Before he co-founded the Ceramic Art Company in 1889 with Jonathan Coxon, Walter Scott Lenox worked at Ott and Brewer of Trenton, New Jersey, a city that was home to some 200 potteries. In the late 19th century, the Ceramic Art Company was just one of many producers of porcelain inspired by Belleek.

Actually, it was more than a case of mere inspiration; William Bromley, Sr., who ran Ott and Brewer beginning in 1883, had worked at the famous Irish pottery. Even before his arrival, O&B was using the word “BELLEEK” on its mark. Thus, Lenox’s training as a designer was steeped in Belleek.

Like a lot of U.S. porcelain makers in the 19th century, the Ceramic Art Company employed a cream-colored, soft-paste-porcelain clay body called parian, which aped the look of Belleek. One of its most popular early Ceramic Art Company pieces was a swan-shaped dish (Lenox still makes a swan dish today, although its details are somewhat simplified). Other influences included the best wares produced in Limoges, France, the English china of Royal Worcester, and dinnerware imported from Japan.

In 1894, Lenox became the sole owner of the Ceramic Art Company; in 1906, the name of the firm was changed to reflect this arrangement. That same year, the San Francisco retailer Shreve & Co. received an order of Lenox china—all but one plate was destroyed in the great San Francisco earthquake. The surviving plate was subsequently used in numerous Lenox advertising campaigns.

Order from Tiffany’s in New York came next and soon Lenox was well regarded for its porcelain dinnerware, which featured transferware decorations, brightened with hand-applied color. Patterns such as Mandarin, Ming, Lowell, and Autumn were all introduced around 1917 and ’18. That year, Woodrow Wilson became the first occupant of the White House to order a set of Lenox—the pattern was Command Performance, 1,700 pieces in all. FDR, Truman, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush are Lenox’s other presidential customers.

In the 1920s, chief designer Frank Holmes created pattern after pattern, including Eternal, Rutledge, and Fountain, which took its cue from Art Deco. During this time, and continuing until 1930, the firm’s mark featured an “L” within a wreath, with the word “LENOX” below.

World War II interrupted the firm’s consumer products, but not its innovation. In particular, Lenox developed Lenoxite, which was used in insulators and radar equipment...

During the Mid-century Modern 1950s, patterns such as Westwind and Jewel were among Lenox’s best sellers. In those years, Lenox also introduced numerous giftware pieces, from ballerinas and other figurines to boxes and vases. Pop art-inspired patterns such as Innovation followed in the ’60s, when Lenox also produced inexpensive, plastic, Melmac ware.

In the early 1970s, Lenox made an annual limited-edition plate featuring artwork by naturalist Edward Marshall Boehm. Each plate had a 24-karat-gold edge, and images ranged from a wood thrush in 1970 to a cardinal in 1976. In 1973, Lenox followed this series with one called Woodland Wildlife, which featured depictions of raccoons, rabbits, and foxes.

Finally, like Royal Copenhagen, Royal Albert, Johnson Brothers, Noritake, and Spode, Lenox has made numerous Christmas plates over the years, in patterns such as Sleighride and Holly. Lenox also produced Christmas tree ornaments, from porcelain bells to little drummer boys, angels, and stars.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

The Bowes Museum: Ceramics

This gallery showcases highlights from the 5,000 items in the museum's ceramics collection dating from 1500-1900. I… [read review or visit site]

