Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Current Obsession: Gold Imperial Glass

I saw this photo in the February 2012 issue of Architectural Digest and just about fell off the sofa.


It's a monumental collection of vintage gold Imperial Glass from the 1960s in the NYC apartment of Claire Weiss. The apartment itself isn't my fave -- it's amazing, don't get me wrong; just not my style -- but the glass collection is to. die. for.

In this photo I see a ton of the "Shoji" pattern, which are the ones with the straight-lined trellis pattern, like the ice buckets and decanter. I also see "El Tabique de Oro," which is the pattern on the very top right. "Sekai Ichi" is the criss-cross pattern on the bottom shelf, left side.  "Sortijas de Oro" is the kind of petal-shaped one near the middle of the upper shelf. There are several other similar gold Imperial Glass patterns that I don't spot here (though I'm betting she has them somewhere!) and there are a couple of patterns on this shelf that I don't recognize. Perhaps they're by Culver or another manufacturer of the era (?).  Regardless...STUNNING. 

I've coveted this glassware - Shoji, in particular - for years. I saw a set of four Shoji tumblers at a thrift shop ONE time, and they had so much gold loss that I left them behind. Even with the damage, I regret not snapping them up!  They are incredibly expensive to buy online, though they do turn up occasionally on eBay or Etsy. I once saw a set of the Shoji decanter and ice bucket go for almost $400 on shopgoodwill.com, which usually has rock-bottom prices.

Here's a nice set of tall Shoji tumblers currently up for auction on eBay:


They're currently at $85 with six days left to go -- too rich for my blood. It's hard to lay out that kind of cash when you're used to thrifting vintage glassware for a dollar per piece!

Someday, I feel confident I'll find some gold Imperial Glass...Shoji or one of its cousins...for a good price. Until then, I'll get my fix staring at the amazing collection pictured above!




xoxo

16 comments:

  1. Oh wow, those glasses are crazy awesome! I hope you find some at the much better $1 a glass price someday!

    Also... we just wanted to let you know we love your blog, and we just awarded you a Liebster Award! Check it out here!

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  2. That bar is absolutely gorgeous. I'm going to a pretty great estate sale in the morning so I will be focusing on barware now. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. Melissa...I know, aren't they incredible? Good luck tomorrow! I may have to do some estate-sale stalking of my own. ;)

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  3. I have never seen them in the wild! I pick up barware with gold and silver all the time, they do very well in the store. I will keep my eyes peeled for these, and I wish that you find a large set for yourself!

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  4. That collection is indeed incredible! Too pricey for me as well, though! :)

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  5. O.M.G. jaw-droppingly gorgeous! thanks to you now i have another thing to look out for in my favorite thrift shop :)

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  6. Thank you for posting the photo! I was searching high & low to determine if the stopper in the decanter we have is the original and it appears that it is! We were fortunate to have a grandmother who worked at the Imperial factory Bellaire, OH and we have a large collection of random pieces including the Shoji collection. What a treat to find this photo & others who appreciate the art of this era!

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    1. How cool that your grandmother worked for the company! I'm envious of your decanter. :) Best wishes and thanks for commenting!

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  7. Funny you posted this - last year I bought an entire set in LA at my favorite thrift shop. Initially, it was one glass and worn. I bought it for a $1.00 to use as a vase. A month later I walked in and there was the vase, the tumblers and the small glasses in the Shoji and one other pattern. I had no idea who made them and wasn't familiar with the markings even thought I collect vintage dishes and glasses. I saw the articile in AD and immediately emailed the magazine. They put me in touch with a gentleman who worked on this article with the lady and he sent me the information on the Imperial Glass Company. Needless to say, I am obsessed and i will keep digging until I find more and I'm not selling mine for all the tea in china LOL! I use them for all my dinner parties as water glasses, vases, for tea lights, etc. They are so versatile. I probably shouldn't say that or I'll have to fight everyone for it LOL! Great post.

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    1. Oh, I'm so jealous of your LA thrift shop find! :) SO COOL that you contacted someone connected with the AD article!

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  8. Hi, Heather --

    This blog was really useful! Yesterday, I spotted a Shoji (DEFINITELY the Shoji pattern) ice bucket and 8 tall tumblers in the photos for a fabulous estate sale. I went out and snatched them up this morning before work. I'm sure the estate sale company had NO idea what they were, considering what I paid for them. They're all in fantastic shape -- not surprising, considering this place was practically a palace. *swoon*

    Anyway, I do plan to sell this set in my Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/HeadSwankstress), since the only pattern I collect personally is Dorothy Thorpe's Silver Band. In my shop, I specialize in vintage, "Mad Men"-esque barware ... but, I'm honestly not sure what to charge for this ice bucket and 8 tumblers. I try to price my items reasonably. l

    So, two questions:
    1) What sort of price do you think I could charge without people running away in horror? I was thinking of starting at $350 and working down from there if they don't "move."

    2) What makes this particular pattern so expensive, comparatively, with other Imperial Glass pieces? I know they used real gold -- but so does Culver's "Valencia" pattern, and that doesn't seem to be as valuable.

    Any thoughts you could share would be greatly appreciated!

    -- RaeAnn
    2)

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  9. Absolutely gorgeous! Would you happen to know the pattern for the glasses on the second row far right? I found some at an estate sale and can't find these glasses any where. Thanks in advance.

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  10. I actually found it. It's called Spanish Windows.
    Thanks anyway.

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  11. I have a box full of these, but most need to refinished. Does anyone know of anyone who can redo the gold on them or if thats even possable. Its the spanish window kind. thanks

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  12. I have a set of 8 El Tabique De Oro-Gold by Imperial Glass-Ohio. If interested please email me.

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