Blue Danube, produced 1951-2000 by Blue Danube (Japan), is scallop-shaped whiteware with Meissen blue floral designs. Patterns like Blue Danube come in a variety of forms, from antique flow blues to modern versions of centuries-old Oriental designs. The pattern name was inspired by the Danube river. Flowing from southeastern Germany into the Black Sea, the river’s pristine beauty has inspired artists, poets, and musicians for hundreds of years. It also represented a major trading route between Europe, the Middle East, and overland to the Orient. As early as the 16th and 17th centuries, Oriental designs became very popular in European tableware. Artists and designers of the period were enamored with Oriental art, particularly with its floral designs and repeating geometric forms. Johann Joachim Kandler (1706-1775), a German ceramicist, is credited with creating the original Blue Danube design.
Fostoria Virginia-Dark Blue is pressed glass with a concave, squarish bowl that features thumbprint panels with a multi-sided stem and foot. The balance of the design is remarkable. Founded in Fostoria, OH, in 1887, the Fostoria company relocated to Moundsville, WV, shortly thereafter, because of that region’s abundant natural resources. Produced in the tradition of colored glassware introduced by Fostoria in the 1920s, Virginia-Dark Blue was very successful for the company – it was one of the original Virginia colors released in 1980. Virginia-Dark Blue remained in production through 1986. During that period no less than 11 Virginia colors – amethyst, brown, clear, emerald, green, light blue, light green, peach, pink, smokey grey, and yellow – were introduced. After meeting decades of stiff foreign competition with classic designs and innovative glass-making methods, Fostoria operations were shut down in 1983.
Elegant Roseland (Stainless) by Reed & Barton features an embossed rose design by a silver maker long celebrated for its magnificent floral patterns. Among the best-known of Reed & Barton’s floral designs is Les Cinq Fleurs (Five Flowers) , a multi-motif pattern with individual pieces featuring the fleur-de-lis, orchid, poppy, wild rose, and peony. Roseland (Stainless), introduced in 1990, is a design heir to this tradition. Reed & Barton of Taunton, MA, traces its origins to a jewelry store founded by Isaac Babbitt in 1822. When ownership of the original firm changed, the company began to use the “Reed & Barton” stamp on its silverware in the 1840s. One Rose (Stainless) , released in 1962; Roseland (Stainless); and French Floral , introduced circa 2004, are just a few of the stainless steel patterns that demonstrate the innovative design, premium quality, and rich tradition Reed & Barton customers have enjoyed for nearly two centuries.
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