I had aunts and grandparents that china was it. My two aunts (twins) worked as single women and took care of their parents never being married.
What was fascinating was my great grandmother was the last person buried in a cemetery in Euclid Ohio in the 90's. The last person that was buried there was in the early 1980's. My Great Grandmother came over to Philly, worked as a maid (servant) and then went back and brought the family (her husband included) to the Cleveland area.
So shall we say Strong women? My aunts her children were similar. China and antiques were there thing "the flo blue".
The thing is we used the China, because it was meant for family, but I get the point as I have heard the same thing.
One wonders if the difference between the families was due to whether the household was led (conservatively) by a female or a male type of view.
They both passed away, and I am not sure whatever happened to it. I do know that my father as the executor sold a lot of it off and with that they could afford to pay for cash for their homes while they slowly passed.
So ... in the end the dishes served their purpose one last time ....