September 28, 2015

Pastoral Motifs, Rustic Designs

The warm colors of the rooster and sunflowers in the Certified International Sunrise design contrast beautifully with a cobalt blue background - this is a stunning pattern! With his gloriously colored plumage and his boisterous "cock-a-doodle-do!" at the break of day, the rooster has been celebrated for centuries in painting and text. Sunrise was designed for Certified International by renowned folk artist Susan Winget. Winget is a resident of North Carolina and a recipient of a fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She began her work in 1982, selling watercolor prints. At the time, she hoped to make enough money to help support her family and stay home with her children. Today, her art is a part of furniture, cards, calendars, children's books, and dinnerware. Her spirited, fun, and casual style consistently reflects an appreciation for wonderful bucolic scenes - whether a duck swimming in a placid pond, a rural village, or perched roosters, Winget provides a fresh and distinctive take on traditional folk art.

Iris-Amber, a bold blown glass pattern produced by Artland Crystal, features a delightful air bubble design and a vibrant amber color. This eye-catching glassware design serves as the perfect complement to the provincial Sunrise china and the understated Dorado stainless patterns. The floral namesake of this dazzling glassware has an interesting history of its own. The word "iris" is derived from the Greek word for "rainbow," and for good reason - there are over 300 classified species of irises in a vast array of colors. Iris rhizomes have historically been used to produce medicine and perfume, and various parts of the iris are also used to provide flavor and color to several brands of gin. The beauty of the iris flower has inspired many artists through the years, perhaps most notably in a series of iconic paintings by Vincent van Gogh. In addition, the decorative fleur-de-lis symbol is thought to be a depiction of an iris flower in bloom.

Reed & Barton's Dorado is a gorgeous stainless pattern that features a beveled edge, a rounded tip, and a hammered, glossy finish. Dorado is emblematic of its maker, Reed & Barton of Taunton, MA, a company that traces its origins to a jewelry store founded by Isaac Babbitt in 1822. After changes in ownership, the company began to use the "Reed & Barton" stamp on its silver in the 1840s. One of Reed & Barton's best-known patterns is Francis I. Introduced in 1907, Francis I quickly became a favorite of nobility and presidents. No less than four U.S. presidents dined with Francis I - Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Gerald Ford. In more recent years, the company has also been recognized for its high-quality stainless steel patterns, like the Dorado pattern featured here.

August 27, 2015

Streamlined Tableware Style

The America stoneware pattern by Pfaltzgraff showcases a variety of charming, rustic motifs based on designs taken from the "Bird of Paradise" quilt currently housed in the American Folk Art Museum. This pattern is a delightful representation of the Pfaltzgraff Pottery Company, which was founded in America by German immigrants. George Falsgraff, a potter and farmer by trade, opened a pottery in 1811 on 21 acres of land in York County, PA. In 1833, Johann George Pfaltzgraff moved from Germany to York County, and partnered with Falsgraff to locate a pottery factory in Freystown, PA. In 1839, the factory began producing earthenware using local red clay. In 1849, Pfaltzgraff sold the Freystown pottery, and moved to a more rural location outside of town. When Johann George died in 1872, his five sons took over the business, and expanded their lines to include stronger salt-glazed stoneware, and other pieces made from high quality imported clay. In 1894, two of Johann George's sons, Henry and George teamed up to build a new, modern production facility to streamline and increase production. The factory was built next to a rail line to further increase the spread of Pfaltzgraff products. Most of the company's records were lost when this factory burned down in 1906, but we do know that over the years the company changed locations and grew, diversifying into glassware and flatware, and eventually emerging as a leader in the American dinnerware market.

Sweet Swirl-Light Blue is a gorgeous pressed-glass pattern made by one of the best-known manufacturers in the world, Noritake. An asymmetrical design, Sweet Swirl-Light Blue features splendid depth and movement in its shape, with swirling panels in the side of the bowl and even more dynamic swirls in the stem. Noritake produces many crystal patterns designed to complement its dinnerware. The company's crystal and glassware collection includes handmade, mouth-blown, and machine-made stems. The origins of Noritake begin with the founding of a company titled Nippon Toki Kabushiki Kaisha, Ltd. in Japan in early 1904. It was much later, in the 1980s, when the company officially assumed the name Noritake Company. In 1876, years prior to the founding of Nippon Toki Kabushiki Kaisha, Ltd., Ichizaemon Morimura VI and Yutaka Morimura formed Morimura Brothers. Inc. It was a trading company dedicated to exporting traditional Japanese products. Ichizaemon Morimura VI had been a visionary and supporter of modernization for Japan. From this earliest period, Morimura sought to adapt quality Japanese art and skilled craftsmanship to the needs, designs, and market appeal of the American consumer. It was the Morimura brothers' success at matching Japanese production with American designs that led to the birth of Noritake in 1904. Noritake's manufacturing supplies were cut off during World War II, but the company's products again became available in 1948. Many of these post-war wares were created specifically with the American consumer in mind. For Noritake collectors, there are many historical ambiguities surrounding the company; destruction of company records during the war years means that some questions will never be answered.

