Lovely Libbey!

Since I’ve been around, some 50 or so years now, one of the things I remember being there were glasses by Libbey Glass Company. In my youth, not that things have changed much, I was a bit of a butterfingers. In other words, I’ve broken more than my fair share of glassware! Luckily I had two sisters and a cat to blame it on … just kidding. But seriously, I can remember buying new glasses for my first apartment … Libbey was there and so on in my life. America’s Glassmaker – that’s what they call themselves and they have definitely proven their staying power.

Libbey Mid-Century Modern Coffee Cups (available at Vintage Eve’s)

They are a company that has been around awhile. According to Company Histories website in the early 1700s the glass industry began to establish itself in New England with abundant forests providing fuel and Boston Harbor providing a way to move their glass.

Libbey Southern Comfort Glasses circa 1960s (available at Vintage Eve’s)

Then in 1818 the New England Glass Company was formed by a group of 4 investors. Running from 1818 through to the 1870s, New England Glass became the largest glass maker in the world. They employed over 500 people and made over $500,000 which was a lot in the 1800s!

Libbey Condiment Set Gold Leaf (available at StonyBrook Antiques)

New England Glass made high-quality glass, producing blown glass but also pioneering the process of pressed glass. Unfortunately, as time marched on and better alternatives to leaded glass were created, New England Glass chose to stick to their old methods in an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality.

Libbey Santa Glasses (available at Strychnine Vintage)

They believed the new innovation of lime-based glass was inferior to their lead-based glass. But the lime-based glass kept workers from getting lead poisoning, plus it cooled quicker and was perfect for pressing. Also, by this time the forests of New England were becoming depleted and coal was now required to be shipped in for fuel.

Libbey Brilliant Cut Class Creamer and Sugar (available at Vintage Hand)

So where does Libbey come into being? Well, as New England Glass started struggling William L. Libbey became an agent for them in 1870. Who was Willaim Libbey in the first place? He had been part owner of the Mount Washington Glass company.

Libbey Brilliant Cut Glass (available at Bob’s Basement Treasure)

Company Histories website says that even though New England Glass began to operate at a loss, Libbey convinced them to stay in operation until in 1878 when they leased the properties to Libbey himself. In 1880 the name changed to W.L. Libbey and Son, Proprietors. Libbey’s son, Edward had started as a chore boy in 1872 at New England Glass. His father was trying to get him to go to college and figured some hard work would make him change his mind.

Libbey Frosted Blendo Glasses (available at MidCentury or Bust)

He did eventually go to Maine’s Kent Hill Academy hoping to be a Methodist minister but a throat infection ruined his voice and made it impossible for him to be a public speaker so he went back to work at the glass company (Company Histories website). I thought this was an interesting side note. Because eventually, with his father’s death in 1883, Edward took control of the W.L. Libbey and Son company. He was 29 years old.

Libbey Blue Glass Bowls circa 1940 (available at JoAnntiques)

He worked hard and kept the company afloat relocating the glass works to Toldedo, Ohio which was close to natural gas fields, a railroad and Lake Erie. At that time, Libbey was incorporated as W.L. Libbey  & Son Company and then in 1892 as Libbey Glass Company.

Libbey Nash Footed Tumblers (available at Barb’s Vintage Finds)

There is a lot to their history, but one of the highlights was that they secured the rights to “build and exhibit a fully operating glass factory at Chicago’s 1893 Colombian Exposition.” (Company Histories website). People visiting could watch the glass being made and paid 10¢ for the privilege! They really took off at this point, showing hand-blown and cut glass, especially during the “Brilliant Period” of cut glass.

Libbey Clear Glass Reflectors for Roads (available at ToysNSuch)

In 1935 Owens-Illinois bought Libbey Glass. Libbey had made some great inroads in the glass business but also made some grave mistakes — like trying to go back to art glass just as the Great Depression hit. That left them vulnerable. They continued to run under the Libbey name after Owens-Illinois bought them. Owens-Illinois offered the great management they needed in order to keep the Libbey name in business.

Libbey Hostess Set circa 1950s (available at Vintage Kitchen & Home)

This company is still in business today making glass. For more in-depth information check out Company Histories website as it’s a great resource. I hope you learned something along with me today. As always, I will be partying all week at the link parties on the right; also great resources. Have a great week everyone!

