-1795. Pretty spectacular, right? And they look so beautiful with the wall color in the dining room. Apparently this was a very popular pattern in Charleston.
IMG_4735IMG_4736 IMG_4739In the back parlor, a small table is set for breakfast, complete with egg cups and some more rustic looking horn-handled silverware. I really have to get some egg cups – my stepmother recently turned me on to soft boiled eggs, and let’s be honest who doesn’t like an egg preparation that requires special serve ware?IMG_4743 IMG_4744 IMG_4741I know that all of you set your breakfast table just like this every morning. Tea anyone? This 19th century blue Canton China was used as the inspiration or basis for a Historic Charleston Foundation licensed line of china through Mottahedeh, which you can purchase here. So there you have it, even today you can set your table to look just like the table at the Nathaniel Russell House.

Stay tuned for more pictures of the Nathaniel Russell House, and for updates from inside the Nathaniel Russell House and the Aiken Rhett House, follow Historic Charleston Foundation on Instagram here.

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