Hammersmith-Continental by Towle Silver is high-quality stainless steel featuring a fiddle shape, attractive hammered design, and satin-frosted finish that gives each piece a shimmering matte effect. The history of Towle Silver is rooted in the Moulton family of England. Starting with William Moulton II, a tradition of craftsmanship and artistry would be built by six generations of Moultons, including William Moulton IV, who would apprentice a young Anthony F. Towle. After years of diligent study, Anthony decided to start his own business upon the retirement of William IV. Using the knowledge he had acquired working with the Moulton family, Anthony Towle and partner William P. Jones would buy the Moulton family stock to form Towle & Jones, Co. in 1857. The company found firm footing and a warm reception in the silver industry and market at large. Production of the first Towle hollowware lines (tea sets and other pieces) began in 1890, and Towle gained recognition for fine craftsmanship in the many years that followed. Patterns like Candlelight, produced since 1934, and Old Master, produced since 1942, have consistently drawn hordes of dedicated followers. Today, Towle embodies all of the original principles set forth by the Moulton family, and used so wisely by Anthony Towle. The Towle Silver legacy of great craftsmanship, beautiful design, and quality will ensure its continued success in the silver tableware market.

August 20, 2015

Applied Art, Remarkable Beauty

Coalport China Ming Rose is scallop-shaped, rimmed fine bone china with a lavishly rendered floral design at the center, outlined by a geometric border, with scattered floral designs on the rim, and a geometric floral design trimmed with gold on the outside edge. The English company Coalport, located in Shropshire, was founded by John Rose, who at the very beginning of the 19th century was involved with different partners, and manufactured primarily hard-paste porcelain wares, sometimes supplying them as blanks for final decoration in London. Around 1814, Rose apparently began working mostly in bone china. Many patterns produced by the company in the 19th century show the influence of Rococo art, and like Ming Rose, are truly remarkable in their beauty.

With a convex bowl and gold trim, Lenox Crystal Monroe (Gold Trim) features a flower petal design connecting the bowl to the twist design of the stem, and a round foot. The clean design of this crystal beautifully complements the rich colors and gold trim of Coalport China's Ming Rose and the elegance of Gorham's Buttercup sterling. Founded in 1889 by Walter Scott Lenox in Trenton, NJ, the "Staffordshire of America" in its time, the Lenox Ceramic Pottery Company produced art-quality pieces. By 1897 examples of Lenox's work were displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. In 1918 President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson commissioned a set of Lenox for the White House, making it the first American china to grace a president's table. Lenox introduced its line of hand-blown crystal in 1966.

Making its debut during the reign of Queen Victoria, Buttercup sterling silver by Gorham is an exquisite example of the Greco-Roman applied art popular during the period. It features a scalloped shape, with an intricate design of buttercups, scrolls, and leaves, and a spray of buttercups at the bowl of the utensil. Produced from 1899 to around 1950, Gorham Buttercup includes a large selection of sterling silver place setting and serving pieces. The pattern is also available in magnificent hollowware, including tea sets. Afternoon tea, like the Buttercup pattern, was a staple of Victorian England - made popular by Anna Maria Stanhope, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford.

August 04, 2015

Iconic Tableware Artistry

Homer Laughlin Fiesta-Turquoise (Newer) is an iconic, Art Deco-influenced design with embossed concentric rings at the center of the plate and at the rim. Many of the plates are classified as "coupe", which means the plate has a convex shape, with no rim on the edge. Fiesta comes in a wide variety of solid colors that can be mixed and matched. Designed in 1936 and showing the strong influence of the Art Deco movement, Homer Laughlin Fiesta is the best-selling dinnerware in American history. Simple shapes and bold colors broke with the ornate, floral dinnerware traditions of the time, and spoke to the emerging casual lifestyle in American households. Company founder Homer Laughlin personally noted customer reactions to different colors that were being considered for the initial release of Fiesta - an early example of consumer focus groups!

