July 30, 2015

Summer Fruits and Berries

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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."

May 26, 2015

Vibrant American Tableware

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When the ground-breaking Desert Rose pattern by Franciscan China premiered in 1941, it became an overnight success. The pattern even had a fan in Jackie Kennedy, who ordered Franciscan pieces for use on Air Force One and in the White House. The inspiration for Desert Rose has been attributed to Annette Honeywell, a California freelance artist. Based on Honeywell's designs, Franciscan artist Mary Winans modeled the beautifully shaped Desert Rose pattern that would go on to be touted as "the most popular pattern ever made in America." The pattern features a hand-painted underglaze floral design with a palette of natural pinks, yellows, and greens. The bold earthenware bodies of each piece are accented with serpentine vines that perfectly complement the green leaves and elegant rose blossoms that cascade across each piece. Desert Rose stood as a warm, distinctly American contrast to the petite floral designs and gilded accents of traditional European bone china. During the decades after its release, Franciscan created 105 different piece types bearing the hand-painted "Desert Rose" design. This selection included salt and pepper shakers, snack trays, tea tiles, oatmeal bowls, tureens, steak plates, cookie jars, mixing bowls, canisters, a variety of pitchers, and many more. Replacements, Ltd. carries a very large selection of Desert Rose pieces produced in both the United States and England.

Its wonderful pink color and curved panels make Imperial Glass-Ohio Old Williamsburg-Dark (Azalea Pink) a distinctive pattern. With a knobbed, multi-sided stem and concave bowl flaring at the top, Old Williamsburg-Dark (Azalea Pink) was produced from 1966 to 1972, yet draws inspiration from earlier patterns made famous by Imperial Glass-Ohio in the 1930s. The company, founded in 1901 by Edward Muhleman, a riverboat captain and financier who had enjoyed success in other glass-making ventures, produced widely popular glassware designs for eight decades. Based in Bellaire, OH, Imperial Glass-Ohio was able to pull through the Great Depression due to the success of legendary patterns like Candlewick-Clear and Cape Cod in the late 1930s. Imperial Glass-Ohio pieces are highly sought-after by collectors.

Oneida Ballad/Country Lane is a stylish silverplate pattern produced from 1953 to 2000 - almost 50 years! Ballad/Country Lane features a chic, flowing floral design, and a glossy finish. Oneida, Ltd. grew out of the original Oneida Community founded in upstate New York by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848. This Christian communal society was based upon the principles of individual self-perfection and shared property. Many products were manufactured by the Oneida Community, including animal traps, silk, chains, and, eventually, some of the world's most recognizable, high-quality, and superbly designed flatware. During World War I and World War II, Oneida began producing many products for the U.S. military, including ammunition clips, combat knives, surgical instruments, and silverware for the Army and Navy. When stainless steel was introduced to the market in the early twentieth century, it failed to make an immediate impression on the flatware industry. Oneida, however, decided to shift its focus from sterling to stainless flatware production. Strong research and development greatly improved the quality of stainless steel as a dinnerware material, facilitating Oneida's success in the stainless flatware market. Today, Oneida, Ltd. is one of the world's largest marketers of stainless steel flatware, positioned to continue being a leader in the tableware industry for generations to come.

May 19, 2015

Timeless American Design

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The Poppy pattern by Franciscan was produced from 1950 to 1955. This everyday pattern is adorned with a bold, richly hued floral design of bright yellow California poppies accented by purple lupine and lovely green leaves. When California-based Franciscan tableware premiered in 1934, it was 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. The company's now-legendary line of hand-painted, raised-pattern designs includes Desert Rose, Apple, Fresh Fruit, and Ivy. Ivy was even featured on the sets of the "I Love Lucy" show with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and the "Donna Reed Show," which ran on broadcast TV 1958-1966.

Bryce Symphony-Amethyst is blown glass with a gorgeous amethyst-colored concave bowl that flares at the top, a round, amethyst-colored foot, and a clear, ribbed stem that showcases multi-faceted knobbed elements. Bryce Brothers Company was incorporated in 1896, but the history of the company began much earlier, when ten-year-old James Bryce journeyed from Scotland to America in 1827. Determined to learn a trade in the glass industry, Bryce soon became an apprentice at Bakewell, Page, & Bakewell, a glassworks in Pittsburgh, PA. By 1850, Bryce had founded the company that would go on to become Bryce Brothers. Although the Symphony pattern was only produced in amethyst and clear, many of the Bryce Brothers' glass patterns were produced in a variety of colors, including amber, ruby, green, pink, cobalt blue, cerulean blue, topaz, citron, chartreuse, dusk, and more. The vibrant color and bold shape of Symphony-Amethyst crystal serve as the ideal complement to the more delicate colors of Poppy china and elaborate design of Poppy sterling.

Gorham Silver began production of the Poppy sterling pattern in 1902. Poppy features an intricate cameo design and glossy finish, beautifully accented with an array of poppy flowers, leaves, and stems along the handle that culminates in a wonderfully detailed poppy in full blossom at the scalloped tip. Gorham has earned a reputation as one of the pre-eminent design companies in silver tableware. The White House has used Gorham silver services during several administrations; Mary Todd Lincoln purchased an impressive tea and flatware service for use in the White House, and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant asked Gorham to commemorate the United States' centennial anniversary with a spectacular Century Vase that contained over 2,000 ounces of sterling silver. Gorham's reputation for excellence endures today, and their well-earned design pedigree is easily recognized in the gorgeous Poppy pattern.

