Royal Winton is world-renowned for chintz china, and Sunshine, first produced around 1930, is one of the most exquisite examples of the company’s work. Rimmed, scalloped china, Sunshine bursts with pink and blue blossoms and green leaves against a white background, with the rim of the plate trimmed in rich gold. The word “chintz” derives from the Sanskrit, “chitra,” for “many colored.” Chintz calico was imported from India into Europe at the beginning of the seventeenth century. But not until three centuries later would the English popularize the decoration on dinnerware. Royal Winton developed a specialized transfer printing process to apply these bold, elaborate designs to china so that they could be produced affordably. Royal Winton’s first chintz design, Marguerite , was an immediate success upon its introduction in 1928. The company followed this success with another chintz pattern, Delphinium , three years later. Over the next 30 years, Royal Winton would release more than 50 chintz designs, including popular patterns like Summertime , Old Cottage Chintz , Welbeck , Sweet Pea , and Cheadle .
Featuring a dramatic criss cross cut and thumbprint bowl design, a thick, multisided stem, and a round foot, Park Lane by Stuart Crystal is a pattern of distinctive style. This water goblet has great presence on the table, and is a fantastic complement to the more intricate floral designs found in the Sunshine china and Bridal Rose silver patterns. Stuart was originally based in the village of Stourbridge, in the west midlands, considered by some to be the heartland of England’s crystal making industry in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The area was home to a number of master glassmakers who had emigrated from the Lorraine region of France, home to crystal makers like Baccarat and St Louis, firms that date from the sixteenth century. These French artisans contributed to the success of English firms like Stuart, Royal Brierly, Royal Doulton, Webb, and Corbett. The original Stuart Glass works are the site of a museum; the brand name has been purchased by the Waterford Wedgwood group.
Introduced in 1903, Bridal Rose by Alvin Silver is an exquisite art nouveau pattern that features a rose in full-bloom at its tip with crisp, detailed leaves and stems running the length of the handle. With its elegant, detailed ornamentation, Bridal Rose quickly became one of the most popular turn-of-the-century patterns after its introduction. During its prime, the Bridal Rose pattern featured more than 180 different piece types! Alvin Silver was founded in 1886 in New Jersey. One of their first successes was developing a process for depositing pure silver on metallic and non-metallic items like umbrella and cane handles. Another cutting-edge product line included glass items with silver inlays, a design technique subsequently referred to as “Alvin Ornamentation.” The company’s innovative products were so popular that Alvin had to expand within two years of its formation. In 1908, Alvin bought Simons Brothers and Peter Krider Company silver dies and molds, and also began making electroplated flatware. In 1928, Alvin was bought by Gorham Silver, but retained the Alvin Silver name. Alvin continued operating as a subsidiary of Gorham until Gorham stopped production of Alvin patterns in 1985. Today, Alvin Silver is best remembered for its Raphael , Bridal Rose , Viking , and Fleur de Lis patterns, and there is a continued interest in Alvin silver products among collectors.
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