Fabulous Fenton

What a week! I’ve just had to do a complete reset of my computer and reload a bunch of stuff. I can only thank the powers that be for cloud-based programs. All I had to do was log back in to Google and all my bookmarks and everything showed back up! My computer kept freezing and wouldn’t load — what a pain. Well, now that I’m up and running again, it’s time to investigate another vintage company. I’m choosing Fenton this week because I see it a lot. Take a look at these pieces I have in the shop.

I love the colors of their glass. The above pattern is Daisy and Button. Fenton Art Glass Company is actually the largest manufacturer of handmade colored glass in the U.S. According to the Fenton Art Glass website they began in 1905 founded by brothers Frank L. and John W. Fenton.

Waterlilly and Cattails Square Bowl circa 1908 (available at Glass Palace)

They started in Martins Ferry, Ohio and originally painted on glassware made by other manufacturers. The brothers decided, though, to make their own glass. They opened their art glass factory in Williamstown, West Virginia in 1907.

Fenton Iridill Butterfly and Berry (available at DerBayz Vintage)

One of their popular glasswares, Carnival Glass, orignally called “Iridill” was produced later that year; a “poor man’s Tiffany” (Collectors Weekly). Carnival Glass is a very popular collectible still.  But even more popular was a milk glass pattern called Hobnail. That pattern eclipsed even Iridill’s best.

Fenton Iridill Footed Bowl (available at Yesterdi’s)

Hobnail was actually an old Victorian Pattern. Collectors Weekly says that a combination of this hobnail pattern and another pattern called Diamond Lace became really popular, as well.

Fenton Diamond Lace Epergne (available at Elegant Etches)

As much as they liked making glass art, during the Depression and the war years, they produced more practical items like mixing bowls and perfume bottles ( During the 40s, the original founders had retired and Frank M. and Wilmer C. Fenton took the helm. They oversaw significant growth over the next 30 years.

Fenton Hobnail Milk Glass Set (available at Sweet Antiques Store)

Some of their popular early patterns were based on nature according to Collectors Weekly. Waterlily and Cattails, Butterfly and Berries, Peacock Tail, Wreath of Roses and Thistle.

Fenton Peacock Tail Pattern Bowl (available at Suzqui’s Treasures)

In 1986, George W. Fenton, Frank’s son became president. They ceased their production of traditional glass making in 2011 and currently make glass jewelry. They have continued to adapt to carry on the Fenton name and sometimes that’s what it takes to stay in business. Fenton has definitely given us some highly collectible pieces over the years. Happy collecting!

Fenton Melon Perfume Bottle Milk Glass with Rose Overlay (available at For Vintage Sakes)

That’s a wrap on another wonderful glass company! As always, I will be partying at the link parties on the right this week. Check them out, they are great resources. Have a great week!


Forever Franciscan

I always love finding new pieces of pottery. Recently in my travels I found these pretty little bread and butter plates. They are marked Franciscan on the back. According to my Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay book, the particular mark on these dishes dates them from the late 1940s to the early 1950s. Since the Ivy pattern didn’t come into existence until 1948, it’s a good bet these were made somewhere between 1948 and 1952.


Franciscan pottery is actually part of Gladding, McBean and Company. Gladding, McBean and Company was started in 1875 to make sewer pipe (believe it or not!). How did they morph into a company that made beautiful place settings for your dinner table you might ask? Well, let’s go down this rabbit hole together shall we!

Gladding McBean & Company Pitcher (available at My Regeneration Shop)

Charles Gladding, Peter McGill MCbean and George Chambers, all 3 from Chicago, traveled to California, lured by the discovery of fire clay deposits. They produced terra-cotta products, including tiles and bricks for building.

Franciscan Tiles (available at Jade & Loren)

In 1923 Gladding, McBean and Company acquired Tropico Pottery which made gardenware, art ware and mixing bowls. The artware and mixing bowls became part of the Franciscan line. The name is a nod to the California history. So it all starts to come together here.

Franciscan Desert Rose Bowls (available at Tazamaraz Vintage)

Over the next 10 years they continued to expand acquiring the Catalina Island Company which made Catalina Ware and Catalina Art Ware, American Encaustic Tiling Company, Stockton Fire Brick Company and Emsco Refractories Company. Phew! That’s a lot of acquisitions.

