George Zoltan Lefton:
George was a Hungarian immigrant who arrived in Chicago in 1939. Although his background was in marketing and designing specialty clothing, he had a passion for collecting fine porcelain.
The Lefton Company was founded in 1941.
Lefton traveled to Japan in 1945 to seal an importing agreement and the first Lefton China product marked "Made in Occupied Japan" reached the United States in 1946.
For more information products made in Japan, PY/Miyao Fun Kitchen Collectibles
by Belinda Euans explores the Miyawo Company who produced, along with other companies, pieces for Lefton.
Over the years the Lefton Company has produced numerous products that are highly sought after by collectors including: cookie jars,holiday items, figurines, teapots, jam jars, planters, pitchers, shakers, Red Hat pieces, wall pockets, head vases and lighthouses.
At one point in time, over 10,000 retail shops carried Lefton products nationwide.
Vintage Lefton products have a wide variety of marks and many times a paper label. Marks include the words Lefton's, Lefton China, Geo. Z. Lefton, G.Z.L., as well as just the letter "L".
The Collector's Encyclopedia of Lefton China, Book III by Loretta DeLozier has a selection of marks and labels to help identify Lefton products.
The Lefton Company was purchased by OMT Enterprises in 2005 and moved to California. Today's Lefton products include the ever popular Lighthouse series and adorable Christopher girl birthday figurines.
The Bottom Line:
The Lefton Company has always enjoyed a wonderful reputation amongst collectors and the company's different lines have been as diverse as collectors are.
Some vintage Lefton pieces are ornate with gold trim, lots of flowers and look like they might have been made two centuries ago, or perhaps a collector might be drawn to the cute and whimsical salt and pepper shakers or wall pockets that are the stuff of the 1950s. It's all appealing to vintage collectors and today's lighthouses are just as avidly collected by folks who are most likely not aware of the rich history of the Lefton Company.
The Lefton Company
Collector's Encyclopedia of Lefton China
PY/Miyao Fun Kitchen Collectibles