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    

8 Mint Lenox Eternal 7 1/2" Coupe Soup Bowls With Gold Trim NewLenox Hancock Presidential Collection Ivory & 24k Gravy Boat With Dish7 Vintage Lenox China Moonspun Coupe Soup Bowls Never Used New Old StockLenox Cruet, Decanter Cobalt Mauser Silver Applique Art Nouveau Circa 1900Lenox Federal Platinum Tea Cup And Saucer White Set Of 8Lenox Winter Greetings Everyday Teapot NwtAntique -2- Lenox American Belleek Demitasse Cups & Saucers With Silver OverlayLenox, 10 Plates Code 7/t-4-q "silver Lenox" 8.25" J.e. Caldwell & Co. Phila. PaLenox Classic Edition 9 3/8" Oval Vegetable Bowl, With Dust Bag, Mint Condition Antique Lenox Gold & White Wheat Design Cup & SaucerLenox Mastepiece Iris Sconces (2)Set Of 5- Lenox Tempo Blue Bluebell Hand Blown Goblets- 6 5/8" Water StemsNew Lenox Holiday® Tartan 10.75" Dinner Plate By Lenox ~ Set Of 6 Free Ship!!!Superb Vintage 8" Lenox Usa Holiday Tea Coffee Pot Teapot 5 Cup Mint ConditionLenox Linen Closet Chip And DipComplete 4 (four) Place Lenox Winter Greetings Everyday Salad Plates CardinalsVtg Art Nouveau Lenox Sugar Bowl Sterling Overlay PorcelainLenox Autumn Pattern Cake Pedestal Serving Piece 10 1/2" InchesLenox Poppies On Blue Set Of 4 Soup Salad Pasta Bowls Lenox Fine Bone China Classic Edition Small VaseExcellent Lenox Winter Greetings Everyday 10" Large Salad Bowl Mcclung Lot Of 4 Lenox Autumn Pattern 10.5 Inch Dinner Plates Usa MadeRare Lenox China Teapot Waldorf AstoriaLenox Butlers Pantry PlatterLenox Engagement 5 Piece Place SettingVintage Lenox 1991 Jelly Set 6 Containers And Wood Tray Fine ChinaNew Nib Lenox Symphony Gold Trimmed Oval Platter W Handles MintLenox Village Canister - Rice - The Granary 1992Lot Of 5 Lenox Autumn Pattern 8.5 Inch Salad Dessert Plates Usa MadeLenox Vibe Square Tray New In Box Metal Serveware Nice!Lenox Mystic TeapotLenox Village Collection Cream And Sugar Fine PorcelainThree Trios ~lenox China Tyler Salad Plate & Cup With Hayworth SaucerVintage Mid-century Lenox China Rhodora Round Serving Vegetable Bowl 9"Lenox Eternal Christmas Pair Of CandleholdersLenox 9 1/8" Charleston Round Serving Vegetable Bowl Platinum Cosmopolitan Lot Of 4 Lenox Autumn Pattern 8.5 Inch Dessert Or Salad Plates Usa Made17 Pc Porcelain Glendale Lenox Golden Flowers Gold Gilt Bread Butter Plates Set8 Lenox Tiara Place Card Holders 24kt Trim Elegant Table Accessory (no Cards)Exquisite Lenox Cobalt Blue Dolphins At Midnight Platinum Overlay Glass BowlLenox Autumn China Pair Of Salt And Pepper ShakersLenox Illuminations Collection China Custom Made Night Light Led Lamp W/sensorBlack Marble Lenox Butler's Pantry Cheese And Cracker Server Metal Serve-wareLenox Set 3 X 6" Kate Spade Hopscotch Drive Party Plates New Polka-dot New YorkLenox Holiday Cache Pot Made In UsaLenox Eternal Deco 9.50" Plate Dimenston CollectionLot Of 4 Assorted Lenox Autumn Pattern Dishes 3 Saucers 1 Plate 9.5"Lenox Butler's Pantry Oversized Tray Metal Serveware Iob Original TagLot Of 2 Lenox Trent Dinnerware Dishes 9" Plate And 11" Serving DishSet Of 4 Lenox Winter Greetings Everyday Cardinal 8 1/2" Salad Plates Holly BirdTwo Mint Vintage Lenox Holiday 7-1/2" Coupe Bowl #19676Lenox Butterfly Meadow Porcelain Covered Box Lid Lidded Dinnerware Bowl RareLenox Teapot Lenox Village Coffee Pot4- Lenox Chinastone, For The Grey Patterns Soup/cereal Bowls, 6" X 2"Lenox Butlers Pantry Metal Serveware 3 Piece Set In Original BoxVintage Pair Lenox Open Butter Dishes Cream W/gold Trim On Scalloped Edge - Usa12 - Vintage Mid-century Lenox China Rhodora 5 1/2" Dessert BowlsThe Lenox Village Sweet Shoppe Candy Tray Dish Set Of 2 Lenox Winter Greetings Everyday Cardinal 8 1/2" Salad Plates Holly BirdLenox Hand Painted Fine Porcelain Cardinal