Dublin by Godinger is a blown glass pattern that features a convex bowl adorned with a variety of polished cuts, a multisided stem, and a round foot with a textured design. With its stylish design, this crystal serves as a wonderful complement to the Art Deco Fiesta-Turquoise china and striking Valcourt flatware. Godinger Silver Art is a family-owned manufacturer and importer of crystal, stainless steel, and silver-plated giftware, founded by Arnold Godinger and William Lefkowitz more than 30 years ago. With a renowned design team and high-quality suppliers, Godinger has become one of the leading manufacturers and importers of crystal, flatware, and giftware today.

Gorham Silver Valcourt (Stainless) is a remarkably elegant flatware pattern! Valcourt (Stainless) features a scroll edge design with an understated plume decoration on the tip of the handle, and a glossy finish. This beautiful pattern was produced by a legendary American company. Its founder, Jabez Gorham, was born into a family of eight and apprenticed to eighteenth-century New England silver patriarch Nehemiah Dodge at a very early age. In 1831, Gorham founded his own company in Providence, RI. He quickly established a reputation for creating hand-crafted silver of the highest quality. Gorham soon became the world's leading force for silver, dominating American silver production during the Gilded Age of the 1890s. Over their 180 years of production, Gorham has produced such treasures as the tea and flatware service purchased by First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln for the White House in 1859, the Century Vase created for the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibit in 1876, the monument of George Washington in the Capitol's Rotunda, and the Borg-Warner Trophy for the Indianapolis 500. Gorham's reputation for excellence endures today, and the company has expanded into other dinnerware product categories, making high-quality stainless steel flatware, as well as delicate yet versatile china, and high-quality crystal.

July 30, 2015

Summer Fruits and Berries

Noritake Royal Orchard is rimmed, scallop-shaped, multi-motif china with wonderfully luscious peaches, cherries, grapes, plums, raspberries, or blackberries at the center of the plate and spilling onto the verge (where the center of the plate joins the rim). The center design is asymmetrical, and a geometric, intertwined leaf border on the rim completes the design. Noritake, which excels in producing magnificent fruit and floral designs like Royal Orchard and Azalea, was founded in 1876 as "Morimura Brothers" by Baron Ichizaemon Morimura IV and Yutaka Morimura. With offices in Tokyo and New York, the company exported curios, paper lanterns, and other items. Visiting the Paris World Fair in 1900, the baron formed the idea of producing fine dinnerware for export to the United States. Noritake manufactured and shipped its first china to the U.S. in 1910.

Noritake Crystal Sweet Swirl-Light Green is elegant crystal with a swirled stem and curved panels on the sides of a convex bowl that flares at the top.  Noritake produces many crystal patterns designed to complement Noritake dinnerware. The company's crystal and glassware collection includes handmade, mouth-blown, and machine-made stems. After World War II, Noritake focused on production reflecting the culture and design interests of the countries buying its wares, and by November 1947, Noritake was operating in New York. In 1948 Noritake ware again became available in the U.S. (supplies had been cut off during the war years).  For Noritake collectors there are many historical ambiguities surrounding the company and the Morimura brothers, and the destruction of company records during WWII means that some questions will never be answered.

Towle Hamilton is high-quality stainless steel with a satin finish. Featuring two geometric panels on the handle and finished at the end with a dot design, Hamilton is a substantial pattern that complements a wide variety of china and crystal. Towle is a silver maker recognized for the quality of its flatware since the 19th century. The company was founded on the craftsmanship and artistry of the Moulton family of England, who over six generations of silver making, raised their artisanship to a high art.  A young man named Anthony Towle would join William Moulton IV as an apprentice.  When Moulton decided to retire, Towle and a partner, William Jones, bought the Moulton family stock and formed Towle & Jones in 1857.  With such a long history and distinguished tradition, Towle's Hamilton is a pattern with a name that resonates with skill and pride in craft.

