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Italian Inspiration, American Design


Montreal by Wedgwood China was first produced in 1930. Montreal is rimmed Wellesley-shaped china with an ornate cream-colored embossing on a cream-colored rim. The brilliant center design of Montreal includes a colorful bounty of flowers, verdant stems and leaves, and flitting butterflies. In 1759, Josiah Wedgwood established a pottery at the “Ivy House Works” in Burslem, England. During his first 10 years of business, Wedgwood made many advances in the refining of porcelain. One of Wedgwood’s most important creations was creamware, true fine china that was easy to produce, relatively inexpensive to make, easily decorated, and desired by royalty and commoner alike. In 1765, King George III’s wife, Queen Charlotte, solicited Wedgwood to be “Potter to His and Her Majesty.” As a result of his new title, Wedgwood changed the official name of his creamware to “Queen’s Ware.” Jasperware, a non-glazed porcelain featuring classical figures in bas-relief, was another important invention of Wedgwood’s, and has become virtually synonymous with the Wedgwood name.

Cellini (Loop Optic) is a blown glass design produced by Fostoria from 1938 to 1970, featuring a concave bowl, flared top, a knobbed, molded stem, and a round foot. The loop optic design gives the bowl a rippled effect similar to cascading water, making this elegant design a wonderful contrast to the floral intricacy of the Montreal and Della Robbia 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 war 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.

Designed in 1922, the Alvin Silver Della Robbia pattern features intricate floral and garland embellishments, stylish scrolls, and scalloped ends. The design of Della Robbia was inspired by Luca Della Robbia, a fifteenth-century Italian sculptor best known for his glazed terra cotta sculptures. Alvin Silver was founded in 1886 in New Jersey. One of their first successes was developing a process for depositing pure silver on metallic and non-metallic items like umbrella and cane handles. Another cutting-edge product line included glass items with silver inlays, a design technique subsequently referred to as “Alvin Ornamentation.” The company’s innovative products were so popular that Alvin had to expand within two years of its formation. In 1908, Alvin bought Simons Brothers and Peter Krider Company silver dies and molds, and also began making electroplated flatware. In 1928, Alvin was bought by Gorham Silver, but retained the Alvin Silver name. Alvin continued operating as a subsidiary of Gorham until Gorham stopped production of Alvin patterns in 1985. Today, Alvin Silver is best remembered for its Raphael , Bridal Rose , Viking , and Fleur de Lis patterns, and there is a continued interest in Alvin silver products among collectors.

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