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Masterful French and Italian Designs

 

The vibrant Koutani  by Ceralene features a rim and verge adorned with bands of colorful floral designs in blue, green, red, and gold hues. The asymmetrical center design is composed of graceful sprays of exotic flowers. Produced by Raynaud, Ceralene is “continental” china, the hardest of the three main kinds of china produced today. Fired at nearly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, Ceralene’s thin body is perfectly white and translucent with a fine clear ring when tapped. Raynaud, a manufacturer known and recognized since 1894 as a leader in applied art in tableware design, was established in Limoges, France, a city world renowned for its artistry in fine porcelain. According to Ceralene company literature, Ceralene china “... is different from any other Limoges marketed today in both quality and styling. Many patterns are exact reproductions or adaptations of museum pieces of the 18th century. They constitute a truly distinctive china in the best French table tradition.” Our featured Koutani pattern is a wonderful example of Ceralene’s dedication to artistry and quality in applied ceramic arts.

St Louis Excellence is blown glass with a concave bowl and a flared top, a knobbed, multisided stem with a V notch shape, and round foot with a cut design. The water goblet in the Excellence pattern measures 10 1/4-inches tall, and its towering stature combines with an intricate crosshatched geometric design, multi-faceted polished cuts, and gold trim to make Excellence an extraordinarily lavish crystal pattern! Its maker, St Louis, is acclaimed as the oldest “cristallerie” in France – the firm was founded in 1586 in the Lorrain region, renowned world-wide for the magnificent quality of its crystal. In Lorrain is the town of Baccarat, home to a crystal museum and one of the most famous crystal makers in the world. This rich tradition comes to dazzling life in the beauty of St Louis Excellence crystal.

Buccellati Silver Empire is a gorgeous sterling pattern that features a beveled, outlined design, scallop shape at the end of the handle, geometric and floral design elements, and a glossy finish. While Empire is very stylish, its understated design is an ideal complement to the more elaborate Koutani and Excellence patterns. Empire is emblematic of its maker, Buccellati Silver. Buccellati is a name known in the silver world since the 1750s, when Contardo Buccellati gained renown as a goldsmith in Milan, Italy. In 1903, one of Contardo’s descendents, Mario Buccellati, continued the family tradition when he began working as an apprentice at Beltrami & Beltrami, a jewelry firm located near the La Scala opera house in Milan. By 1919, Mario had taken over the company, and focused on the art of engraving. He gained acclaim with his Renaissance-inspired designs and detailed engraving and piercing methods that made his pieces resemble fine fabrics like linen, tulle, and lace. Mario’s exquisite artistry prompted Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio to refer to him as the “prince of goldsmiths.” Over the years, Buccellati has crafted jewelry for the royal families of Italy, Spain, and Egypt. Today, the Buccellati firm continues its tradition of excellence under the leadership of the Buccellati family.

To browse and order in a great selection of china, crystal, and sterling pieces, start at these links!

 

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