Les Oiseaux by Ceralene features an embossed rim adorned with various, colorful insects, and a center design comprising two beautifully plumed birds in a stylized tree. Les Oiseaux is inspired by a bird theme created by Meissen in the early eighteenth century. The Les Oiseaux dinnerware pieces are available in six different bird designs (the serving pieces are all decoration No. 1, and the accessory pieces are decorated with various designs). Produced by Raynaud, Ceralene is “continental” china, the hardest of the three main kinds of china produced today. Fired at nearly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, Ceralene’s thin body is perfectly white and translucent with a fine clear ring when tapped. Raynaud, a manufacturer known and recognized since 1894 as a leader in applied art in tableware design, was established in Limoges, France, a city world renowned for its artistry in fine porcelain. According to Ceralene company literature, Ceralene china “... is different from any other Limoges marketed today in both quality and styling. Many patterns are exact reproductions or adaptations of museum pieces of the 18th century. They constitute a truly distinctive china in the best French table tradition.” Our featured Les Oiseaux pattern is a wonderful example of Ceralene’s dedication to artistry and quality in applied ceramic arts.
Rothschild Bird by Justin Tharaud is blown glass crystal with a convex bowl that curves in at the top, a round foot, and a wafer stem. The Rothschild Bird pattern on the bowl includes a gray cut design that features two birds, whimsical insects, and foliage. The famous Rothschild family rose to power via its European banking and finance houses in the late eighteenth century. During the nineteenth century, the Rothschild family amassed the largest private fortune in the world. The Rothschild Bird pattern was created for the family, and illustrates a very interesting lore. As the story goes, Baroness Rothschild couldn’t find her pearl necklace after losing it in the garden one day. Several days later, her gardener noticed a pair of birds playing with something shiny in a tree, and upon further investigation, discovered it was the Baroness’s pearl necklace. The Rothschild Bird pattern in this crystal blends seamlessly with the similar Les Oiseaux china pattern and the more exotically influenced Tiffany & Co. sterling Audubon pattern. Justin Tharaud Co. was founded in the early 1900s when Justin Tharaud, Sr. came to America, leaving behind his life as an architect in France. Tharaud found success importing French and English china, and Tharaud’s son, Justin Tharaud, Jr., soon joined the fledgling company. Upon taking control of the company after WWII, Tharaud, Jr. turned the company into a multi-million dollar operation, distributing brands like Longchamp, Myott, Aynsley, Coalport, and Royal Albert to the American market. After the company declared bankruptcy in 1970 (due in part to Tharaud’s failed idea to package and sell complete sets of tableware), Tharaud rebounded with a smaller operation that focused on importing crystal only. Since that time, the detailed and beautiful Justin Tharaud patterns (including Royal Peacock , Brookdale , Chanson , Chantilly , and La Traviata ) remain highly valued by fine crystal collectors.
Tiffany & Co. Silver Audubon is a lovely sterling pattern showcasing beveled edges, a rounded end, and a multi-motif bird and floral design adapted from nineteenth-century Japanese paintings. Within the pattern, eight different species of Japanese birds and flowers are depicted. Although the Audubon pattern was originally named Japanese when it was introduced in 1871, it was reintroduced as Audubon in 1956, and remains one of the most popular Tiffany & Co. silver patterns. According to Tiffany & Co. literature, “Audubon was the first Tiffany pattern to introduce silver decorated in the Japanese revival style. The flowing designs of branches and twigs with leaves, buds, flowers and exotic birds were entirely different from anything in American silver at that time.” For more than 150 years, Tiffany & Co. has represented the pinnacle of American affluence, artistry, and luxury. In 1837, Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young began selling luxury goods in their New York City emporium. As New York grew into a large metropolis, the demand for Tiffany’s opulent merchandise began to increase. In 1848, Tiffany began producing sterling flatware patterns, and their 925/1000 sterling purity standard eventually became the U.S. sterling silver standard. During the economic boom that followed the Civil War, Tiffany & Co. met the increased demand for high-end items, including tea services, art, and jewelry. Tiffany’s sterling patterns like Audubon, English King, Shell and Thread, and Faneuil are regarded as some of the finest in the world. Today, Tiffany & Co. remains a leading maker of jewelry, china, crystal, silver, and glassware.
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