Finding Lotus Dinnerware

Hello! Very excited to find the RWCS site! My mother had the Red Wing Lotus Bronze set (pretty much a full set), and I am trying to replace it … starting from scratch. I have purchased a couple pieces via eBay (it’s the piecemeal delivery charges that are killing me! driving the prices up more than twice the price). I wonder if there is a better way to do this. Should I plan a trip to MN and go through the shops? Or, is the convention a better route in the summer? It breaks my heart I no longer have the set, which I love dearly. Any ideas? Many thanks, Mary Zimnik, Atlanta, GA

P.S. This is a dumb question, I know. Once I have the set, is it okay to use it? I know they need to be washed by hand, and I would only use for special occasions, but is it considered, in general, the idea that these collectables are to be used? THANKS!

Mary, Ebay can be a great source for Red Wing dinnerware, but as you state the shipping charges can kill you. Lotus dinnerware is relatively inexpensive but it is heavy — the shipping could easily be more than the purchase price. And of course there’s always concern your purchase may arrive as a box of shards rather the dinnerware you expected.

Fortunately the Lotus pattern was made in large numbers and most pieces are quite easy to find. No guarantees of course, but undoubtedly you’d find Lotus available in antique and second-hand shops in MN and surrounding states. And no doubt there will be Lotus dinnerware at the RWCS convention and the many sales that take place in town that week. Somewhere along the way you’ll probably even be lucky enough to find most of the pieces you seek in one location. But where will that be? Who knows?

And there you have the two opposite ways to seek your Red Wing prey: The ease of shopping eBay from your computer, with the expensive and risk of shipping. Or the thrill of hunting out in the marketplace, with no guarantee that your travel time and expense will reap any reward.

You might consider placing a classified ad in the RWCS newsletter or on the Wing Tips website. You might just might reach the person who has what you seek, and if you are really lucky you’ll be able to complete your transaction enroute to Red Wing or at the convention.

But if that fails, you’ll have to resort to hunting in the shops the old fashioned way. Remember, the hunt is at least half the fun of collecting. I tend to seek out common pieces in shops and at auctions, and use eBay to find the more difficult pieces I need.

Once you have your set of Lotus, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use it. Special occasions are fine, but some people (like my family) use Red Wing for our everyday dishes. Try to obtain a few extra pieces on the cheap so you’ll have a spare if one gets damaged in use. Handwashing your collectable dishes is obviously the safe way to go rather than a dishwasher. Good luck! Larry