Spode Woodland is a multi-motif pattern that includes designs of bears, mallards, field spaniels, quail, bison, short-haired pointers, ring-necked pheasants, deer, and more, framed in dark, earth tone colors – red grouse are depicted on this Woodland dinner plate. 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, at prices affordable to England’s burgeoning middle class.
Wedgwood Crystal Monarch features concentric rings that border delicate etched designs of scroll work and shells on the bowl, with panels and cuts that refract light beautifully. The stem is multi-sided with a round foot featuring starburst cuts. This year (2009), the Wedgwood company is celebrating its 250th anniversary. In 1759 Josiah Wedgwood established himself as an independent potter at the "Ivy House Works" in Burslem, England. During his career, Wedgwood made many refinements in the production of porcelain dinnerware. The Monarch crystal pattern features Wedgwood’s personal passion, conchology, the study of mollusk shells. Wedgwood often was seen on the beaches of England, collecting shells. He used their organic shapes in many of the original designs and patterns for his tableware and figurines.
Elegant scroll designs and a fiddle shape distinguish Gorham Silver Norfolk/Villa Norfolk sterling. Norfolk/Villa Norfolk has been a remarkable pattern for Gorham – introduced in 1904, Norfolk/Norfolk Villa remained in production until 1991! Gorham Silver was founded by Jabez Gorham in 1831 in a shop on Steeple Street in Providence, RI. Born into a family of eight, Gorham had been apprenticed to 18th century New England silver patriarch Nehemiah Dodge at an early age. After founding his own company, Gorham quickly established a reputation for hand-crafted silver of the highest quality. Gorham Silver produced flatware for the White House of Mary Todd Lincoln, a silver vase for Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, and Gorham Chantilly was used aboard Air Force One during the presidency of George H. W. Bush.
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