July 24, 2015

Harmonious American Floral Patterns

The Mariposa pattern by Franciscan was produced from 1949 to 1955. This fine china pattern features dazzling gold trim, and is adorned with a graceful, richly-hued floral design that spills out from the center of the plate and onto the rim. When Franciscan tableware premiered in 1934, its California-inspired patterns were practically an overnight success. The glamour of the emerging film industry and the state's climate seemed exotic to Midwesterners and those living on the East Coast. The "Golden State" became a very popular tourist destination. And Franciscan's bright-colored, less expensive "earthenware" grew in popularity as American consumers began to recover from the Great Depression. Buoyed by their success in earthenware, Franciscan began producing a line of fine china in 1942. Composed of a unique "Malinite" pottery formula which was the result of years of development, the initial fine china patterns from Franciscan included Cherokee Rose, Mountain Laurel, Woodside, Crinoline, Arcadia, Arden, Northridge, Laguna, Shasta, Westwood, Del Monte, and Beverly.

Seneca Anniversary is an alluring blown glass pattern featuring a concave bowl that flares at the top, a polished cut floral bowl design, a smooth stem, and a round foot. The Seneca Glass Company opened in Seneca County, OH, in 1891, using immigrant glassworkers from Germany's Black Forest region. The company soon relocated to Fostoria, OH, in a former plant of the Fostoria Glass Company. In 1896, the Seneca Glass Company again changed locations - moving to Morgantown, WV, where newly discovered natural gas deposits provided ample and relatively cheap fuel for firing, and river and railroad transportation were available to move the company's wares. Diversity of products, the use of various decorative techniques in a variety of colors enabled Seneca Glass Company to find success in a highly competitive market. Depression-era production included clear glass, cobalt blue, and light green, topaz, and additional colors, according to authors Bob Page and Dale Frederiksen in their book, "Seneca Glass Company 1891-1983: A Stemware Identification Guide." Production of glassware in a wide spectrum of colors would become one of Seneca's trademarks in the 1970s. Hues included "Accent Red" (ruby), "Amber," "Buttercup" (yellow), "Cinnamon" (brown), "Delphine Blue" (light blue), "Ritz Blue" (cobalt), "Sahara" (light amber), "Gray" (smoky), "Moss Green" (dark green), "Lime Green," "Peacock Blue," "Black," and "Plum" (amethyst). Seneca also holds the distinction of being the last American-made lead crystal stemware to be sold by Tiffany & Company.

Wallace Silver's Orchid Elegance is a delightful sterling pattern, produced from 1956 to 1960. Showcasing a pierced tip that resembles a blooming orchid, an embossed, asymmetrical handle design, and a glossy finish, Orchid Elegance is an eye-catching pattern that perfectly complements the elegant floral motifs in Anniversary crystal and Mariposa china. Wallace Silver, established in Connecticut nearly two centuries ago, has long been recognized for excellence in tableware craftsmanship. The founder of the company, Robert Wallace, was born in 1815 into a family of silversmiths who had immigrated to New England from Scotland. Apprenticed to William Mix, a renowned Connecticut spoon maker, Wallace, after mastering his trade, purchased a dilapidated grist mill and began to produce his own silver flatware in 1833. Orchid Elegance is just one of many examples of Wallace Silver's high-quality work.

July 16, 2015

Passion for the Sea

With a gold band on the verge (the verge is the area where the plate merges with the rim) and delicate blue scroll designs on the rim, a dark blue band, and wide gold trim on the outside edge, Royal Doulton Princeton exudes refinement and elegance. The pattern beautifully represents the design and production excellence associated with the Royal Doulton company. Founded as Doulton and Watts in Lambeth, England, in 1815, the company produced both industrial and household ceramics. (In 1901, King Edward VII conferred a Royal Warrant upon Doulton and Co. to honor the company's production of ceramic vessels that successfully filtered pollutants from the water of the Thames River, London's primary source for drinking water.) Royal Doulton is also known worldwide for its elegant figurines.

The Wedgwood Crystal Monarch goblet features two pairs of concentric rings that border delicate etched designs of scroll work and shells on the bowl, with panels and cuts that refract light beautifully. The multi-sided stem stands atop a round foot with starburst cuts. In 1759, Josiah Wedgwood established himself as an independent potter at the "Ivy House Works" in Burslem, England. During his career, Wedgwood made many refinements in the production processes for porcelain dinnerware. The Monarch crystal pattern features Wedgwood's personal passion, conchology, the study of mollusk shells. Wedgwood often was seen on the beaches of England, collecting shells. He used their organic shapes in many of the original designs and patterns for his tableware and figurines.

