The soup tureen isnt seen much anymore! We rarely sit at a table to eat, let alone serve dinner up in the best china.
In years gone by, families would come together every Sunday, Easter and Christmas Day and enjoy a table full of dinner. Meat would be carved at the table, served on large ceramic platters. Seasonal vegetables and soup would always be served in a ceramic lidded tureen.
Tureens have been around a long, long time.
It was reported that President Washington had 3 soup tureens on his dining table; it was usual to only use 2 so he was very extravagent!
500 years ago soup was the main meal served in a lidded tureen with a matching plate underneath. The lid would have a hole for the ladel so the soup could be served. Ladels were silver but later they would also be made from ceramic with a matching design on.
Smaller tureens were developed so each person had their own soup which was drunk directly from the bowl.
The word tureen has not been around so long though.
It did not appear in dictionaries before 1800 and actually derived from a misspelling of the word “terrine” in old cook books, meaning an earthenware pot or vessel.
Some think the word came from Marshal Turenne, a soldier who drank his soup from his helmet!
The original tureen would have been made from silver or pewter. In the 1700’s earthenware tureens were introduced as part of dinner services .
It was seen as the most important part of the service: the “art” piece which took pride of place in the middle of the table.
Here at Your Vintage Life, we love the tureen and feel it needs a resurgance! We have a matching pair of retro 70s ones with groovy flowers on….when asked to bring a dish to a party we always make a veggie chilli and take it round in the tureens…so much better than a pyrex dish!
We have a great selection for sale at the moment dating from the 1920s through to the 1960s.
Why not arrange a dinner party, invite your best friends and lay the table with your best china…with your dream tureen sitting pride of place in the middle!