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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.

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