Pembroke-Gold Trim by John Aynsley & Sons features a sprawling, brilliantly colored floral motif based on an Asian-inspired, 18th-century Aynsley design. Aynsley China is one of the most influential companies in the British tableware industry, producing iconic designs like Wild Tudor, Cottage Garden, and the Pembroke pattern featured here. The company was founded in 1775, when John Aynsley, chairman of a local coal mine in Stoke-on-Trent, England (and a passionate collector of pottery, tableware, and ornamental pieces), decided to open a pottery business. Using local Staffordshire clay and elaborate designs created from his own engravings, he founded a business that quickly prospered. The firm was carried on by his son, James, but it was Aynsley’s grandson, John II, who would take the company to great heights. John II changed the company's focus from producing pottery to making fine bone china. Using a special formula, Aynsley produced bone china that was exceptionally strong, translucent, and white in color. As the Aynsley reputation for creating fine china grew, Queen Victoria herself took notice. She commissioned Aynsley to produce a set of ornate tableware for her personal use. Having a commission from Her Majesty enabled Aynsley to use the royal family seal in its logo, affirming the company's reputation, and its place in dinnerware history.
Triomphe is an alluring crystal pattern whose inspiration was drawn from the couture creations of the renowned designer Christian Dior. Christian Dior burst on the design scene in 1946, when he opened The House of Dior in Paris, France. Assisted by the financial backing of Marcel Boussac, Dior designed and introduced his first clothing collection in 1947. The line was appropriately titled “New Look” and featured rounded shoulders, a cinched waist, and full length skirts. In spite of the criticism surrounding his earliest work, demand for Dior designs grew quickly throughout the world. As Dior’s popularity increased, he earned the title “The World’s Dictator of Fashion.” In 1953, Dior took Yves Saint Laurent as his protege. Upon Dior’s death in 1957, Yves Saint Laurent took over as head of the House of Dior. In a little more than a decade, Christian Dior became the most popular fashion designer of the 20th century, with designs gracing royalty and stars alike. Today, the House of Dior remains one of the most popular design houses in the world. Our featured crystal pattern this week, Triomphe, is a glorious example of tableware inspired by Christian Dior’s design talent.
A scalloped tip and a delicate, graceful shape make up the beautiful design of Grand Colonial sterling, first produced by Wallace Silver in 1942. Wallace Silver, established in Connecticut nearly two centuries ago, has long been recognized for excellence in tableware craftsmanship. The founder of the company, Robert Wallace, was born in 1815 into a family of silversmiths who had emigrated to New England from Scotland. Apprenticed to William Mix, a renowned Connecticut spoon maker, Wallace purchased a dilapidated grist mill after mastering his trade, and began to produce his own silver flatware in 1833. Grand Colonial is just one of many examples of Wallace Silver’s high-quality work.
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