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Exotic Influence, American Craftsmanship


Mikasa Imperial Peony is gorgeous rimmed china with flowing, floral border designs rendered in blue, orange, and gold. Artfully displayed in the center of the plate is a graceful, blossoming peony plant spilling out of a beautiful blue and gold vase. With its Asian-influenced design, the Imperial Peony pattern beautifully represents the craftsmanship and production excellence associated with the Mikasa company. In the early 1930s, Mikasa was established as an international trading company based in Secaucus, New Jersey. The company, while wholly American, looked to Japan for inspiration. Named in honor of Prince Mikasa, the youngest brother of Emperor Hirohito, Mikasa soon established itself as one of the most recognized Japanese brand names in the West. Importing merchandise produced by a network of over 150 manufacturers worldwide, the company itself never attempted to make any of the dinnerware it sold. Rather, the Mikasa branded items were imported from Japan, Ireland, England, France, and Germany. Business exploded in the 1950s, and tableware became the staple business for Mikasa. Customer requests were pouring in from all parts of the country, and department stores including Bloomingdale's and Macy's could not keep enough stock to meet demand. Consumers found Mikasa ceramics to be very strong, versatile, and stylish. By the beginning of the 1960s, Mikasa had established a reputation as "the pioneer of American casual." Today, Mikasa continues to leverage the momentum it has built over the decades since its inception.

Navarre-Clear, a blown glass design produced by Fostoria from 1936 to 1982, features a concave bowl, flared top, a knobbed, textured stem, and a round foot. The elegant optic bowl features an etched floral design, making Navarre-Clear a wonderful complement to the Imperial Peony and Michelangelo patterns. Founded in 1888, Fostoria competed actively against Cambridge, Heisey, and Westmoreland Glass over the years before emerging as leader in the American glassware market. The rise of industry throughout the nineteenth century had Americans replacing afternoon teas and luncheons with casual brunches and after-work cocktail parties; Fostoria’s patterns (both colored and clear) were ideal for this new trend of polished casual entertaining. Although many of Fostoria’s competitors would be forced out of business during the Great Depression, innovative marketing techniques and business-savvy managers would allow Fostoria to survive. During the World War II period, Fostoria produced many of its most famous patterns, including Chintz , Colony , Romance , and Holly . Although the company closed in 1986 due to increased foreign competition, Fostoria continues to be an American legend in tableware design, and Fostoria pieces remain highly collectible.

Oneida Michelangelo is a stylish stainless pattern that features a detailed, elaborate design that combines floral elements and scrolls, and a scalloped, closed-heel handle with a flower tip. Oneida began production of Michelangelo in 1970, and the opulent look of this pattern serves as a wonderful complement to the intricate designs of Imperial Peony and Navarre-Clear. 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!


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