Franciscan Coffee Pot (available at Dad Is Downsizing)

It was in 1934 that they began manufacturing dinnerware and art pottery under the name Franciscan Ware. Their first dinnerware was simple and colorful. They added a pastel line later in the 40s. In 1942 they began manufacturing fine china in their Glendale plant also under the Franciscan label. They had 3 distinct lines, masterpiece china, earthenware, and whitestone ware.

Franciscan Ware for Toast Master (available at Another Blessed Day)

Their most popular “Desert Rose” pattern was done in Franciscan earthenware. That pattern was the most popular pattern ever sold in the U.S. Gladden, McBean & Company continued to make decorative tile, also.

Franciscan Oasis Syrup Pitchers (available at AdrianMH)

Their tile went into the large, colorful mural at the National Broadcasting Company Building in San Francisco designed by G.J. Fitzgerald.  40′ high, it showcased 114 different colors of glazes on 6″ x 6″ tiles.

40 Foot Mural at National Broadcasting Company Designed by G.J. Fitzgerald

In 1963, Gladding, McBean & Company merged with Lock Joint Pipe Company to form Interpace Corporation. Then in 1979 Josiah Wedgwood & Sons negotiated to buy Gladding, McBean & Company from Lock Joint. Wedgwood ran the plant until it was closed in 1984. Wow. That was quite a run for this company; over 100 years of creating beautiful pottery and useful pieces that enhanced our lives.

Franciscan Gladding, McBean & Co. Coronado Bowl with Tab Handles (available at Tolleth House Vintage)

Such an interesting piece of pottery history; to follow a company from sewer pipes to the most popular dinnerware pattern ever produced in the U.S. You can’t make this up! The information for this post came out of Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay which is an incredible resource.

Franciscan Maytime Butter, Creamer, & Covered Sugar (available at Dreads Basement)

I will be partying at the link parties on the right all week. Check them out – also amazing resources! Let me know if you have found and loved any great Franciscan Pottery pieces. I love hearing from all of you. Have a great week!


Simply Stangl

You ever buy something for someone else and then have trouble giving it away? Well, I’m having that trouble right now. I found this bowl …

Stangl Blue Bowl Basin 12″


It’s really a basin I think, by Stangl (no “e”) Pottery. I bought it for the store but I’m having a tough time letting it go. I love the color and shape; the scroll handles and the simplicity of the design. It may stay with me awhile, but that’s ok, too.

Stangl Magnolia Pattern China Warmer (available at Vintage Eve’s)
Stangl Teapot circa 1950s

This is not the first piece of Stangl pottery I’ve found. I have a bit of it in the shop like these pieces above with the Magnolia pattern. I sold the teapot awhile ago. Stangl is a pottery that has been around since the late 1920s but it wasn’t until 1955 that it officially became Stangl Pottery.

Stangl Gold Shell Dish (available at Liv Vintage)

Johann Martin Stangl, the founder, actually started working at Fulper pottery as a ceramic engineer in  1910. says that he left Fulper from 1915 to 1920 to work at Haeger pottery but returned to Fulper in 1920.

Stangl Pottery Kay Hackett Design Ginger Cat (available at bopiG)

In 1926 he became president of Fulper and changed the name at that point to Stangl Pottery. But as I said above, it wasn’t officially changed until 1955. Not sure why but that’s the story!

Stangl Art Vase Cornucopia (available at Yesterday and Tomorrow)

The Stangl Pottery website says that Stangl was responsible for the first “open stock solid-color dinnerware.” The original factory was located in Flemington, New Jersey with a second smaller factory built near it also in Flemington. They then acquired a larger facility that was already running in Trenton, NJ, giving them 3 working factories.

Stangl Pottery Plates Tangerine, Yellow & Blue (available at Perfect Yesterdays)

Well, they did until the original Flemington factory burned, so then there were 2 factories. They didn’t bother to rebuild a third. The one in Trenton was fairly large. According to the Stangl Pottery website, the other Flemington factory then became a retail showroom during the 1930s and was not a production facility after that. It was one of the country’s first retail outlets! On a busy week, the showroom saw more than 1,000 patrons.

