Discontinued vintage & Art Deco EDWIN M. KNOWLES CHINA COMPANY Footed Teacup (tea cup) and Saucer Set with sunny green swirl leaves and a yellow flower. (c. 1923) This vintage teacup and saucer set features a footed teacup (tea cup) with bright green trim along the edges, with an almost Art Deco design of green leaves and a yellow flower. Pattern number KNO965.
Edwin M. Knowles ( 1869-1943) was the son of Isaac Watt Knowles (1819-1902), a founder and partner of the firm Knowles, Taylor, and Knowles Co., which by the turn of the century had become the largest pottery in the world. Edwin Knowles' father had helped pioneer many inventions that revolutionized American dinnerware manufacture.
Edwin M. Knowles entered the pottery business after receiving his education at Allegheny College and Harvard University. He took control of the Potters Supply Company of East Liverpool, Ohio in 1890. By 1900, he became founder and president of the Knowles China Company, which soon changed its name to the Edwin M. Knowles China Co.
The Knowles facility, located in Chester, West Virginia, was described as a "model plant of the highest order." Edwin Knowles determined that his firm would manufacture only the finest semi-vitreous ware. One year later, product from the plant was lauded by the Crockery and Glass Journal as the highest grade ware: "weight is light, its finish the finest, its shapes graceful, its decorations artistic, and its body and quality most durable." Knowles' reputation for creating quality product became known throughout the industry. Demand for Knowles product grew. It wasn't long thereafter that plant No. 2 was erected, just two miles south of plant No. 1 along the Ohio River in Chester, West Virginia in Newell, West Virginia.
By November 1930 production had been at its best since the ending of the World War. The number of workers at this time was about 725 and by March 1931, with business still improving, employment was reported at about 600 workers. The firm consolidated its manufacture at the Newell factory, selling its Chester, West Virginia plant to the Harker Pottery in 1931. Vincent Broomhall (1906-1991) became the firm's art director in 1935.
Edwin M. Knowles remained president of the company until his death 9 February 1943. Succeeding E. M. Knowles as president was Frederick Blackmore Lawrence, who would continue in this office until his death in March 1948. William A. Harris Jr. would later serve as president during much of the fifties and into the early sixties.
The company ceased operations in late 1962 citing a lack of foreseeable profits. This was largely blamed on tariffs which were said to encourage the importation of foreign dinnerware at prices so low that E. M. Knowles could not be competitive. A Basic Guide to Dating Edwin M. Knowles China
The footed teacup (tea cup) is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks or crazing. It measures just over 3" high, 3.25" in diameter and measures 4.25" from the handle to the lip. The bottom is unmarked.
The matching saucer measures just over 6.5" in diameter does have some crazing in the clear glaze both on the top and bottom and 2 tiny blemishes on the bottom. The matching saucer is marked on the bottom with CHARLES M. KNOWLES CHINA CO., their logo with VITREOUS and the pattern / date of 23-1-1.
A1813 - Vintage EDWIN M. KNOWLES CHINA CO. Footed Teacup & Saucer Set ART DECO