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Copper Plates and Horseless Carriages

 

Released in 1994, the Spode Georgian Collection is a multi-motif pattern that includes floral, botanical, and landscape scenes – the “Botanical” design featured here is an underglaze print from a hand-engraved copper plate first used to decorate Spode china about 1820.  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, at prices affordable to England’s burgeoning middle class.

While Villeroy & Boch is best known for its ceramics, which the company began producing in 1748, Villeroy & Boch in the 20th century introduced spectacular lines of flatware and crystal. Boston-Blue is a showcase crystal pattern released in 2003. Its dazzling blue color is accented by the crystal’s sturdy shape and raised design. The longevity of Villeroy & Boch is not the only rare characteristic of the company in a modern corporate world.  Despite the ravages of World War I and the Second World War, 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, bath tubs, the tiles in New York City’s Holland Tunnel, and table settings for the Vatican in Rome.

Introduced in 1921, William & Mary is scallop-shaped sterling with a delicate scroll design by Lunt Silver.  The pattern is named for William & Mary College in Virginia – founded in 1693, it is the institution of higher learning that Thomas Jefferson attended as a youth. 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 Co., in 1902.  Since 1935 the company has used the trade-name Lunt Silversmiths.

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