I thought that after several blogs about being successful, it may be time to share about how you can make money and with what. I was at an Antique store and saw several small China figurines that were marked Lenox they weren't Meissen but were still beautiful.. They were quite detailed so they caught my attention. This got me to thinking maybe there was money to be made with Lenox. Checking eBay, many sets of Lenox China were listed for over $3,000 and figurines listed as high as $1,250. But before I got to involved, I researched the company and below you will see the history of Lenox that I found on the Internet.
Lenox was founded in 1889 by Walter Scott Lenox as Lenox's Ceramic Art Company, Trenton, New Jersey. From the start it was organized as an art studio and not as a factory. It did not have full lines of ceramics but rather one-of-a-kind artwares. The company at first had just eighteen employees. Their products were carried in exclusive shops specializing in high quality pottery. Lenox's work showed up at Smithsonian Institution as early as 1897.
Lenox china became popular in the early 20th century when separate dining rooms and hostess parties became the new trend. Lenox then started making custom designed elaborately decorated dining plates. He had European competition but had his plates decorated artfully by such American artists as William Morley. He gained success at this and eventually turned his attention to complete sets of dinnerware. In 1906 he changed his firm's name from the Ceramic Art Company to Lenox Incorporated to show the widing scope of his products.
Two of the first patterns Lenox produced came out in 1917, the Ming and Mandarin, which were eventually manufactured for over fifty years. Lenox products also became well known thanks to Frank Graham Holmes, chief designer from 1905 to 1954 and who won several artistic awards such as the 1927 Craftsmanship Medal of the American Institute of Architects and the 1943 silver medal of the American Designers Institute. Of the afore mentioned, 34 Lenox pieces were chosen for display in 1928 by the elite National Museum of Ceramics in Sévres, France - the only American porcelain to receive this honor.
The traditional European system of selling fine china is the purchase of an entire service set at significant cost. The Lenox company broke away from this tradition in the 1950s. They could then reach the budget of the average family which expanded their marketplace worldwide. Lenox offered for sale to the average family five-piece complete place settings, three-piece-buffet/place settings and individual tableware pieces. Lenox was the first company to develop a bridal registry.
Lenox company initiated an acquisitions program in the 1960s to diversify. They first purchased work of America's oldest and best-known crystal glassblowing firm, Bryce Brothers. During the 1970s they continued by purchasing Hartmann Luggage and Athalon Products. In 1983, Lenox was acquired by Brown-Forman Corporation. Brown-Forman acquired Dansk International Designs and its Gorham Manufacturing Company division in 1991, which were incorporated as part of Lenox. James E. Solomon, then 36 years old, was appointed as president of the newly-combined company, having previously been a general manager of a company that manufactured children's athletic shoes. Solomon succeeded Richard Ryan, who had presided for five years in a period in which the company expanded significantly.
Brown-Forman later sold its Lenox division as part of a plan to refocus the company on its wine and spirits production. The income generated by the sale was distributed to the shareholders in the form of a one time special dividend. In 2005, Lenox was acquired by Department 56 for about $204 million. Department 56, which has since changed its corporate name to Lenox, took on substantial debt at the time.
This is quite a history and the variety of products makes it a great source of products to buy and resale. Please add Lenox to your list of items that may be treasures for you. Often see pieces of Lenox in the bargain bin at sales so be sure to look there.
My 220 page book about how to make money buying and selling antiques & collectibles is FREE with your membership in the Daryle Lambert's Antique and Collectible Club. Join Us Today