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Striking Summer Patterns

 

Named for the Roman goddess of fruit, the Pomona pattern by Portmeirion features a wonderful palette of colors with life-like depictions of fruits in its designs. The artistic depictions of different fruits are based on illustrations from “Pomona Britannica,” a book originally published in 1812 that featured detailed illustrations of a variety of fruits. The “Hoary Morning Apple” plate featured here features a gorgeous red apple and delicate apple blossoms, all surrounded by carefully detailed leaves. First introduced in 1982, the Pomona pattern was designed by the co-founder of Portmeirion, Susan Williams-Ellis, who also designed Portmeirion’s most popular pattern, Botanic Garden . Susan’s art studies enabled her to design both shapes and surface patterns for Portmeirion (a combination of skills that was rare at the time), and her designs have become very popular.

Royal Pierpont-Pink is splendid crystal made by one of the best-known manufacturers in the world, Noritake. This graceful blown glass pattern features a gorgeous pink color, with a concave bowl that flares at the top, a swirl optic design, a pulled stem, and a round foot. Noritake produces many crystal patterns designed to complement its dinnerware. The company’s crystal and glassware collection includes handmade, mouth-blown, and machine-made stems. Noritake’s manufacturing supplies were cut off during World War II, but the company’s products again became available in 1948. Many of these post-war wares were created specifically with the American consumer in mind. For Noritake collectors, there are many historical ambiguities surrounding the company; destruction of company records during the war years means that some questions will never be answered.

Spring Vista by Lenox Flatware is an 18/8 stainless steel pattern featuring a glossy finish, a sprightly floral motif, and a whimsical, asymmetrical design that perfectly complements the Pomona china and Royal Pierpont-Pink crystal patterns. Lenox China is a great American success story. It was founded in 1889 by Walter Scott Lenox as "The Lenox Ceramic Pottery Company." Born in 1859, Lenox was named for the nineteenth-century Scottish writer, Sir Walter Scott. Lenox grew up in Trenton, NJ, the "Staffordshire of America" of its time. With excellent transportation and good sources of fuel and clay, the state capital of New Jersey became the nation's leading center for ceramics production. Lenox first organized his company as an art studio, producing one-of-a-kind pieces for a select market. By 1897, examples of the company's work were displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and by 1906 the company was producing complete sets of dinnerware. In 1918, President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson commissioned a set of Lenox for the White House, making it the first American china to grace a U.S. president’s table. Lenox added hand-blown lead crystal to its product lines in 1966, and, with the addition of Lenox silver flatware in 1991, Lenox became the first American company to offer the complete tabletop. By the end of the twentieth century, about half the china on dinner tables in the United States was made by Lenox.

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