Stangl Art Pottery Bird (available at Betsy Collection)

The company did well. Their hand-carved, hand-painted dinnerware was a favorite, as was their artware and bird figurines. They were sold in over 3,000 department stores, gift stores and more.

Stangl Square Plates (available at Planet Artifact)

Stangl Pottery did well from the 1940s until the early 1970s. When Martin Stangl died in 1972 the pottery was sold to Frank Wheaton Jr., of Wheaton Industries. says that production continued until 1978 when Pfaltzgraff Pottery purchased the right to the Stangl trademark and all remaining inventory was liquidated.

Stangl Gravy Boat in Golden Harvest (available at Matchmaker Matchmaker)

I always find it interesting to see the progression of a company and, especially in America to see how intertwined these companies all are.

Stangl Leaf Dish (available at Rebekah’s Retro)

Whether I sell that lovely bowl or basin (or whatever it is), or keep it for myself, I will have owned a piece of American history. A company that lasted through the Great Depression and numerous wars through hard work and dedication to the craft of creating items that we use everyday. I just love this stuff!

I will be partying all week at the link parties on the right. Check them out – so many great blogs, so little time!! Have a great week!



Beautiful Baccarat

Look at this lovely little kitty paperweight I picked up one day while picking up stuff for the shop! It’s got the sweetest little face!

Baccarat Kitty Paperweight (available at Vintage Eve’s)

I was really excited when I turned it over and saw the “Baccarat” crystal name and insignia etched on the bottom. Baccarat is an old name in fine crystal. Originally known as Baccarat Glass, the company was founded in 1765 by the Bishop of Metz. According to Crystal Art USA the Bishop wanted to “encourage industry” in the village of Baccarat which is about 250 miles east of Paris, France.

Baccarat Missouri Jam Jar (Available at GlassLoversGallery – Quiet Street Antiques)

The primary industry in the village was making utility glassware like windows, bottles, tableware, etc. and they did well for a long time. The business survived through the French Revolution (1789) but Crystal Art USA says the company struggled through the Napoleonic Wars (1812-1815).

French Cut Baccarat Crystal Box/Casket circa 1920 (available at Bougainvillea Lane)

When Aime-Gabriel D’Artiques, the owner of Vonech glassworks, suddenly found his company outside of France in the newly formed Belgium after the Napoleonic Wars, he bought Baccarat so he could have his company in France again. He didn’t want to pay heavy import taxes so this worked for his French customers.

Baccarat Needle Etched Cameo Oil Lamp Shade circa 1920 (available at Hester’s Closet)


Close Up Detail of Baccarat Oil Lamp Shade


The new Voneche-Baccarat company did well focussing on high-quality lead-crystal glass. D’Artiques sold the glassworks in 1822 and the Compagnie des Cristalleries de Baccarat came into existence. Crystal Art USA says that the name Voneche was left attached to the company until 1843.

Baccarat Chandelier circa 1920 (available at Art Vintage and Design)

It  became and has stayed one of the foremost makers of glass in France winning medals in Paris from 1823 up. Baccarat is particularly known for their crystal paperweights (like my little kitty). They are well-known for their beautiful decanters and bottles, also for figurines. According to the New York Times, Baccarat crystal completed its first royal commission of crystal glasses for Louis XVIII  in 1823. This commission, it is said, started the fashion for using different glasses for different beverages.

Baccarat Ebony Crystal Rabbit Paperweight (available at Bubbles and Riley)

Baccarat has continued since that time to become innovators in their field. They have perfected techniques and have a reputation for creating beautiful crystal glassware, as well as for being excellent, caring employers. The town of Baccarat depends on this glasswork company as their major source of business and jobs.

Baccarat Cut Crystal Goblets (available at Birney Creek)

Believe it or not, the company is now under the leadership of an American investment firm, Starwood Capital and Catterton Partners. It’s amazing how small the world is in this global market place! That is the way the world is changing, to which this company that started as a small village industry can attest. I always find this stuff so interesting!

Baccarat Egyptian Cat Paperweight (available at Old Yankee Trader)

I hope you learned something you didn’t know before and take this with you. I love learning and find something each week that I didn’t know before. Leave me a comment if you get a chance! I will be partying at the great blogs on the right side of the screen this week. Check them out, there’s so much to learn from each of them. Have a great week!