Dorothy Thorpe or Dorothy Thorpe Style?

Every time I see glass with silver/chrome in it, my heart melts. Where I live, I come across quite a bit of these glasses. At first I thought it was all Dorothy Thorpe glassware. But there were just too many designs that were too similar, yet not quite the same. So it spurred me to do a bit of research.

Yes, Dorothy Thorpe did make some of these pieces. What she is more well known for are her floral pieces. Yet many attribute only the silver rim glasses to her. Well, how do you know if it’s really hers? Well her two big designs with silver were Silver Band and Allegro. Silver band has a 1″ sterling silver band around the top that tarnishes, while Allegro has a 1″ metallic mirror-like band around the top that does not tarnish. If you’re not sure, you can measure. And the faded pieces? Well, they’re not Dorothy Thorpe designs.

This is not to say there’s anything wrong with the faded pieces. They’re just not Dorothy Thorpe. Then who are they? Well, many of the faded ombre glass pieces were produced by Vitreon Queen’s Lusterware. Like Dorothy Thorpe, they produced tumblers, decanters, carafes and bowls. They used the process of applying metallic glaze to give glass an iridescent metallic ombre glow, or what is known as the silver fade or silver ombre effect. Here is an example of Queen’s Lusterware.

There are plenty of other companies that created glass with silver decor in them during the 1950s and 1960s. This punch bowl set didn’t come with a box but did come with original paperwork saying it’s by a company called Distinguished Gift. The band is just shy of an inch but it does look like Dorothy Thorpe.

To help you keep these pieces around for another 75 years, here are some helpful instructions courtesy of Distinguished Gift to help you take care of silver that tarnishes on your glassware. If you use this glass frequently, the silver shouldn’t tarnish. If you use it infrequently, wrap the silver edge with plastic wrap to keep the air from the silver. To retain its richness, wash by hand in warm water using a mild soap. No abrasive and no dishwasher use.

Ombre Chrome Glass Bowls

Within days of spotting the Queen’s Lusterware roly poly glasses, I happened to spot this pair of ombre bowls. What a perfect match! This set was also produced by Queen’s Lusterware and produced in the 1950’s or 1960’s. It’s got that same smoky mirror-like silver color that is typical of lusterware.

Lusterware is a type of pottery or porcelain with a metallic glaze that gives the effect of iridescence, produced by metallic oxides in an overglaze finish, which is given a second firing at a lower temperature in a reduction kiln. It dates back to as early as 3 A.D., when luster was used to paint on glass.

This set of lusterware bowls is perfect for candies or just as a display piece. Personally, I’d love to see them next to the set of glasses. They look beautiful next to each other.

Queen’s Lusterware Roly Poly Glasses

As I started circling back to the entrance of a church sale, I spied this lovely set of glassware in a carrier. I decided to pick them up. It definitely leans towards the mantique genre. After I brought them home, my husband said that if I don’t sell it, we should definitely keep it. Not knowing much about it, I did a bit of research.

Mad Men has made these glasses popular again. This set of glasses is from a company in Brooklyn, NY (props to my home town) called Queen’s Lusterware, a company known for their high-quality silver fade glassware. These particular glasses are roly poly glasses produced in the 1950’s, though their heyday was in the mid 1960’s and 70’s. The rim has a mirror-like silver that gradually fades away as it nears the bottom. This style is referred to as silver ombre.

Usually only the glasses are found. This set has all eight glasses, along with its original caddy. The caddy itself is most likely a sterling silver, though it has a chrome look to it. It’s so mod and would make a great bar set.