Spode Christmas Tree was designed in 1938 by English designer Harold Holdway for Spode's North American counterpart, Copeland and Thompson. Since Holdway had never seen a Christmas tree decorated in the American style, his original sketch depicted Christmas presents hanging on the tree's limbs, like ornaments. When he was told gifts in America were placed under the tree, he revised his sketch to reflect that tradition. He did manage to leave a unique touch, however. Since he did not realize that most Americans used angels or stars as tree toppers, Holdway placed a figure of Santa Claus atop his tree design! While the unique design created some concern among Holdway’s North American colleagues, it was commissioned for production. The results have been spectacular – Spode Christmas Tree-Green Trim is the most popular of all the more than 425,000 patterns carried at Replacements, Ltd.!
Duncan & Miller First Love is blown glass with intricate floral designs etched on the bowl and a shapely ball stem. 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. Around 1892 Augustus Heisey left Duncan & Sons to start his own glass company in Newark Ohio. 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 unprofitable. Duncan & Miller glass is now highly sought by collectors.
First produced in 1951, International Silver Old Charleston is an alluring sterling flatware pattern with an elegant floral motif, a scalloped tip, and a glossy finish. International Silver started as a combination of America's greatest silver manufacturers. During the American Colonial period, New England was home to many artisans producing high-quality pewter, sterling, and silverplate, primarily in Connecticut. Around 1808, Ashbile Griswold opened a pewter shop in Meriden, Connecticut. Through mergers with regional companies, Griswold's original shop grew to comprise fourteen silver manufacturers, including Holmes and Edwards (Bridgeport), Meriden Britannia (Meriden), and Rogers Brothers (Hartford). In 1898, the International Silver Company became truly "international," establishing offices in England and Canada. Throughout the years, International Silver products have remained immensely popular.
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