Produced by Mikasa, Erte? Plates is a gorgeous series of collectible bone china decorated with Art Deco designs by Erte, the artist and designer widely considered to be the father of the Art Deco movement. This week's featured plate is titled "Le Soleil," and features a stylized drawing of a fashionable woman done in the clean, sharp, lines and bold colors that came to characterize the Art Deco movement. Erte was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on November 23, 1892. At the age of 22, Erte was offered a job creating cover art for Harper's Bazaar; he went on to illustrate 250 covers for the magazine over the course of the next 40 years. His illustrations also appeared in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Ladies' Home Journal, and Vogue. In addition to his illustrations, Erte designed costumes for both movie and theater productions in Hollywood and on Broadway, and produced art in various other mediums. The Erte' Plates series is a wonderful homage to Erte's artistry, and beautifully represents the craftsmanship and production excellence associated with Mikasa.
Featuring a beautiful variety of polished cuts on a v-shaped bowl that flares magnificently at the top, a multisided stem, and a starburst cut on a round foot, Ashbourne crystal by Waterford is an exquisite pattern. With its elaborate, eye-catching design, Ashbourne is an especially fine accompaniment to Erte' Plates china and Elysee flatware. Waterford Crystal dates back to the Flint Glass Works, founded in 1783 on the quay in the port town of Waterford when George and William Penrose opened the Flint Glass Works. In 1788, Waterford produced a glassware service as a gift to her Majesty, Charlotte Sophia, wife to King George III. The King and Queen were so charmed by the crystal service that they ordered the set to be displayed at Cheltenham castle. Today "Waterford" is synonymous with fine crystal, and is found in households around the world.
Elysee (Sterling) by Puiforcat Silver features a glossy finish and a narrow waist that broadens into an ornate handle adorned with graceful designs and a delicate plume at the tip. French silversmith Jean Puiforcat is widely considered to be one of the foremost silver designers of the twentieth century. Descended from generations of silversmiths, Puiforcat entered the family business in 1920. Puiforcat's early works drew inspiration from early nineteenth-century English silver designs and incorporated natural elements, keeping with the art nouveau style popular at the time. As Puiforcat's career progressed, however, his pieces began exhibiting less ornamentation, and moved toward a more streamlined, Art Deco aesthetic. It was around this time that Puiforcat began to develop a profound interest in mathematics. In a 1927 article, Puiforcat stated, "The weakness of certain of my pieces, that I am the first to recognize, comes from my incomplete education in numbers. My evolution follows my studies in geometry, in trigonometry." Puiforcat's fascination with mathematics influenced many of his silver designs; he was especially interested in employing the golden ratio to guide the proportions of his works. Although Puiforcat employed precise calculations in his pieces, he did so while maintaining a warm, sensual aesthetic. His legacy is one of a silversmith who created functional silver that continues to provide a "poetic sense to geometry."
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