Sourcing Vintage Glassware
We enjoy blending thoughtfully sourced, vintage, and jewel-toned glassware, just like those that were perched inside my grandmother’s corner cabinets, with our current collections. This is what we call a true 'mélange of passé and présent'. We have water goblets, wine, and cordial glasses, as well as dessert coupes, which we often use for Champagne.
Much of our current vintage glassware collection originates from L.G. Wright, L.E. Smith, and Fenton Art Glass.
The History of L.G. Wright Glass
Si Wright, an entrepreneur and a glass salesman who had strong ties to the glass industry, founded L.G. Wright Glass in 1937 in the town of New Martinsville, WV. What made the company unique is that its products were produced by other known glass companies of the time such as Fenton Art Glass in Williamstown, Fostoria Glass in Ohio, as well as others in both Morgantown and Paden City. These factories used Wright’s molds and designs to create what would then be known in the future as L.G. Wright Glass and collectibles.
From the beginning, Wright ordered molds to be made for his own versions of popular Victorian patterns. He also bought some original molds, dating back to the late 1800s. These were known as Northwood, later National and Dugan. He negotiated with local manufacturers to get the best price for his glass production and sent his molds to them to be cast. Due to the fact that the same molds were used to make L.G. Wright Glass at several different glassworks, and at various times, the final products contained slight variations. You can imagine that Wright’s manufacturing caused confusion for quite a number of collectors!
Many of these reproductions were created during the 1960s. Two serious clues to identifying a reproduction are color and weight. Much of Wright’s original glassware was not marked, which makes it difficult to identify. What was marked would have had a “honey bee” or a circled and underlined “W” on each piece. Some of the originals had “N’s” on them which were later changed to “W’s” when Si Wright purchased the molds.
The company commissioned both hand-blown and pressed out pieces, and their range in color varied: cranberry, cranberry opalescent, blue and lemon “pearline” opalescent, amberina, carnival, purple slag, mary gregory, plum, pink, ruby, amber, green, blue and clear were some of the many. Tableware patterns that collectors are known to covet include Daisy & Button, Moon & Stars, Panel Grape, Strawberry & Currant, to name a few.
On May 27, 1999, approximately 700 molds of the then-closed company, L.G. Wright Glass, were sold at auction. Molds went to buyers who intended to use them for commercial reproduction. From that point forward, the vast majority of Wright’s glass was made from new makers. Affordable at the time, the quality of the glass and designs reproduced was very comparable to the exceptional originals. Unfortunately, the designs were not dated, so production years are difficult to identify.
Certainly, L.G. Wright Glass pieces, whether they be originals or reproductions, are enjoyed on tabletops across America today. It is a brand we can stand behind as far as the quality of the fire-polished glass and the brilliant coloring are concerned. Each is a sure indication that L.G. Wright glass pieces are made in America!
Some of the more popular production pieces that can still be found include barber bottles, lamps, water goblets, candy dishes & covered animal dishes.