Manufacturer: Black Knight, Hutschenreuther China
User: Sherry-Netherland Hotel – New York, New York
Date of examples: circa 1927 – 1940
Notes: The 37-story Sherry-Netherland Hotel, on the corner of 5th Avenue and 59th Street in New York City, opened November 1, 1927. It was originally designed as a hotel, but a change of ownership during construction revised the layout to contain mostly apartments. It was partly owned by Louis Sherry Inc., a restaurant company, which explains part of the name and the emphasis on fine dining. The Sherry-Netherland wanted to be the successor to the old mansions on 5th Ave., with the ultra-wealthy living in its apartments. The hotel was equipped with gold-plated doorknobs and silver-plated bath fixtures.
There were two dining venues in the Sherry-Netherland, when it opened. The main dining room was located off the lobby. It had no windows but had a large skylight in the ornate ceiling. The Grill Room, in the basement, also had no windows, but contained large scenic panels. By 1934, there was a terrace dining room on one of the upper floor setbacks. The wealthy apartment residents could order the same meals that were served in the restaurants, or meals prepared as they wished. These meals were prepared in the restaurant kitchen in the basement and delivered by direct elevator to serving pantries in each apartment. Suites were priced at between $20,000 and $30,00 per month. By 1933, the hotel was in foreclosure. It did survive and continues to operate as a 4.5-star hotel and apartment. In 2018, a full floor co-op apartment went for $11 million.
Hutschenreuthers Black Knight produced a china service decorated with a floral decal border. This border has clusters of large flowers, including pink roses, that are flanked by small flowers and leaves. On the coffee and tea pots the makers mark is inside the lid. 1930s newspaper photographs show this pattern being used to serve meals in guest rooms and at the outdoor Terrace Restaurant. When WWII began importation of German-made hotel china ended.
Grand Hotels of the Jazz Age: The Architecture of Schultz & Weaver, by Marianne Lamonaca and Jonathan Mogul, 2005
Author and photos: Larry Paul