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Italian Influence, American Design

 

Inspired by the Italian coastline, the rustic Napoli stoneware pattern by Pfaltzgraff showcases a vibrant color palette of oranges, greens, yellows, and blues. Various pieces of this charming multi-motif pattern feature colorful flowers, roosters, and fruits. The Pfaltzgraff Pottery Company 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 the area, 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.

The understated elegance of Mikasa Crystal Venezia is a wonderful complement to the charming Napoli china and Artesia flatware patterns featured this week. This chic blown glass design features a bowl that curves in at the top, a graceful stem and a round foot. In the early 1930s, Mikasa was established as an international trading company based in Secaucus, New Jersey. The company, while wholly American, looked to Japan for inspiration. Named in honor of Prince Mikasa, the youngest brother of Emperor Hirohito, Mikasa soon established itself as one of the most recognized Japanese brand names in the West. Importing merchandise produced by a network of over 150 manufacturers worldwide, the company itself never attempted to make any of the dinnerware it sold. Rather, the Mikasa branded items were imported from Japan, Ireland, England, France, and Germany. Business exploded in the 1950s, and tableware became the staple business for Mikasa. Customer requests were pouring in from all parts of the country, and department stores including Bloomingdale's and Macy's could not keep enough stock to meet demand. Consumers found Mikasa ceramics to be very strong, versatile, and stylish. By the beginning of the 1960s, Mikasa had established a reputation as "the pioneer of American casual." Today, Mikasa continues to leverage the momentum it has built over the decades since its inception.

Artesia by Pfaltzgraff Silver is 18/8 stainless flatware (18/8 represents the ratio of chromium and nickel used in the stainless steel, which adds luster and durability to the pieces) featuring a scalloped tip, a glossy finish, and a delightful shell motif. The whimsical design of the Artesia pattern is a wonderful complement to the vibrant colors in Napoli china and the playful contours of Venezia crystal. This pattern is sure to add a touch of excitement to any table! Pfaltzgraff is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year – a landmark achievement in tableware production. As Pfaltzgraff literature states, “Pfaltzgraff has a long-standing tradition of excellence in craftsmanship, quality and service. Today, like never before and like nowhere else, this tradition extends to the finest, widest variety of home products available in the best home brands. This commitment to being responsive to its customers, and to adapting its products and policies to their ever-changing needs, has enabled Pfaltzgraff to prosper for almost two centuries.”

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

 

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