Walter Scott Lenox was born in Trenton, New Jersey, the state capital was became the country's leading ceramics center with over 200 potteries. Lenox worked for several Trenton companies, but in 1889 was ready to start his own company, but it wasn't a factory. It was more of an art studio with only 18 employees.
Early Success for Lenox:
Tea sets, vases, and pitchers were very popular with those wanting a beautifully finished piece. In just eight years, Lenox was in a collection at the Smithsonian.
A Change in Tastes:
In America in the tastes were changing and home dining in a separate dining room developed as a trend. Lenox created custom-designed service plates in 1902. These plates, painted by well-known artist were well received and Lenox went to producing completed sets of dinnerware.
A Name Change:
1906 saw a name change to Lenox Incorporated.
White House China:
Lenox China has been in continuous use in the White House since 1918 when President Wilson commissioned a 1700 piece set of dinnerware. Lenox was the first American china to be used at the White House and new service sets were created for Roosevelt, Truman, Reagan, and Clinton.
From Lenox: "Boxes, vases, bowls, and other giftware produced in both the traditional ivory body and the era's favorite pastels, such as sky blue, primrose yellow, and sea green. Perhaps the most outstanding achievement was by the artist Patricia Eakin, who "dressed" her delicate figurines in costumes of paper-thin porcelain that were painstakingly modeled and applied by hand".
Hand-blown lead crystal was added in 1966, Temperware in 1972 (freezer to oven or microwave ceramic-wares) and silver flatware was added in 1991.
In 1981 Lenox Collections was founded and offers collectibles including sculptures, jewelry, serving pieces and a multitude of decorative accents.
More Change for Lenox:
Lenox was sold to Department 56 for $190 million in fall of 2005. The sale does not include the Lenox English subsidiary nor the Lenox headquarters property in New Jersey.
According to Susan Engel, chairwoman and CEO of Department 56, "This is a major, transforming acquisition that we've been seeking for the past several years."
Everyone knows the name Lenox and the quality the name stands for. Their signature ivory collectibles are both beautiful and distinctive. Halloween, Christmas and everyday items have that Lenox "refined" look.
Although I love the traditional colors of Christmas and Halloween, especially since I have thousands of holiday items, a Lenox piece stands by itself and can be a welcome relief for the eyes.
My personal favorites include the nativity sets, ornaments and of course the classic look of their cookie jars.
Lenox Collections also features several licensed lines representing Disney characters, the Grinch, Warner Bros, the Wizard of Oz and Peanuts.