Manufacturers: Maddock Pottery and Buffalo China
User: Shelburne Hotel – Atlantic City, New Jersey
Distributor for Maddock Pottery: John Wanamaker
Date of examples: circa 1900 – 1920s
Notes: From Wikipedia: "The Shelburne Hotel was a resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, located at Michigan Avenue and the Boardwalk. Built and opened in 1869, the hotel was originally a wood-frame cottage. Following several expansions, under the direction of hotel manager Jacob Weikel, a modern, brick-faced, steel frame, multistory structure was constructed along Michigan Avenue at the corner with the Boardwalk. This portion of the hotel opened in 1926. The hotel was an example of Georgian Revival architecture and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978."
From HistoricStructures.com: "During this period [the mid-1920s], Atlantic City was still primarily a health resort, catering to the demand for the regenerative effects of sun and saltwater bathing. As saltwater baths were considered healthy, the Shelburne's rooms had hot and cold running salt as well as fresh water. The interiors were opulent and eclectic, and the hotel continued to receive such notables as Lillian Russell, Irving Berlin, 'Diamond Jim' Brady, George M. Cohen, Lillie Langtry, Ethel Barrymore, John Philip Sousa, and Al Jolson."
Again, from Wikipedia: "Despite its tower addition in 1926, the Shelburne was a relatively small hotel in comparison to Atlantic City's much bigger resorts such as the Chalfonte-Haddon Hall Hotel, Traymore, and Claridge. This coupled with the Great Depression bankrupted the hotel in 1931. It would pass through a series of owners until being taken over by the United States Army during World War II, then passing into ownership of the Malamut family who briefly revived the hotel's success in the 1950s with several renovation and motel expansions.
"After the legalization of casino gambling in 1975, the Shelburne once again became a hot property, as with most hotels in Atlantic City at the time. The Malamut family closed the resort in 1978 after leasing it to Japanese investors Rocky Aoki and Takashi Sasakawa, owners of the Benihana restaurant chain, who planned to keep the existing hotel as well as add a 31-story tower and casino calling it the Benihana Casino-Hotel. In 1983, work crews began to renovate the hotel; however, disagreements between the Malamut family, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, and outside investors led Aoki and Sasakawa to abandon the project after investing over $25 million in construction and renovations. Sasakawa was the son of noted Japanese philanthropist Ryoichi Sasakawa, who had links with the Yakuza [organized crime syndicates in Japan]. Aoki and Sasakawa had also faced charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission for insider trading in the stock of Hardwicke Companies, which had planned to manage the hotel/casino.
"In 1984, the site was acquired by Blumenfeld Development Corp., and the hotel was demolished."
Maddock and Buffalo produced china that is crested with a pair of shields with sides that curve down to a point. The shield on the left contains a ship with sail against a blue background. The shield on the right contains a sailboat with reddish brown sea and sky. Curved above the shields is "THE SHELBURNE" in cobalt blue. There are blue rim and verge lines. When viewed side by side, minor differences can seen between the two companies versions of the decal crest. Some of the Maddock pieces are back stamped with John Wanamaker as supplier. This china service was probably reordered a number of times.
ID and photos: Larry Paul
Author: Ed Phillips