Spode Blue Italian (Camilla, Newer) uses elements from English landscape painting – architectural ruins, a castle, herdsmen with cattle, romping dogs, a female figure reading under a tree – all in applied art for the table. Spode founder Josiah Spode opened the doors of his porcelain factory in 1780. Under his guidance, the factory introduced two important breakthroughs in the development of English ceramics. Using bone ash, Spode was the first English china maker to achieve higher firing temperatures, resulting in beautifully detailed, longer-lasting china. The company’s second important achievement was perfecting "underglaze" decorating. Intricate designs could be applied to china that would last for years without chipping, scratching, or fading. Bone ash composition and underglaze decorating were inexpensive – making fine china available to the English middle class at prices they could afford.
While the company is best known for its ceramics, Villeroy & Boch introduced spectacular lines of flatware and crystal in the twentieth century. Boston is a showcase glassware pattern released in 2003. Its stylish cuts are accented by the crystal’s sturdy shape, knobbed stem, and round foot. The bold shape of this glassware is a fantastic complement to the more intricate designs of Blue Italian china and Country Manor silver. Founded near Luxembourg in 1748, the longevity of Villeroy & Boch is not the only rare characteristic of the company in a modern corporate world. Surviving the ravages and devastation of World War I and the World War II, Villeroy & Boch remains a family owned business; 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, bathtubs, the tiles in New York City’s Holland Tunnel, and table settings for the Vatican in Rome.
Country Manor by Towle Silver is a striking sterling silver pattern first produced in 1966, which features a scalloped tip, a graceful scroll motif, and a glossy finish. 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, alluring design, and quality will ensure its continued success in the silver tableware market.
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