Ceramics at The V&A

Ceramics at The V&A

A great reference on ceramics from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Learn about different ceramics techniques and st… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Lot Of 58 Pieces Holiday Dimension Collection ChinaRare Lot Of Lenox China The Autumn 4 Flat Cream Soup Bowls And 4 SaucersFine Lenox China The Autumn Lot Of 4 Flat Cream Soup Bowls And SaucersRare Lenox The Autumn Two Handled Teacups Service For 4 With SaucersWonderful Lot Of Four Lenox The Autumn Dinner Plates2 Lenox Holiday Tartan Mugs Euc Made In U.s.a.Lot Of Lenox China The Autumn 3 Flat Cream Soup Bowls And 3 Saucers.Great Lot Of Four Lenox " The Autumn " Dinner PlatesLenox Butler's Pantry Tea PotVintage Set Of 2 Lenox Silver Overlay Tea/coffee Pots & Lids Creamer W/ SpoonLovely Lenox The Autumn 4 Two Handled Teacups With 4 SaucersLenox Eternal China Four Fabulous Lenox The Autumn Dinner PlatesLenox First Blessing Nativity Kneeling Shepherd Boy With Herding Dog New 2015Lenox Westchester China 5 Piece Setting.Lenox Winter Greetings Everyday Chickadee Breakfast Mug/cup And Saucer SetLenox Butterfly Meadow Tea Party Set.teapot, Covered Sugar, Creamer And 4 PlatesNew! Lenox Butterfly Meadow 21 Pieces Dinnerware Small Lenox Eternal Christmas Bowl With Gold Holly Tree And TrimLenox Butler's Pantry Covered Oval Dish And One Square Luncheon PlateSuperb Lot Of Lenox China The Autumn 3 Footed Bouillon Cups And 3 SaucersMagnificent, Lenox, Cobalt And Gold Encrusted Dinner Plates, Six (6) Disney Lenox 2015 Fa La La Fairy China Ornament Tinker Bell Fairy New Lenox Autumn Oval Vegetable Bowl & Octogonal Bowl, Presidential China Gold StampExquisite Lenox China The Autumn 2 Demitasse Cups And 2 Saucers.Beautiful Lenox China The Autumn Demitasse Service For 4 Cups & SaucersLenox China - Autumn (gold Backstamp) - 5 Pc. Place Setting - A True Auction!Lenox China - Autumn Pattern - 7 Piece SettingLenox China Eternal Gold Pattern - Bakeware Dish Baking Casserole - Near MintSplendid Lenox China The Autumn 4 Demitasse Cups And 4 Saucers.Lenox Williamsburg Boxwood & Pine Set Of 2 Accent Luncheon Plates Orange/pear Lenox Westchester China Place Setting For 10 With 54 Pieces. Creamer, Sugarw/Lenox Williamsburg Boxwood & Pine Tall Mug Set 6 Orange/apple/pomegranate/pearThriftchi ~ Lenox China Sauce Pitcher Butler's Pantry LineLenox Autumn China 9" Oval Vegetable BowlLenox Autumn 6 Demitasse Cup And Saucer Sets, Presidential ChinaLenox Dimension Holiday 4 Cups And Saucers Made In Usa Lenox Eternal Coffee Tea Mug Cup Ivory/cream Gold Trim 10oz Dimension Vtg Lenox Autumn 2 Small Bowls Gold Mark UsaLenox Butterfly Meadow Stackable Tea Set NwtLenox China Charleston 6 Salad Dessert Fruit Bowls 5 3/4"Lenox Autumn Salt And Pepper Shakers, Presidential China, Gold StampLenox China, 6-3/8" Bread & Butter Plates, Tuxedo Pattern, Gold Backstamp, J-33Vintage Belleek Lenox Green Mark 8.5" Footed Clam Shell Or Leaf Bowl Gold 19114 Lenox Butterfly Meadow Cork Board Placemats - NewLenox - Butlers Pantry Tray4 Dinner Plates Cosmopolitan Collection Charleston By Lenox Ivory W/ Floral TrimLenox Old Green Mark Fluted & Flared Art Deco Pedestal Vase Ivory Ca 1930-1953Vintage Small Amber/cream Pitcher, LenoxKate Spade China By Lenox 5 Piece Place Setting Dinner Salad Plate Cup SaucerLenox Holiday Dimension Gold Square Soup Salad Bowl Holly BerryLot Of 4 Lenox Winter Greetings 9 1/4" Bowls Lenox China, 10-1/2" Dinner Plates, Lot/4, Tuxedo Pattern, Gold Backstamp, J-33Lenox Windsong China Gravy Boat Elegant BeautifulNib Kate Spade New York Lenox Charm Make Headlines Make Mischief MugLenox Abigail White Blue Gold Fine Bone China 5 Piece Place SettingLenox Butterfly Meadow Creamer .# 2Lenox Christmas Multi Holiday Nouveau Napkin Rings Set Of 8 Holly Motif Lot Of 7 Lenox Pieces: Antique Bowl, Box, Swans And Horn- Ivory Gold Trimmed20pcs Four 5-piece Place Settings Lenox China Classic Modern 1st Quality Lot# 2