Known for its various motifs of legendary castles and estates in England, Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles-Pink is the epitome of tradition. The pattern was first produced in 1930 – the dinner plate featured here depicts the Blarney Castle in Ireland (site of the famed “Blarney Stone”) as it appeared in 1792. Johnson Brothers china is known for producing beautiful, high-quality tableware. The company was founded in 1882, when brothers Alfred, Fredrick, and Henry Johnson (grandsons of the famous Meakin dinnerware family) purchased the Charles Street Works at Stoke-on-Trent in the legendary china-producing region of Staffordshire, England. Producing basic whiteware known as "semi-porcelain," the Johnson brothers created dinnerware that had the delicate characteristics of fine china, but the durability of ironstone. In 1900, a fourth brother, Robert, relocated to the United States to establish a presence for the company in North America.
Royal Doulton Angelique crystal features a multi-sided stem, a squarish bowl that flares at the top, and dazzling criss-cross, fan, and geometric cuts. The pattern beautifully represents the production excellence for which Royal Doulton has become world renowned. Founded as Doulton and Watts in Lambeth, England, in 1815, the company produced both household and industrial ceramics. John Doulton’s sons, who had joined their father in the business, eventually formed companies of their own. But turmoil in the British financial markets forced the businesses to dissolve. In 1853, they reformed as Doulton and Co. (In 1901, King Edward VII conferred a Royal Warrant upon Doulton and Co. to honor the company’s production of ceramic vessels that successfully filtered pollutants from the water of the Thames River, London’s primary source for drinking water.)
Oneida Coronation is a stylish silverplate pattern that features a ribbed handle, a pierced, floral design, and a glossy finish. Oneida began production of Coronation in 1936, and the understated floral elegance of this pattern serves as a wonderful complement to the Old Britain Castles-Pink china and Angelique crystal patterns. 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.
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