Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Paul McCobb Dinnerware Designs for Jackson China - Contempri and Restaurant Ware

Paul McCobb has always been a favorite designer of mine.  His furniture typified American post-war style and was a relatively affordable way for a wide audience to decorate their home in a modern way.  The Planner Group furniture still looks fresh today (at least, it looks pretty good in my dining room). 
McCobb’s dinnerware designs for Jackson China get less attention than the furniture, but they have a lot of merit.  Produced from 1959 into the mid 1960s, the Contempri line consists of a full range of dinner and tea wares, all with a white ceramic body finely molded in simple lines (there was glassware, too).  The pieces were left white or decorated with a solid color or one of many brightly colored patterns.  Made in Japan, these pieces are clearly marked with McCobb’s signature on the underside.
Restaurant ware small bowl for Jackson China on the left, Contempri on the right
The Contempri (right) is much thinner and lighter than the restaurant ware.
Maybe I’m just a klutz, but I rather prefer the commercial version of these Contempri designs that Jackson China produced.  The heavier ‘restaurant ware’ pieces, made in Falls Creek, Pennsylvania, are practically indestructible and though the lines of each piece are not quite as crisp, they are a nice choice for everyday.  I like dishes I don’t have to be afraid to use!  I only have a few pieces, so I am definitely on the hunt for more.
Mark on the restaurant ware pieces
You can find a nice group of images of McCobb’s designs for Jackson collected on modish.net here.
Paul McCobb Planner Group cabinet, 1950s
Sometimes I have McCobb pieces in my Etsy shop--you can check here.


© All text and images are copyright of Jeni Sandberg

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