In the James Bond novel "Diamonds Are Forever," a character remarks to Bond (on the design of the Studebaker car) "Designed by that Frenchman, Raymond Loewy. Best designer in the world."
It is a great name check, and reflects Loewy’s fame in the 1950s, coincidentally when this coffee set was designed.
Raymond Loewy is critical to mid-century modern design in America - and beyond. Although born in France he set up a design practice after moving to America. His work reflects - or helps to create - American modernism rather than European.
Starting life as a graphic designer, before moving into broader corporate, and product design. His studio, at its height in the 1950s, employed over 200 people.
Leading European designers like Tapio Wirkkala worked for the studio. And Loewy had a long relationship with Rosenthal of Germany.
Continental China were one of a group of brands produced by the Rosenthal Company.
The coffee set is curvaceous, and distinctively American modern.
I love how the coffee pot lid reminds me of the starched sailors caps in the film On the Town (1949) as American Navy sailors Gabey (Gene Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra) have 24 hours of shore leave in New York City - I cannot help thinking this Hollywood image was in the designers imagination when creating the lid
The Cups Measure 57mm High & 57mm across the top Rim & the saucers are 127mm across.
The Pot Stands Fully 177mm High & 215mm from spout to handle
The Jug is 100mm High & 100 from spout to Handle
& bowl 76mm High & 100mm Across.
Unpacked weight is 2.1 kgs
The studio designed everything from this coffee service, to graphics on the body of Airforce One.
His influence is everywhere in the 20th century.
This coffee set is included in many museum collections including the exhibition: Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture,” National Heritage Museum, 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, Oct. 13, 2007, to March 23, 2008.