May 14, 2015

Exquisite Rose-themed Tableware Designs

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First produced in 1951, Delaware (New York) by Haviland is scalloped-rimmed, cream-colored china with delicate, beautifully rendered roses decorating the center and rim, and an embossed edge with gold trim. The story of Haviland China begins in 1841, when David Haviland of D.G. & D. Haviland Trading Co., New York, embarked with his wife, Mary, and son, Charles, for France. Their destination was Limoges, a city 200 miles southeast of Paris, world-renowned for its production of fine porcelain. The region was rich in kaolin, cream-colored clay that yielded superior porcelain. Haviland, intent on producing the world's finest china, obtained permits from the French government to build a state-of-the-art china factory in 1853. Haviland refused to send his pottery to Paris for decoration as most other potters did at the time; instead, he decorated his own creations. Within two years, Haviland's keen business sense and ingenuity had aided him in establishing one of the most advanced china producing facilities of its time.

Elaine-Clear crystal by Cambridge flares at the top, with a graceful, cascading floral design etched on the concave bowl. The stem of the glass is ornate, with a textured, molded design, and a round foot. This shapely, intricate pattern is the epitome of elegance! The Cambridge Glass Company was founded in 1873, when a group of businessmen from the town of Cambridge, Ohio chartered a glass producing facility.  Most of the company's early designs were heavy, pressed-glass patterns. The company achieved steady growth during the early part of the twentieth century, and during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s the company released its most successful shapes, colors, and etchings. In 1931, the company debuted its very successful Rose Point etching, as well as the popular Nude Stems collection.  Many of the company's most famous colors were developed during this period, including "Carmen," "Crown Tuscan," "Royal Blue," and "Heatherbloom."  Soon after the end of World War II, the company began to experience declining sales. In 1958, the company closed its doors, and Imperial Glass acquired all of Cambridge's molds and equipment.  While the Cambridge company is now closed, its legacy lives on at Replacements.

Produced from 1958 to 1997, Rose Elegance is a gorgeous sterling pattern by Lunt Silver.  Rose Elegance features a beautiful rose design that adorns a handle with a scrolled edge. The floral design elements of Rose Elegance make it the perfect flatware accompaniment for the Delaware (New York) and Elaine-Clear patterns above. Lunt was founded as the A. F. Towle & Son Mfg. Co. in 1880 in Newburyport, MA. Towle and his son left the company and built a new factory in Newburyport under the name A.F. Towle & Son Company. After moving to Greenfield, MA, in 1890, the firm went into automobile manufacturing and produced one of the first "horseless carriages" in America. Lack of financing caused the endeavor to fail, and George C. Lunt, who had been apprenticed to Towle, established Rogers, Lunt & Bowlen Company in 1902. Since 1935, the company has used the trade name Lunt Silversmiths. The company's Embassy Scroll pattern has been selected by the U.S. government as the official tableware for all U.S. consulates and embassies.

May 12, 2015

Italian Inspiration, American Design

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Montreal by Wedgwood China was first produced in 1930. Montreal is rimmed Wellesley-shaped china with an ornate cream-colored embossing on a cream-colored rim. The brilliant center design of Montreal includes a colorful bounty of flowers, verdant stems and leaves, and flitting butterflies. 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.

Cellini (Loop Optic) is a blown glass design produced by Fostoria from 1938 to 1970, featuring a concave bowl, flared top, a knobbed, molded stem, and a round foot. The loop optic design gives the bowl a rippled effect similar to cascading water, making this elegant design a wonderful contrast to the floral intricacy of the Montreal and Della Robbia patterns. Founded in 1888, Fostoria competed actively against Cambridge, Heisey, and Westmoreland Glass over the years before emerging as leader in the American glassware market. The rise of industry throughout the nineteenth century had Americans replacing afternoon teas and luncheons with casual brunches and after-work cocktail parties; Fostoria’s patterns (both colored and clear) were ideal for this new trend of polished casual entertaining. Although many of Fostoria’s competitors would be forced out of business during the Great Depression, innovative marketing techniques and business-savvy managers would allow Fostoria to survive. During the World War II war period, Fostoria produced many of its most famous patterns, including Chintz, Colony, Romance, and Holly. Although the company closed in 1986 due to increased foreign competition, Fostoria continues to be an American legend in tableware design, and Fostoria pieces remain highly collectible.

Designed in 1922, the Alvin Silver Della Robbia pattern features intricate floral and garland embellishments, stylish scrolls, and scalloped ends. The design of Della Robbia was inspired by Luca Della Robbia, a fifteenth-century Italian sculptor best known for his glazed terra cotta sculptures. Alvin Silver was founded in 1886 in New Jersey. One of their first successes was developing a process for depositing pure silver on metallic and non-metallic items like umbrella and cane handles. Another cutting-edge product line included glass items with silver inlays, a design technique subsequently referred to as “Alvin Ornamentation.” The company’s innovative products were so popular that Alvin had to expand within two years of its formation. In 1908, Alvin bought Simons Brothers and Peter Krider Company silver dies and molds, and also began making electroplated flatware. In 1928, Alvin was bought by Gorham Silver, but retained the Alvin Silver name. Alvin continued operating as a subsidiary of Gorham until Gorham stopped production of Alvin patterns in 1985. Today, Alvin Silver is best remembered for its Raphael, Bridal Rose, Viking, and Fleur de Lis patterns, and there is a continued interest in Alvin silver products among collectors.