I ndian Tree-Orange/Rust by Spode China is rimmed, scallop-shaped china featuring gold trim and an “Indian Tree” design on the center and rim. Inspired by earlier textile patterns from the subcontinent of India, Indian Tree was a popular china pattern during the latter half of the nineteenth century. The pattern includes the crooked, coral-like branches of a leafy, flowering tree set in an exotic landscape. Most Indian Tree patterns were made in green, blue, pink, or, like our featured Spode pattern, orange. Spode founder Josiah Spode opened the doors of his porcelain factory in 1780. Under his guidance, the factory introduced two important breakthroughs in the development of English ceramics. Using bone ash, Spode was the first English china maker to achieve higher firing temperatures, resulting in beautifully detailed, longer-lasting china. The company’s second important achievement was perfecting "underglaze" decorating. Intricate designs could be applied to china that would last for years without chipping, scratching, or fading. Bone ash composition and underglaze decorating were inexpensive – making fine china available to the English middle class at prices they could afford.
Blair House by Tiffin/Franciscan was produced from 1957 to 1971, and is a stunning crystal pattern. Blair House features a convex bowl with a dazzling polished cut design, a knobbed, multi-sided air-bubble stem, and a round, clear foot. The Tiffin Glass Company was founded in 1888, when the A.J. Beatty & Sons Glass Factory in Steubenville, Ohio, announced that it would be moving its facilities across the state to Tiffin, Ohio. The new plant began production in 1889, and just three years later, A.J. Beatty & Sons merged into the United States Glass Company. By 1963, USGC had gone into bankruptcy, but a year later, Tiffin Art Glass was born, reviving the company's tradition of quality stemware. When Tiffin Art Glass was acquired by the Continental Can Company two years later, it was renamed the Tiffin Glass Company. Tiffin became a division of the Interpace Corporation in January 1976, and introduced the Franciscan Ware line to its manufacture of pressed glass, sandwich glass, white milk glass, and stemware. In 1979, Leonard Silver Manufacturing Company, a division of Towle Silver, purchased the glassworks. Tiffin Glass Company remained under Leonard Silver’s control until closing its doors in 1983. Tiffin/Franciscan was long noted for the high quality of its crystal, and the gorgeous Blair House pattern featured here is a showcase of craftsmanship and design.
Reed & Barton’s Florentine Lace is a phenomenal sterling pattern that features an intricate pierced floral design and a glossy finish. The Florentine Lace sterling pattern was produced by Reed & Barton for more than 50 years, from 1951 to 2005! This elegant pattern is emblematic of its maker, Reed & Barton of Taunton, MA, a company that traces its origins to a jewelry store founded by Isaac Babbitt in 1822. After changes in ownership, the company began to use the “Reed & Barton” stamp on its silver in the 1840s. One of the company’s best-known patterns is Francis I. Introduced by Reed & Barton in 1907, Francis I quickly became a favorite of nobility and presidents (no less than four U.S. presidents dined with Francis I– Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Gerald Ford). Now well into its second century of operation, Reed & Barton is a leader in finely crafted sterling silver and stainless steel.
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