Fine bone china produced by Wedgwood from 1973 to 1995, Cuckoo is scallop-shaped, featuring large floral designs accented by a cuckoo perched on a stem. The rim is finished with gold trim. The shapes of the pieces, both place setting and serving, are exquisitely balanced. The year 2009 marks the quarter-millennial (250th anniversary) of the founding of the Wedgwood company in Burslem, Staffordshire, the heart of England’s pottery-making region. Founder Josiah Wedgwood was a remarkable innovator. One of his most important creations was black basalt, fine-grained English stoneware superior to any that had been previously produced. Another watershed Wedgwood creation was creamware. Fired at higher temperatures than traditional English earthenware, creamware was non-porous, extremely durable, and relatively inexpensive. Wedgwood’s crowning achievement was Jasperware, non-glazed porcelain featuring classical figures in bas-relief, now virtually synonymous with the Wedgwood name.
Persian Pheasant (Optic) by Tiffin/Franciscan is a crystal pattern of subtle beauty. Two pheasants are perched in the foliage of a flower-filled urn on the bowl of the glass, which also has a straight-line optic design. The stem of the glass is knobbed and ribbed, with a round, clear foot. The pheasant etching is highly ornate, reminiscent of the intricate Persian designs we often associate with the magnificent carpets of the region (now Iran). The Persian pheasant, often called the ring-necked pheasant, was introduced to the North American continent in the 1880s, and would have been familiar to outdoorsmen in Ohio, where Tiffin Glass Company was located. Tiffin/Franciscan, in its heyday one of the largest glass makers in its region, was long noted for the high quality of its crystal. Shimmering, delicate Persian Pheasant (Optic) is a masterwork.
First produced in 1936, Gorham King Edward is scallop-shaped sterling silver with a fan/plume design at the tip; elegant scroll and floral designs highlight the design. As would be expected from an older sterling pattern, King Edward features a wide array of place setting and serving pieces, including a tomato server, small sugar tongs, petits fours server, lemon fork, bon bon spoon, and jelly server, to name a few. For more than 150 years, Gorham Silver has been known as one of the preeminent silver companies in the world, its pieces valued for their quality, timeless style, and craftsmanship. Founded in 1831 by Jabez Gorham in a shop on Steeple Street in Providence, Rhode Island, Gorham has developed a reputation for uncompromising artistry. Its silversmiths have gained fame for producing a multitude of exquisite patterns, including Chantilly, Strasbourg, Buttercup, Fairfax, Melrose, and hundreds more.
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