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July 16, 2015

Passion for the Sea

With a gold band on the verge (the verge is the area where the plate merges with the rim) and delicate blue scroll designs on the rim, a dark blue band, and wide gold trim on the outside edge, Royal Doulton Princeton exudes refinement and elegance. The pattern beautifully represents the design and production excellence associated with the Royal Doulton company. Founded as Doulton and Watts in Lambeth, England, in 1815, the company produced both industrial and household ceramics. (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.) Royal Doulton is also known worldwide for its elegant figurines.

The Wedgwood Crystal Monarch goblet features two pairs of concentric rings that border delicate etched designs of scroll work and shells on the bowl, with panels and cuts that refract light beautifully. The multi-sided stem stands atop a round foot with starburst cuts. 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 processes for 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.

Another lovely shell pattern is featured in the sterling pattern, Romance of the Sea, by Wallace Silver. The swirls on this wonderful silver pattern suggest the motion of waves, and the shell design at the tip of the handle is dramatic. The designer must have had a personal love of the sea! Wallace Silver, established in Connecticut nearly two centuries ago, has long been recognized for excellence in tableware craftsmanship. The founder of the company, Robert Wallace, was born in 1815 into a family of silversmiths who had emigrated to New England from Scotland. Apprenticed to William Mix, a renowned Connecticut spoon maker, Wallace purchased a dilapidated grist mill after mastering his trade, and began to produce his own silver flatware in 1833. Romance of the Sea is just one of many examples of Wallace Silver's high-quality work.

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