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<div align="left">This article is in the Business Section of today's <u>Philadelphia
<a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://www.philly.com/philly/business/37557754.html">http://www.philly.com/philly/business/37557754.html</a><br>
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<h1>Day of pride, day of uncertainty for Bucks County firm</h1>
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A Lenox tradition is this hand-cut crystal bowl, for President Obama. <br>
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Joe Biden will receive this vice presidential gift: <br>
A hand-cut Lenox
crystal bowl with an etching of the Capital with blooming cherry trees.
<p class="byline">By Jane M. Von Bergen </p>
<p class="byline lastline">Inquirer Staff Writer</p>
On Tuesday, bidders for a bankrupt Bucks County maker of fine china
will be looking over the Bristol company's books - and Barack Obama and
Joseph R. Biden Jr. each will receive one of the company's crystal
bowls as one of their first gifts as the nation's new leaders.
<p>It's that kind of day in this kind of economy.</p>
For the last six inaugurations, <a title="view info" class="gentag_org"
Group Inc.</a>, founded 120 years ago, has produced commemorative gifts
for incoming presidents.</p>
"It's incredibly satisfying to work on a one-of-a-kind piece like
this," said Tim Carder, Lenox's vice president of design. "It's a very
elaborate piece. It's not the kind of thing you would find in the
department store. It's a gallery type of piece."</p>
The bowls will be given to the nation's new leaders at the luncheon
immediately after the swearing-in ceremonies Tuesday.</p>
Presented by Congress, the bowls are considered gifts from the American
Etched on the bowls are important Washington buildings surrounded by
cherry trees in bloom - Obama's features the White House and Biden's,
Depending on the angle, the buildings can be viewed straight on, or
seen through the branches of the trees.</p>
After working on this project for more than 100 hours with master
glass-cutter Peter O'Rourke, Carder handed over the cut and etched
crystal bowls to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural
Ceremonies at an intimate ceremony held on Capitol Hill on Monday.</p>
The bowls, which cost $2,500 each to make, are about nine inches across
and seven inches high. They weigh about nine pounds and will be
presented in cherry wood boxes handcrafted in New York.</p>
While Lenox's main manufacturing plant is in Kinston, N.C., the bowls -
imported from Europe - were designed in Bristol and cut and etched at
O'Rourke's studio outside Pittsburgh.</p>
Lenox's inauguration role comes as the company faces challenges in this
Lenox's parent company, based in Eden Prairie, Minn., filed for Chapter
11 bankruptcy in November, and its executives are now talking to
A final decision is expected by late February or early March, <a
title="view info" class="gentag_exec" type="exec" target="_blank"
Fantin</a>, the company's general counsel, said.</p>
"Our products are very popular," <a title="view info"
class="gentag_exec" type="exec" target="_blank"
said, "but people have been holding back purchasing them."</p>
The products have certainly been popular with presidents.</p>
In 1918, the company said, President Woodrow Wilson commissioned a
1,700-piece set bearing the presidential seal in raised gold.</p>
Over the years, Lenox has created new state services for five
additional presidents - Roosevelt, Truman, Reagan, Clinton and George
Founded by Walter Scott Lenox in 1889, the company began in Trenton,
then a hub for glass and porcelain manufacturing. These days, corporate
and design functions take place in Bristol, where about 300 are
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