Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Libbey Glass Rock Sharpe Pickwick Cocktail Glasses, and a History of Libbey

These are some vintage cocktail glasses by the Libbey Glass Company. The pattern is Rock Sharpe Pickwick, featuring red and black cold paint scenes of men drinking around a bar: mustaches, gay post war 1940's, boys' club whimsical and festive imagery. This shape is a small martini stemware glass for just a spash of the dirty. Or, these glasses could serve as larger taller stemmed cordials, perhaps to be used as a special petite stem for sherry, port wine for dessert, or as an aperitif?

The New England Glass Company was founded in 1818 in East Cambridge Massachusetts. In 1878 an employee, William L. Libbey too control of the company and changed the name to the New England Glass Works, Wm L Libbey and Sons Props. Just ten years later, his son Edward Drummon Libbey relocated the company to Toledo Ohio. In 1935 the company became part of Owens-Illinois Inc., a large glass manufacturer.

During the 1940's Libbey stopped producing the handmade cut glass it had been known for, to produce streamlined machine-made glassware; much of which is the glassware Libbey collectors today associate with the company. Cold paint and heat-treated processes made these signature pieces popular in homes as well as commercial institutions. In 1993 Libbey went public, traded on the New York Stock Exchange. After taking control of Crisa and Vitro, Libbey secured their position today as the second largest glassmaker in the entire world.

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