Pfaltzgraff Dinnerware, Flatware, Patterns, Stoneware, China Guide-Review
Pfaltzgraff company joins Oneida and Lenox on the list of iconic American company manufacturing all types of kitchenware, tableware, and flatware – a list that became to represent family values, traditions, and the spirit of American enterprise.
Pfaltzgraff china clearly occupies the affordable niche of dinnerware products: most of its plates, bowls, trays, platters, mugs, and related categories are made of stoneware rather than porcelain. Stoneware is somewhat heavier and stronger than fine porcelain (especially bone china), and has a more matted, quiet color. Pfaltzgraff take a creative approach, and paint their selection is a range of over 150 patterns, essentially imprinting their unique brand vision on plates.
Many of these patterns have become sought for collectors' items, and can be found on Amazon.com, eBay.com, and other retail online stores, contributing to a lively market and community.
Besides dinnerware, Pfaltzgraff also make flatware and silverware (knives, forks, spoons, ladles trowels, all in 18/10 grade stainless steel, all coming either separately or in sets); stemware and glassware (including wine glasses and goblets, pitchers, and related bar sets and accessories); linens (napkins, table cloths, towels, placemates); lighting and ornament products (figurines, candlesticks, glass votives, Christmas decorations); and even water bottles.
In this series of reviews we will first discuss some of the major stoneware and dinnerware categories, and then shift to a more in-depth examination of Pfaltzgraff patterns.
Pfaltzgraff simple, expressive, rustic-inspired, confident patterns rely on a lot of color, and reveal a strong handicraft flair – as opposed to the formality and reserve of some of the bone china collections Noritake or Lenox have to offer. Indeed, Pfaltzgraff will usually opt for the informal and colorful rather than than the conventionally traditional.
Some of the elements that combine into the brand's unique style are: intimately warm pastel colors (orange, pinks, light and dark brown, white, off-white, beige, deeps reds and yellows, and more), floral and botanical embellishments, either painted or embossed (more than several patterns add large blossoms and and various birds, creating entire country/farmhouse landscapes on a plate), geometrical figures and linear layouts, and even comics aimed to encourage children finish their meals.
Overall, transitional and contemporary styles define the selection with unpretentious palettes and a modern, tasteful aesthetic.
Another important decorative aspect becomes the shape of all the dishes: dinner, salad, star, appetizer plates arrive, besides traditional round form, in elongated, rectangular, square, star, leaf, and other design; several collections modify the contours into symmetrical waving or angular lines, literally making the stoneware material its own decorative element.
Winterberry, Tea Rose, Villa Della Luna, and other: Winterberry and Tea Rose patterns comprise two iconic Pfaltzgraff patterns – soft, floral (roses, berries) patterns spread discreetly upon the edges of the white or cream tinted china – classic, elegant collections. Villa Della Luna takes the décor to a more playful, colorful place – rich orange, green and blue exotic, some of them oriental inspired designs.
Naturewood, Pistoulet, and Sedona collections introduce geometrical and linear elements while combining them with essential Pfaltzgraff features: rich palette (orange, deep blue, yellow, light brown and beige tones), nature derives motifs. Patterns include round, rectangular, square, and more elaborately, usually symmetrically build china items.
Yorktowne, Summer and Ocean Breeze patterns opt for simplified, close to minimalistic designs that provide an important summer and warmth infused alternative to the cool Christmas inspired Winterberry and its kin. Strong contrasts between the ornament and the rest of the stoneware piece brings these collections to life; Yorktown in particular is interesting for its blue-and-white like decoration.
Village, Cappuccino, and Garden Patio: continental and transitional patterns that incorporate European and Middle-Eastern aesthetic elements (Scandinavian, Roman, Greek, North-African). Besides dinner, salad, and bread plates, these categories offer a range of bowls (gravy, sugar, fruit and vegetables), and glass stemware – wine and juice glasses that retain the character of the line despite the change in material.