Another lovely shell pattern is featured in the sterling pattern, Romance of the Sea, by Wallace Silver. The swirls on this wonderful silver pattern suggest the motion of waves, and the shell design at the tip of the handle is dramatic. The designer must have had a personal love of the sea! Wallace Silver, established in Connecticut nearly two centuries ago, has long been recognized for excellence in tableware craftsmanship. The founder of the company, Robert Wallace, was born in 1815 into a family of silversmiths who had emigrated to New England from Scotland. Apprenticed to William Mix, a renowned Connecticut spoon maker, Wallace purchased a dilapidated grist mill after mastering his trade, and began to produce his own silver flatware in 1833. Romance of the Sea is just one of many examples of Wallace Silver's high-quality work.

July 08, 2015

Set a Gorgeous Summer Table!

Kutani Crane by Wedgwood is a high-quality bone china pattern featuring two cranes nestled amongst bamboo and floral details at the center of the plate, exquisite floral groupings on the rim, and geometric and floral designs on the outside rim. The pastel colors of this pattern look fantastic on a wide variety of tablescapes! The word "kutani" means "nine valleys," and pays tribute to pottery of the Kaga province of Japan, a mountainous region where "Old Kutani" porcelain was produced four centuries ago. In many Asian cultures, the crane is associated with longevity, good fortune, and prosperity, making Kutani Crane a pattern highly sought after for its elegance and meaningful symbolism.

A knobbed, multi-sided stem and a concave bowl that flares at the top enhance the criss-cross, fan, and floral cuts of Royal Doulton Wellesley-Clear crystal. The pattern beautifully represents the production excellence for which Royal Doulton has become world renowned. Founded as Doulton and Watts in Lambeth, England, in 1815, the company produced both household and industrial ceramics. John Doulton's sons, who had joined their father in the business, eventually formed companies of their own. But turmoil in the British financial markets forced the businesses to dissolve. In 1853, they reformed as Doulton and Co. (In 1901, King Edward VII conferred a Royal Warrant upon Doulton and Co. to honor the company's production of ceramic vessels that successfully filtered pollutants from the water of the Thames River, London's primary source for drinking water.)

Equestrian Braid by Ralph Lauren is a fabulous stainless steel flatware pattern that features a woven geometric handle design and a glossy finish. The distinctive braided look of this pattern is the perfect complement to the alluring Kutani Crane china and stylish Wellesley-Clear glassware featured here. True to form, Ralph Lauren relied on understated elements and simple lines in creating Equestrian Braid, but the total look in terms of design sophistication for a stainless pattern is amazing. Lauren has achieved tremendous success relying on a formula that combines balance and complexity with classic patterns and shapes - elements all present in the Equestrian Braid flatware pattern.

July 02, 2015

Summer Blooms and Butterflies

Charnwood is a gorgeous bone china pattern produced by Wedgwood from 1951 to 1987. The asymmetrical floral design of the pattern features rich colors and verdant foliage replete with butterflies and other insects seamlessly incorporated into the design, complemented by stylish gold trim. In 1759, Josiah Wedgwood established a pottery at the "Ivy House Works" in Burslem, England. During his first 10 years of business, Wedgwood made many advances in the refining of porcelain. One of Wedgwood's most important creations was creamware, true fine china that was easy to produce, relatively inexpensive to make, easily decorated, and desired by royalty and commoner alike. In 1765, King George III's wife, Queen Charlotte, solicited Wedgwood to be "Potter to His and Her Majesty." As a result of his new title, Wedgwood changed the official name of his creamware to "Queen's Ware." Jasperware, a non-glazed porcelain featuring classical figures in bas-relief, was another important invention of Wedgwood's, and has become virtually synonymous with the Wedgwood name.

Reizart Charnia is a lovely blown glass pattern with a concave bowl that flares at the top, knobbed stem, and round foot. The exquisite bowl cuts depict a graceful butterfly amongst leaf and floral designs. If it looks as though Charnia crystal perfectly complements Charnwood china, that's because it was designed specifically for that purpose! The maker, Reizart Crystal, traces its beginnings to 1859, when German immigrant Charles Reizenstein founded the C. Reizenstein China & Crystal Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the 1950s, Charles' son, Louis, created a "Made to Match" product line. To create this line, Reizart purchased "blanks" from glass manufacturers like Duncan & Miller, Morgantown, Seneca Glass, and others (the Charnia pattern uses a blank by Bryce Crystal). The blanks would then be cut and decorated to coordinate with china patterns from companies like Castleton, Franciscan, Lenox, Syracuse, Wedgwood, Minton, and others. The coordinating china and crystal patterns were marketed together in many upscale department and jewelry stores. In the mid-1960s, Gorham Silver purchased Reizart Crystal, and for about five years advertised it as "Gorham/Reizart."

