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.
While the company is best known for its ceramics, Villeroy & Boch introduced spectacular lines of flatware and crystal in the twentieth century. Retro Country-Blue is a showcase glassware pattern released in 2004. Its stylish crisscross cuts are accented by the crystal’s sturdy shape and bulbous, knobbed stem. The bold shape and lovely color of this glassware is a fantastic complement to the equally bold designs of Design Naif china and Flambe flatware. Founded near Luxembourg in 1748, the longevity of Villeroy & Boch is not the only rare characteristic of the company in a modern corporate world. Surviving the ravages and devastation of World War I and the World War II, Villeroy & Boch remains a family owned business; 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, bathtubs, the tiles in New York City’s Holland Tunnel, and table settings for the Vatican in Rome.
Oneida Flambe is a stylish stainless steel pattern that features a rounded end, a beveled edge design, and a glossy finish. Oneida, Ltd. grew out of the original Oneida Community founded in upstate New York by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848. This Christian communal society was based upon the principles of individual self-perfection and shared property. Many products were manufactured by the Oneida Community, including animal traps, silk, chains, and, eventually, some of the world's most recognizable, high-quality, and beautifully designed flatware. During World War I and World War II, Oneida began producing many products for the U.S. military, including ammunition clips, combat knives, surgical instruments, and silverware for the Army and Navy. When stainless steel was introduced to the market in the early twentieth century, it failed to make an immediate impression on the flatware industry. Oneida, however, decided to shift its focus from sterling to stainless flatware production. Strong research and development greatly improved the quality of stainless steel as a dinnerware material, facilitating Oneida’s success in the stainless flatware market. Today, Oneida, Ltd. is one of the world’s largest marketers of stainless steel flatware, positioned to continue being a leader in the tableware industry for generations to come.
To browse and order in a great selection of china, crystal, and stainless pieces, start at these links!