The art of hosting has long been a fundament of polite society. What better way to demonstrate one’s exquisite taste to company à table than with an impeccable collection of of stylish tableware? Whether you compose a kaleidoscopic bouquet of differing floral patterns, or set a pristine stage in immaculate white, a thoughtfully laid table is a form of poetry unto itself. Like the painters of the Dutch Golden Age, who in the vanitas still lifes portrayed the ephemerality of pleasure and earthly beauty, modern-day hosts find bliss in the transitory act of regaling their guests with nothing but the best — an exceptional gesture of aesthetic generosity where even flies, those classic reminders of earthly decay, find their welcome place at the table.

SUPA DUPA FLY — Circle dArgent dinner plate, dessert plate, and bread-and-butter plate; available through Puiforcat. Oxymore water glass, American water glass, and burgundy glass; available through Saint-Louis. Web silverware designed by Ward Bennett for Sasaki (1986) (from the private collection of Dung Ngo).

FLY LIKE AN EAGLE — White Fluted dinner plate and dessert bowl; available through Royal Copenhagen. Ultima Thule beer glass and red wine glass by Tapio Wirkkala; available through littala. Composition silverware by Tapio Wirkkala for Rosenthal (1963) (from the private collection of Dung Ngo).

STILL FLY — Plate, deep plate, and soup plate from the Lightscape collection; available through Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg. Water glass on stem, goblet VE, and goblet VD from the Patrician collection (designed by Josef Hoffmann in 1917); available through Lobmeyr. Grand Prix silverware by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Alessi (1959/1996) (from the private collection of Dung Ngo). Special thanks to E.R. Butler & Co., New York.

FLY AWAY — Dinner plate and soup bowl from the KU Table-set service by Toyo Ito: available through Alessi. Red-wine, white-wine, and water glass; available through Bottega Veneta. TI-1 silverware by Takenobu Igarashi for Tsubame Shinko (1990) (from the private collection of Dung Ngo).

Taken from PIN–UP 19, Fall Winter 2015/16.

Photography by Bela Borsodi. Assistant to shoot: Jonathan Buckley. Introduction text by Kevin Greenberg.