Produced from 1953 to 1991, Gorham Silver Decor (Sterling) is a remarkably graceful flatware pattern! Decor (Sterling) features a flowing asymmetrical design with a pierced handle, a floral and scroll edge, a plumed tip, and a glossy finish. The balance in proportions and shape represents the apex of great design, where each element enhances the effect of the whole. Decor (Sterling) offers an array of interesting place and serving pieces, including salt spoons, jelly servers, tomato servers, and much more. The pattern even includes a beautiful gold wash lapel pin! This elegant pattern was produced by a legendary American company. Its founder, Jabez Gorham, was born into a family of eight and apprenticed to eighteenth-century New England silver patriarch Nehemiah Dodge at a very early age. In 1831, Gorham founded his own company in Providence, RI. He quickly established a reputation for creating distinctive hand-crafted silver of the highest quality. Gorham Silver's reputation for excellence endures today.

June 24, 2015

Folk Art Design, European Flair

The Design Naif pattern by Villeroy & Boch comprises a variety of beautifully rendered folk art designs by internationally renowned artist Gerard LaPlau. Design Naif was chosen as the pattern's name for several reasons. The word "naif" spans a variety of languages. In Italian and Spanish it is translated as "simple" or "naive." In France and Germany, "naif" has been adopted as a cognate to label certain forms of nonspecific and brightly colored folk art. In the English speaking western world, "naifs" are folk artists who lack formal training. Also, the term "naif" was picked to pay tribute to the school of naive artists who emanated from France during the mid-to-late Victorian period. The foremost member of this group was Henri "Le Douanier" Rousseau. By day, Rousseau worked as a tollbooth collector; by night, he worked as an artist. His simple and brightly colored paintings were in stark contrast to the heavily ornate Victorian and Art Nouveau styles of the time. Design Naif is a showcase pattern for Germany's Villeroy & Boch. Family-owned since 1748 (the eighth generation of the founders actively creates and produces tableware designs), Villeroy & Boch is the world's largest producer of ceramics. Its wares include egg cups, bath tubs, the tiles in New York City's Holland Tunnel, and table settings for the Vatican in Rome.

Featuring polished cuts on an elegantly shaped bowl that flares at the top, a multi-sided, bulbous stem, and a round foot, Royal Crystal Rock Opera dances with light! The Opera pattern offers not only stemware, but also pitchers, bowls, and even ice buckets. Royal Crystal Rock is Italy's largest crystal manufacturer. Located in the town of Colle di Val d'Elsa, in Tuscany, Royal Crystal Rock's story begins in 1967, when Italian crystal companies Cristalleria Artistica Lavorazioni Brevettate and Cristalleria La Piana merged to form CALP. In 1975, CALP set up its first plant for the automatic production of stemware, and just four years later, CALP created  the Royal Crystal Rock brand to import and market its crystal products to the United States. By 2000, CALP was operating the world's largest electric melting furnace for the production of crystal. CALP changed its name in 2007 to RCR Cristalleria Italiana. Today, RCR continues its tradition of "passion for detail and taste for beauty that are the hallmarks of Tuscan artistic culture."

Christofle (France) America is a stylish silverplate pattern that features a flat end, an outlined, beveled edge, and a glossy finish. Christofle began production of America in 1991, and the understated design of this pattern is an excellent complement to the intricate charm of Design Naif and formal elegance of Opera. Christofle was founded in France in 1830 by jeweler Charles Christofle. After purchasing a patent for an electroplating technique in 1842, Christofle opened a large factory that was one of the first factories in the world to use electricity. By 1855, the quality of Christofle's products had garnered such acclaim that Emperor Napoleon III appointed Charles Christofle official purveyor to the French court. Christofle literature states, "Christofle has always seen its name associated with major creative trends, renowned artists such as Man Ray or Jean Cocteau, avant-garde architects such as Gio Ponti, and modernist silversmiths such as Lino Sabattini and Christian Fjerdingstad, as well as present-day designers such as Andree Putman, Martin Szekely or Ora ito. Today, as in the past, whether gracing the tables of emperors, princes, or maharajas, in palaces on board the Trans-Siberian Railway, Orient Express, or transatlantic ocean liners ... Christofle continues to make an impression."