lace plate-mats

Two doilies from the Plesch family household, from the first half of the 20th century, given by Janos and Melanie Plesch in memory of Prof. Dr. Peter H. Plesch.

You can often find a number of Jewish Museum employees in the lunchtime crowd at the canteen of the European Patent Office at Hallesches Tor in Berlin. The food there is excellent; the noise, on the other hand, is excessive: rattling silverware, clattering dishes, and the voices of diners whirring together into one great drone.

In the dining room of the Berliner doctor family Plesch such a hubbub would have been unthinkable. Their secret: clatter-doilies.

That’s what they called the pretty mats that lay between pieces of crockery. They both protected the porcelain and – as the name so nicely suggests – muffled the clatter during serving and dining.

Clatter-doilies are out of fashion these days. It’s rather a shame.

Monika Flores Martínez, Exhibitions