The Design Naif pattern by Villeroy & Boch comprises a variety of beautifully rendered folk art designs by internationally renowned artist Gerard LaPlau. Design Naif was chosen as the pattern’s name for several reasons. The word “naif” spans a variety of languages. In Italian and Spanish it is translated as “simple” or “naive.” In France and Germany, “naif” has been adopted as a cognate to label certain forms of nonspecific and brightly colored folk art. In the English speaking western world, “naifs” are folk artists who lack formal training. Also, the term “naif” was picked to pay tribute to the school of naive artists who emanated from France during the mid-to-late Victorian period. The foremost member of this group was Henri “Le Douanier” Rousseau. By day, Rousseau worked as a tollbooth collector; by night, he worked as an artist. His simple and brightly colored paintings were in stark contrast to the heavily ornate Victorian and Art Nouveau styles of the time. Design Naif is a showcase pattern for Germany’s Villeroy & Boch. Family-owned since 1748 (the eighth generation of the founders actively creates and produces tableware designs), Villeroy & Boch is the world’s largest producer of ceramics. Its wares include egg cups, bath tubs, the tiles in New York City’s Holland Tunnel, and table settings for the Vatican in Rome.
Featuring polished cuts on an elegantly shaped bowl that flares at the top, a multi-sided, bulbous stem, and a round foot, Royal Crystal Rock Opera dances with light! The Opera pattern offers not only stemware, but also pitchers, bowls, and even ice buckets. Royal Crystal Rock is Italy’s largest crystal manufacturer. Located in the town of Colle di Val d'Elsa, in Tuscany, Royal Crystal Rock’s story begins in 1967, when Italian crystal companies Cristalleria Artistica Lavorazioni Brevettate and Cristalleria La Piana merged to form CALP. In 1975, CALP set up its first plant for the automatic production of stemware, and just four years later, CALP created the Royal Crystal Rock brand to import and market its crystal products to the United States. By 2000, CALP was operating the world’s largest electric melting furnace for the production of crystal. CALP changed its name in 2007 to RCR Cristalleria Italiana. Today, RCR continues its tradition of “passion for detail and taste for beauty that are the hallmarks of Tuscan artistic culture.”
Christofle (France) America is a stylish silverplate pattern that features a flat end, an outlined, beveled edge, and a glossy finish. Christofle began production of America in 1991, and the understated design of this pattern is an excellent complement to the intricate charm of Design Naif and formal elegance of Opera. Christofle was founded in France in 1830 by jeweler Charles Christofle. After purchasing a patent for an electroplating technique in 1842, Christofle opened a large factory that was one of the first factories in the world to use electricity. By 1855, the quality of Christofle’s products had garnered such acclaim that Emperor Napoleon III appointed Charles Christofle official purveyor to the French court. Christofle literature states, “Christofle has always seen its name associated with major creative trends, renowned artists such as Man Ray or Jean Cocteau, avant-garde architects such as Gio Ponti, and modernist silversmiths such as Lino Sabattini and Christian Fjerdingstad, as well as present-day designers such as Andree Putman, Martin Szekely or Ora ito. Today, as in the past, whether gracing the tables of emperors, princes, or maharajas, in palaces on board the Trans-Siberian Railway, Orient Express, or transatlantic ocean liners … Christofle continues to make an impression.”
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