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Classic American Designs

 

Homer Laughlin Fiesta-Rose (Older) is an iconic 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. 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!

Duncan & Miller Starlight is blown glass with floral and star cut designs on a convex bowl that flares at the top. The ribbed stem features molded design elements that add a pleasing effect to the glass’s overall shape. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Duncan & Miller got its start in 1865, when George Duncan bought the Ripley & Company glass factory and created Duncan & Sons, a partnership between Duncan and his sons, Harry B. Duncan and James E. Duncan, and his son-in-law, Augustus H. Heisey. Later, John Ernest Miller joined the company as a designer, and, during the next 52 years, would become world renowned for his glass designs. The period from 1893 to the closing of the plant in 1955 is generally known as the Duncan-Miller period, although the partnership was not official until 1900, when the firm was incorporated as Duncan & Miller Glass Company. The handmade glass at the Duncan & Miller Glass Company was distinguished by the artistry of design, the skill of the workers, the batch formulas, and the lovely colors of their glassware. Many of the Duncan & Miller pieces required ten or more people to create each piece. Duncan & Miller ceased production in 1955, as machines and assembly lines made the production of handmade glass not profitable. Duncan & Miller glass is now highly sought by collectors.

Newport Shell by Towle Silver was produced for almost a century, from 1910 to 2001. Newport Shell is an exquisite sterling pattern with a charming shell motif, beaded edge design, and a glossy finish. The understated look of the Newport Shell design works well with the bold Fiesta-Rose and Starlight patterns by Homer Laughlin and Duncan & Miller. 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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