On one of my business trips to San Francisco I visited Cookin’, a vintage cookware shop bursting at the seams with every single kind of kitchen item you can think of, and then some.  I had not been in a couple of years, but decided to treat myself to some beautiful china after having a rather miserable morning and couldn’t think of a better place to find some real treasures than Cookin’.  I fell in love with an old vase by Henriot Quimper, a company located in Brittany that has been around since 1690 making hand painted tableware using their own molds.  It had a traditional design of a village woman wearing a decorative hat that was tied to her head with ribbons and floral motifs throughout.  The owner of Cookin’ (a tiny gray-haired woman who means serious business) had picked it up on a recent trip to France to scour for vintage cookware and told me that the company, based in the city of Quimper, was still making pottery but that the really special old pieces were getting more difficult to come across.  The vase (which is 20 years old) came home with me and I quickly developed a healthy obsession for Henriot Quimper tableware.  I love the vintage pieces, but there are also some newer pieces I wouldn’t mind owning, especially since the prices are reasonable.  I’ve got my heart set on one of the fish plates, but I’m also convincing myself that water would taste way better if it were served out of a Henriot Quimper pitcher.

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