Of all the bowls in the photo below, the three blue ones with the cracked glaze are the only pieces I had to haggle for. I found them at different antiques shops. The two large ones are traditionally used for pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), while the small one is really a teacup. For dinner parties, I often fill a large bowl with water and float a single flower.
I found the conical bowl at the rear of the groupingreally almost a cup or a small vaseat a great shop called The Etc. It's just the right height for holding bread sticks or long crackers (Siam Center 35 3/1 Rama 1 Rd.; 011-662-658-1171).
I got the white bowl with the silver lining, from Calvin Klein, last year. (The company no longer makes it, but I have my eye on a similar silver-plate bowl from the current collection.) I love the contrast of the matte exterior and shiny interior. It looks so regal that I never put anything in it (654 Madison Ave.; 212-292-9000).
This pale blue bowl from Takashimaya's Manhattan store was a gift from a friend who's an art director. She knew I'd been on a crusade to find the perfect bowl, and this one comes closest: It's delicate in weight and color, but also functional (693 Fifth Ave.; 212-350-0100).
The wide white bowl is from Catherine Memmi's fine-housewares store on the Left Bank. I went there to find a gift for a friend but bought this bowl for myself instead. I adore the uneven, dripping glaze, and the shallow shape makes it just right for serving nuts at cocktail parties (34 rue Saint-Sulpice; 011-33-1-44-07-22-28).
The small off-white bowl, a gift from photographer Maria Robledo, was made by ceramicist Steve Stewart, who works in upstate New York. I liked this one so much that I looked for his other pieces, which I found at Gordon Foster in Manhattan (1322 Third Ave.; 212-744-4922).