Thursday, April 5, 2018

A to Z April Challenge: E is for Enameled Glass


When my sister and I cleaned out our parents’ home, we had to make many decisions about what to do with all the stuff. Which things are truly “valuable” and which have only sentiment in their favor? Should we sell it, keep it, or throw it away? To help ensure a future for our family’s heirlooms, I plan to leave a booklet for my daughters telling the stories of what they will inherit one day. (Not TOO soon, I hope!) With this challenge I begin my book of Heirlooms.


is for enameled optic glassware.

The story of this glassware is short: it belonged to my paternal grandmother Julia Walsh Slade. She and my grandfather struggled financially for many years, but somehow she managed to hold on to some pretty blue glassware. Blue was her favorite color.

Julia Slade's blue enameled optic glasses https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
My granny's lemonade glasses




Not my lemonade set -
just a typical Victorian
lemonade set


















These tumblers were probably once part of a lemonade set which would have included a pitcher. Pitchers were usually about 10” tall and tumblers 4”. Lemonade sets were very popular in the Victorian era and into the 1920s. They are selling on eBay and Etsy in all prices from $35 to over $200 depending on completeness of a set, color, condition, and of course emotion and ignorance.


Closeup of enameled optic glass https://jollettetc.blogspot.com



There are two features to my granny’s glasses worth noting. First, the decoration. Fruit and flowers were popular subjects for artisans to apply on glass using a technique known as enameling. The paint is shiny and very hard. VERY hard - it is not easy to chip it off which is why many lemonade sets still look good after all these years. Small details like the dots are raised and easy to feel.  

Glass exhibiting optics https://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Can you see the vertical optics?




Second, the optics. Glass companies used molded shapes on the interior to add dimension and sparkle to the glass. Granny’s tumblers have a vertical optic. I am always surprised that I cannot feel the angles when I hold the glass. However, if I rub my fingers along the inside, I can feel a subtle rise and fall that give the tumbler its special look.



In addition to the tumblers is a cruet, probably used for oil or vinegar. It displays a different pattern of leaves and flowers. Unfortunately the rim of the cruet is chipped which detracts from its value. 













Is this miniature pitcher not the cutest?

Wendy
© 2018, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

18 comments:

  1. I used to collect small wine glasses like that, most were Bohemian Crystal, some Austrian Crystal. I had about 300 of them, all colours and sizes. I loved the green, but it was very hard to find. I sold most in an auction when I moved west, but I kept the first one (Bohemian) my Mom gave me that started my collection, and one of Austrian Crystal my grandmother gave me. Your set is a very beautiful shade of blue. That was my Mom's favourite colour also.

    My Genealogy Challenges

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    1. When I looked for info on enameled glass, I kept getting hits for Bohemian crystal. If you couldn't keep it all, it's best to keep the FIRST one, I think.

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  2. We have a selection of blue glass bottles - but a much deeper shade of blue. I doubt they are as old as the ones you have shown us - nothing from grandmothers of that I'm sure.

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    1. I have a really pretty BIG blue glass vase, not at all old, not at all valuable. In fact, I bought it at a discount store. It's a pretty one though.

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  3. These are very pretty. I had an aunt who a set of purple glassware with a gold rim. No one was allowed to use them.

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    1. I bet they were gorgeous. Too bad they were not to be used.

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  4. Blue glass is my favorite also. These are beautiful.

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  5. Beautiful blue! Having something that belonged to your grandmother is a treasure, and the fact that they're so pretty is a big plus! I can tell from your blog that you appreciate the memories attached to the things of your past.
    Kimberly
    Passing Down the Love A-Z

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    1. You are right about that. Thanks for visiting.

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  6. We drank our lemonade from colorful metal cups. No beautiful glass wear at my grandmother's. I wonder what happened to those cups though.

    http://findingeliza.com/

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    1. Oh I bet I know the kind you mean. Jewel tones? My grandmother had those and also a set of dessert dishes, I guess you'd call them. The colorful metal holders were like a sherbet glass with pedestal and held a clear glass bowl. Grandma put jello in them most of the time.

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  7. I'd guess you'd have to hand wash those...I'm amazed that the enameling looks so good! Well-cared for, clearly.

    @IsaLeeWolf
    A Bit to Read

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    1. Yes, hand wash. Thanks for visiting.

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  8. That small pitcher is interesting - I wonder what that was used for? It reminds me of a set for dolls.

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    1. I thought maybe it was a salesman's sample, but it could very well be a toy.

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