Last Look

Investing in china

College dining-hall plates: now you can get them without stealing.

Everyone who went to Yale College either knew or knew of some enterprising but ethically challenged student who made a point of stealing a dinner plate from each of Yale’s residential college dining halls. If you had too many scruples, or just never got around to it, now’s your chance to get the complete set—for a price. Yale Dining is now selling residential college plates on its website for $25 apiece plus shipping. (To order, go

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The sale began as a way to reduce inventory. The colleges only use their individual china on special occasions now—they all have everyday plates that are adorned simply with a small “Y”—so they didn’t need as much of it. But the demand has been so high, says Pedro Tello of Yale Dining, that they have ordered more of the plates to sell.

Eleven designs are available, ranging from Davenport’s simple shield to Silliman’s chinoiserie landscape and including a college-wide plate with a Yale College shield. (Ezra Stiles and Morse share a kitchen and a china pattern, as do Branford and Saybrook.) But will nostalgia be as tasty without the piquant flavor of petty larceny?

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