Herbert S. Mills China and Artware, ca. 1935
Oh, the Deco! You would expect a place that sells fine china to do so with taste and grace, and this catalog certainly climbs to the heights of the 1930s styles. You're looking at the front cover of the 32-page catalog, printed with silver ink, and that serving plate is actually a circular cutout revealing the plate printed on the page inside. The inside pages are framed in pink with art deco fonts, coexisting just a bit uneasily with the actual dinnerware for sale, which was generally quite classical and fussy.
Outside of a few visionaries like Clarice Cliff, quality dinnerware was expected to be fussy and traditional, and these pieces are just that, featuring all the big English brands of their time – Royal Doulton, Wedgwood, and so on. These names were enough to draw visitors to Hamilton Ontario from the 1890s until 1985. But 1960's-era casual dining doomed the formal dining room and prestige of your bone china collection. These days, classic china is to be found crying out for a buyer in antique malls (at prices cheaper than these Depression-era originals), and we're likely to be eating from plates purchased at Target or Ikea.