25 years of checked charm
September 01, 2020
It’s Simply Smashing September, and it’s also time to celebrate the 25th birthday of our signature pattern, Courtly Check.
A beautiful juxtaposition of hand-painted ivory and onyx with jewel tones layered in, Courtly Check got its official start in 1995, when it was one of the five patterns in our Camp MacKenzie-Childs enamelware collection. Over the years, Courtly Check has been added to ceramics, linens, cookware, and so much more. You can learn more about its history, including why it was first called Roasted Marshmallow, here.
Rebecca Proctor, our creative director and chief brand officer, has been with MacKenzie-Childs since 1991 and has seen a lot of Courtly Check in those years. Wondering what her five favorite pieces might be? We did too, so we asked:
Says Rebecca, “It’s always time for tea! This signature piece combines form and function beautifully and is an absolute favorite. It’s also incredibly fun to give.”
“We have three at home, and we use them for everything from piles of pasta, to cookies and cakes, to homemade pizza. What could be more beautiful than 16 inches of hand-painted artisanal checks?”
“Love, love, love … with a kiss of our distinctive red clay on the underside and the luxe gold lustre that surrounds the shape beautifully. Each one of these beautifully decorative pieces is handmade by our unbelievable team of artisans in Aurora.”
“It’s a beautiful tower of handmade ceramic pieces that stands over six feet tall. The finial on top makes the perfect punctuation mark for the design. It’s as much a sculpture as it is a floor lamp.”
And finally, the ceramic Courtly Check Dinner Fish Platter. “A fresh take on our fish!,” says Rebecca. “We took one of our favorite legacy designs and gave it a makeover with bold and graphic Courtly Checks. It’s a modern spin on a legacy design, and I love it.”
The fish platter, as Rebecca indicates, is new, and it’s one of five Courtly Check ceramic pieces that we’ve designed to celebrate the 25th birthday. Each ceramic piece is handmade, hand-glazed, and hand-painted by our artisans in Aurora, New York, and no two pieces are exactly alike, making each its own work of art.
The other birthday pieces are:
Handmade, hand-glazed, hand-painted ceramic with our signature checks, this trivet can protect your table or decorate your wall, and it reminds you to take time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, including a cup of tea.
Create a magnificent floral display in this handcrafted ceramic vase. This classic silhouette mixes color-dragged Courtly Checks, stripes, and gold lustre accents.
Stop and smell the roses every day and display them in this simple silhouette that mixes our signature checks with stripes and gold lustre.
What a catch! A reintroduction of a vintage pattern from our archives, this handsome shape is hand-painted in Courtly Checks and embellished with gold lustre. Although perfectly suited to tasks around the kitchen, we think it really makes a splash displayed by your sink as a soap dish. With such playful perfection, you’ll angle to find everyday uses for this petite Pisces.
The five 25th birthday pieces are available for a limited time. You can find them on our website by clicking on the item’s name. Each is perfect for adding to your existing MacKenzie-Childs collection or an ideal way to start one for yourself or add to the collection of your favorite fan of our signature style.