In the very late 1940s and into the 1950s, there were to major groups of new shapes introduced by American pottery companies. The first consisted of very simple, plain round coupe shapes. In Homer Laughlin's case, there was Rhythm, Jubilee, Debutante, Skytone, and Suntone. The second group was made up of "biomorphic" designs. Such shapes have a fluid or stretched look. Iroquois' Casual China, Steubenville's Contempora, Hall's Tomorrow's Classic, and Roseville's Raymor are just a few of these free form lines. HLC's contribution to this modern movement in tableware came about in 1954 with the creation of Epicure designed by DonShrekengost.
In 1952 most of the Cavalier shapes were created. With production concentrated on Rhythm, Charm House, Skytone, Debutante and the new Cavalier line, there was no need to design a new shape for 1953. Several items in the modeling log at the end of 1953 are more than likely early Epicure pieces. They are listed in the most generic of terms such as "cup" and "plate" without any specific reference. From October to December they include: saucer - dropped edge, dinner plate, cup, handle, sugar with lid, and a bowl. There is a small sketch in the log beside the cup and a note the shape was, "released for production Nov. 17, 1954." This would coincide with the release dates for other Epicure items. In 1954 more itemes were modeled, but again there is no mention of the Epicure name.
One interesting to note regarding HLC's modeling records is the name Epicure is used in reference to Harlequin:
May 23, 1955 Harlequin Handle for Epicure Cup
June 3, 1955 Larger Harlequin Handle for Epicure Cup
These specially made cups are commonly called Harlequin large cups by collectors. The corresponding 6 7/8" saucers were picked up from generic jumbo cups that had been in production for several years.
It should be noted the standard cup used for Epicure is a coffee cup. There were no teacups in the original assortment, but on October 14, 1955, there is an entry in the log for: Cup, Epicure Dinnerware Size. While none have been accounted for in Epicure glazes, the designer, Don Shrekengost, maintained the tea cups were put into production in the article, Epicure by Matthew Whalen (The Dish, Vol. 1, No 2., 1998).
There are two specially made items that are not found in vintage ads: the tid bit tray and the nut dish. The trays were made with two plates separated by a white plastic column. To date, only white trays have been found. The nut dishes were promotional pieces given out to buyers at trade shows. They were made in turquoise and can sometimes be found in their original bag with price list.
Epicure was made in four colored glazes; Snow White, Turquoise Blue, Dawn Pink, and Charcoal Gray. The blue, gray, and pink glazes have the appearance of small filings which gives a textured look. The body is heavier than other HLC lines. According to backstamps, the ware is oven proof.