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Laurel and Empire by The Taylor, Smith & Taylor Co.
The following originally appeared on pages 37-61 of Taylor, Smith & Taylor Dinnerware by Mark Gonzalez ©2004,
and is being posted on www.laurelhollowpark.net with permission along with corrections and updates.

The Laurel shape was introduced by Taylor, Smith & Taylor in 1933, and the Empire shape in 1936. Both are attributed to ceramicist J. Palin Thorley. Laurel was a plain round rim shape which replaced the older Iona and Capitol lines. A wide array of decorations was developed for the new plain shape.

The hollowware was given a formal look, complete with ring handles and a well defined foot. Hollowware shapes made for Laurel include: teacup, sugar, creamer, teapot, casserole, gravy boat, gravy fast stand, round covered butter, and a cream soup cup.

Early pieces of Laurel can be found marked with the TS&T shield backstamp. The remainder will have the standard TS&T wreath marking.



1933 trade ad for the Laurel shape

Vestal Rose and Vine Wreath on Laurel, 1933 Sears catalog


Thorley designed two final shapes for TS&T which were released in 1936; Beverly and Empire. He only needed to create the hollowware for each since the flatware for Beverly came from the already existing Delphian shape, and the flatware for Empire came from Laurel.

Empire hollowware was given a much more streamline look which was popular in the late 1930s. The hollowware created for Empire included: teacup, sugar, creamer, teapot, casserole, muffin cover, salt and pepper shakers, gravy boat, footed service jug (which was replaced by a non-footed version.) The gravy fast-stand and cream soup cup weren't made for Empire. Instead, it picked up the Laurel versions. Other Empire pieces were added later such as the demitasse set, juice pitcher, and covered butter.

Empire is often marked with a wreath backstamp. In many cases, it will also have a special "Premier Potters of America" decal marking.



Pine Cone on Empire and Gold Wreath on Laurel, mid-1940s


In the summer of 1936, Thorley left TS&T. A short article in East Liverpool, Ohio's Evening Review mentions the going away party thrown in his honor:

TS&T Executives Fete J. P. Thorleys

Retiring Art Director Presented Watch at Farewell Party

Mr. and Mrs. J. Palin Thorley of the Park way were tendered a farewell reception by about 60 members of the executive staff of the Taylor, Smith & Taylor Pottery Co. of Chester Wednesday night. Mr. Thorley, who has been art director for the Taylor, Smith & Taylor Co., will leave soon for Carrollton, where he will be vice president and superintendent for the Carrollton China Co.

Motion pictures of Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Thorley and friends taken on their travels in Europe, Bermuda and Nassau, were shown. Mr. Smith presented Mr. Thorley with a handsome wrist watch in behalf of the plant executives. Mr. Thorley expressed his thanks for the token.

A buffet lunch was served.

In 1938, the Empire shape became the basis for TS&T's famous Lu-Ray Pastels line. When Versatile was released in the 1950s, Empire hollowware (and to a much lesser extent Laurel hollowware) was picked up. Mixing shapes was common practice in the 1950s and '60s which created more options. Empire can also be found in Pebbleford glazes - with and without decals.

Laurel was made well into the 1950s. Empire was phased out in the early 1960s.


Laurel and Empire hollowware comparisons

Laurel sugar and creamer, pattern 634

Empire sugar and creamer, "Cross Stitch Rose"

Laurel covered casserole, pattern 1809

Empire covered casserole, "Green Wheat", 1177


Laurel Hollowware Examples

Laurel casserole, pattern 935

Laurel sugar, pattern 682

Laurel sugar and creamer, pattern 1656

Laurel sugar and creamer, "Carnation" pattern 1782

Laurel gravy fast-stand, "Ships"

Laurel creamer and teacups, pattern 600

Laurel platter, oval baker, and sauceboat, pattern 1819

Laurel gravy fast-stand, "Acacia" pattern 1484

Laurel cream soup and liner, pattern 1215

Laurel creamer, "Pannier" pattern 596

Laurel plate, fruit cup, and teacup, "Delphian Rose"

Laurel cup and saucer, "Dutch Vista" a.k.a. "Holland Mills", pattern 1398

Laurel covered butter, "Sterling" pattern 601

Laurel covered butter, "Silhouette" pattern 644

Laurel sauceboat, wheat decal

Laurel cup and saucer, pattern 840, "Fiji"

Laurel teacup and creamer, pattern 745

Laurel sauceboat with an Empire creamer, pattern 1519

Laurel demitasse cup and saucer, pattern 1017

Laurel casserole, Blue Dogwood pattern

Laurel demitasse cup and saucer, pattern 1670

Laurel teapot, pattern 957


Empire Hollowware Examples

Empire teacups and saucers, "Heatherton" pattern 424

Empire covered muffin, "Fifth Avenue" pattern 1505

Empire sugar and creamer, pattern 1960

Empire sugar and creamer, "White Flowers" pattern 1268

Empire footed jug, all-over red rose transfer
Courtesy Carl and Fran Stone

Empire jug, no foot, hand-painted fruit
Courtesy Joe Zacharias

Empire footed jug, "Dutch Tulip"

Empire teapot, flat spout, with yellow band and gold stamps

Empire teapot, flat spout, pattern 1997

Empire teapot, curved spout, pattern 1998

Empire teapot, curved spout, red line and gold stamps

Empire tepoat, curved spout, probably decorated by an outside firm

Empire creamer, pattern 1349

Empire sugar, "Blue Wheat", 1180

Empire salt and pepper shakers

Empire demitasse set with pearlized glaze and gold trim

Empire sauceboat, pattern 1697

Empire teacup and saucer, "Silhouette" pattern 644

Empire curved spout teapot

Empire demitasse set, "Miami" pattern 1479

Empire teapot, curved spout, pattern 2000

Empire footed jugs with hand-painted work


Examples of Laurel and Empire Flatware

"Italian Rose"

"Vine Wreath" pattern 574

"Blue Wheat" with ivory shoulder, pattern 1882

Pattern 1569

"Red Wheat" pattern 1273

Tulips, pattern 1331

"Green Flower Basket" 1227 and "Daphne" 1802

"Wheel" pattern 576

Pattern 1768

"Diana"

Mini platter with pattern 1178

Pattern 2228 with yellow fade away trim

"Dresden" (left) and pattern 1854 (right)

Pattern 1951

Pattern 1850 on a pair of fruit cups

Pattern 1819

"Blue Willow" pattern 503

"Green Briar" pattern 1823

"Rosemont" pattern 2133

"Green Wheat" pattern 1177

Pattern 1173

"Trinidad" pattern 2212

Pattern 567

Pattern 1216

Pattern 781 ½ compartment plate

Pattern 1170

"Rose Chintz"

Pattern 728

"Water Lily"

"Wisteria" pattern 529

Flower decals, 7" plate

Pattern 746

All-over red rose and blue rose

"Peasant Rose" pattern 1634

"Marsh Violet" pattern 2209

Turkey platter

Cabbage Rose, pattern 1935

Pattern 2093 ½

"Scroll Border" pattern 1631

Double rose cluster

Unidentified pattern

"Colonial Kitchen" with gold lace stamps

Mini platters

Mini platters

"Tulip Time" pattern 1373

Pattern 1921 ½

Pattern 546 - platinum and gray bands

"Napoli" pattern 1351

"Pine cone" pattern 1649

Pattern 1951

Pattern 674

Water Lily

Pattern 1255

"Italian Rose with blue trim

Pattern 1861

"Appalachian Heirloom" (Swan Flower decal) pattern 2204

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