Chinese Tree by Minton, produced from 1820 to 1969 (almost 150 years!), features an asymmetrical, exotic flowering tree design that covers the center and border of the plate, and continuous, elaborate ornamentation around the rim. Minton is one of England’s oldest china makers. The company was founded in 1793 at Stoke-on-Trent, in the heart of England’s Staffordshire china-producing region, by Thomas Minton, William Pownall, and Joseph Poulson. Along with the rise of the middle class in nineteenth-century industrial England – with greater attention to household finery and more discretionary income – came the rise of Minton. The company introduced patterns and manufacturing processes that made their high-quality china more attractive and affordable to the English middle class. They continue producing luxurious dinnerware and remain leaders in the market of tableware production and design. Replacements, Ltd. carries a number of Minton’s patterns, including Haddon Hall (their most popular pattern), Bellemeade, Ancestral, and Jasmine .
Duncan & Miller Starlight is blown glass with floral and star polished cut designs on a convex bowl that flares at the top. The ribbed stem features molded design elements that add a pleasing effect to the glass’s overall shape. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Duncan & Miller got its start in 1865, when George Duncan bought the Ripley & Company glass factory and created Duncan & Sons, a partnership between Duncan and his sons, Harry B. Duncan and James E. Duncan, and his son-in-law, Augustus H. Heisey. Later, John Ernest Miller joined the company as a designer, and, during the next 52 years, would become world renowned for his glass designs. The period from 1893 to the closing of the plant in 1955 is generally known as the Duncan-Miller period, although the partnership was not official until 1900, when the firm was incorporated as Duncan & Miller Glass Company. The handmade glass at the Duncan & Miller Glass Company was distinguished by the artistry of design, the skill of the workers, the batch formulas, and the lovely colors of their glassware. Many of the Duncan & Miller pieces required ten or more people to create each piece. Duncan & Miller ceased production in 1955, as machines and assembly lines made the production of handmade glass not profitable. Duncan & Miller glass is now highly sought by collectors.
The rich, glossy Camellia sterling pattern was produced by Gorham Silver from 1941 to 2007. Camellia features a symmetric design tastefully accented with camellia flowers along each edge of the handle. The camellia is a type of flowering plant native to eastern and southern Asia, named by Carl Linnaeus after Georg Joseph Kamel, a Jesuit missionary and botanist. The partial floral design of Gorham’s Camellia pattern creates a faceted, scroll-like effect, and the round tip of the handle and understated center design combine to create a refined, elegant look. Gorham has earned a reputation as one of the pre-eminent design companies in silver tableware. The White House has used Gorham silver services during several administrations; Mary Todd Lincoln purchased an impressive tea and flatware service for use in the White House, and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant asked Gorham to commemorate the United States’ centennial anniversary with a spectacular Century Vase that contained over 2,000 ounces of sterling silver. More recently, Gorham has expanded its product range to include fine china and crystal. Gorham’s reputation for excellence endures today, and their well-earned design pedigree is easily recognized in the gorgeous Camellia pattern.
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