Lenox Classics

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Walter Scott Lenox.was born in 1859 in the "Staffordshire
of America": Trenton, N.J. which became the USA’s leading
ceramics center and boasted some 200 potteries in the 19th century.
Lenox worked as a decorator and designer for several Trenton potteries
beginning in 1875 and six years later he advanced to design director
for Ott & Brewer, then Willets Manufacturing.

Lenox Belleek WarePictured right handpainted
Belleek ware from Lenox.

Both
firms eventually failed and Lenox took his skills and expertise
and established The Lenox Ceramic Art Company in 1889. From the
outset it was organized as an art studio, rather than a factory,
and offered one-of-a-kind artwares in lustrous ivory china, rather
than a full line of ceramics.

The exquisitely painted and modeled vases, pitchers, and tea sets,
produced at first by just 18 employees, were met with an enthusiastic
reception and carried in the most exclusive shops. By 1897 examples
of Lenox’s work were included in the collection of the Smithsonian
Institution.

Lenox Eternal PatternWith
the advent of modern dining Lenox began producing their own fine
china dinnerware. The plates received much aclaim and provoed
so successful that Lenox turned his attention increasingly to
complete sets of dinnerware and in 1906 changed his firm’s name
to Lenox Incorporated to reflect the new direction from the Ceramic
Art Company. The tradition of customized place settings continues
today.

Pictured left China
featuring the Eternal™ pattern which was designed in 1965
and still ranks among the most popular designs.

Lenox The Wilson serviceFrom
1910 the company began to produce standardized patterns in addition
to the custom-made pieces for the thriving US market. These were
initially hand decorated transfer prints and then full-color lithographic
decals. The Lenox name had quickly become synonymous with elegant
tableware, chosen for the "best" homes — including
the White House. President and Mrs. Wilson commissioned an official
state service of 1,700 pieces in 1918, making Lenox the first
American china to grace a president’s table.

Pictured right The Wilson Service – the pattern developed by Lenox’s
chief designer, Frank Holmes, was as restrained and dignified
as the Wilsons themselves.

It remains the only American porcelain in continuous use at the
White House for more than 80 years, with new services created
for four subsequent presiden ts: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1934),
Truman (1951), Reagan (1981), and Clinton (2000).

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Walter Scott Lenox died in 1920, having realized his dream and
founded a company dedicated to the "perfection of American
porcelain." The company continued to grow and continued to
offer custom-designed services as well as an array of accessories,
including lamps, figurines, vases, pitchers, even a honey jar
shaped like a beehive.

Catherine McClung,Lenox
products were widely recognized for excellence in design, in large
part due to Frank Graham Holmes, chief designer from 1905 to 1954.
He garnered numerous awards, such as the Craftsmanship Medal of
the American Institute of Architects (1927) and the silver medal
of the American Designers Institute (1943). His work was among
the 34 Lenox pieces chosen for display in 1928 by the elite National
Museum of Ceramics in Sévres, France — the first and
only American porcelain ever extended this honor.

Pictured left A plate
designed by artist Catherine McClung,.

Lenox continued to improvise and modernise bringing many popular
ranges and designs and in 1989 it celebrated its centennial —
a landmark reached by no other American porcelain company.

Lenox DisneyIn
recent years Lenox has continued as a leader in such trends as
transitional china and mix-and-match placesettings while continuing
to employ centuries-old craft techniques, including piercing,
jeweling, and etching. It has also used some of the world’s leading
designers to create ranges and designs including Catherine McClung,
Parvaneh Holloway and Sandra Kuck (one of the world’s most collected
artists).

Pictured right ALenox
Disney piece featuring Mickey and Minnie.

Its current brands include Dansk, Gorham and Brooks Bentley and
ranges include tableware, home decor, jewelry, giftware, collectors
plates and collectibles featuring Disney, and animated characters
such as from Dr. Seuss, Peanuts, Warner Bros and the Wizard of
Oz.

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