Getting Into Glass

I stopped off at the thrift, because I need to get back into the buy and sell, and picked up a few pieces. I also left behind something that was awesome, but, isn’t selling well on Ebay.

If I had space, I’d have snatched it up, because it was pretty: Spode.

Search for Spode, sold.

Right now, a Spode pattern called “Blue Italian” is selling well. Spode is promoting that pattern on their site, celebrating the 200th anniversary of that design.

The other patterns, however, are extremely affordable. They’re nice plates, though the designs aren’t for everyone. They’re very English, and always looking to cop styles from China, Italy, etc.

My speed is more like this: Cantina by Syracuse. This line, Cantina, is supposed to be like Homer Laughlin’s Fiesta line.

Cantina in Green
Cantina by Syracuse

It’s not that special, nor do small bowls sell well on Ebay, but hey, it’s what I like.  Generally it’s large platesthat do well on Ebay.

I grew up eating East Asian style, so, I like having a bunch of small plates, so the different foods don’t mix.   It’s not that East Asian food’s supposed to be separate; it’s so you can regulate how you mix them in your mouth. So, it’s like the opposite of big-plate eating, where, despite what people way, you want the gravy or peas or whatever to mix in with the other food, getting the grease and salt on there.

East Asian style is to keep things more separate, but the combinations are done at the last second. So you dip things in sauces, and pop it into your mouth. You eat something salty and greasy, and follow it with rice, combining it in your mouth; then you swallow it and follow it with some pickles.

I also use salad plates as plates. They’re perfect for sandwiches.

Noritake Salad Plate
Noritake Salad Plate

I think that’s called Heather. I am not really into this pattern. It’s the whole chintz flower pattern thing, but subtle, and in gray.  Somebody donated these with slight knife marks.

I like these saucers for more small foods. Nassau by Franciscan, Gladding McBean, a local pottery that stopped making plates, I think, in the 1970s.

It turns out that these saucers were also made by Noritake. Look at the backs:

The Franciscan plate says “By NTK”.  That stands for Nippon Toki Kaisha.

Nippon Toki Kaisha = NTK = NoriTaKe

Their company name is Morimura. Noritake was an export brand.  They also sold blanks to other companies, so they were “white label” manufacturers.

Here’s something else I couldn’t help buying, the Arcoroc Lancer pattern. This is a tiny cup called a “juice” cup.

Nowadays, juice = a huge tumbler of blended fruit.  Back in the 1980s, when this pattern was popular, “juice” meant orange juice, and oranges yielded tiny amounts of juice.  People also didn’t really like fruits and vegetables. They actually made fun of people who ate vegetables, calling it “rabbit food”, and even implied that eating fruit was only for homosexual men; saying someone was “fruity” was saying they were gay. This is partly why a meat is considered masculine: some men are insecure about their sexuality, and vegetables are a challenge to them. They may not even realize that they were subjected to this homophobic message decades ago.

Overall, I really like Arcoroc product. ARC International of France has different brands, and this is one of them. Their most popular brand is Luminarc, which is trendy right now.  Most of their product is from France, but I’ve seen there’s an Arcoroc USA. I have to wonder which American glass company is making that.

I also found a brand I didn’t know: Nachtmann.  A German brand.

This is the Stella pattern. It’s pretty rare, probably due to unpopularity. The quality of this glass is pretty amazing. You tap it and it rings like a bell, or a wine glass. The glass is thin as well. It’s nicer than Arcoroc… and I’d say Arcoroc is better than Libbey and Anchor Hocking, the popular American brands.  (Don’t get me wrong. I like both Libbey and Anchor Hocking.)  I found a couple nice pieces by Libbey:

The cup on the left is a Duratuf Gibraltar. Duratuf is a type of glass formulation, and it’s also a commercial line. It’s a really nice cup, and feels heavy, like leaded crystal, but it’s not.

The steiner is a vintage 1970s pattern, and mine isn’t marked with the L on the foot. My mom has a couple of these, and I found another one.  These are beer glasses, but I recall that we got singles of these when we bought orange juice at the Alta Dena dairy market.  Maybe that’s why there’s no “L”.

Libbey’s patterns are diverse. They range from classic patterns, to modern patterns, and traditionalist patterns.  You could say the same about Arcoroc and Anchor Hocking.  They all copy some of their patterns from each other.  Even that Nachtmann Stella pattern looks an awful lot like the Anchor Hocking Tartan pattern.


I was hoping to get some insight from writing this stream of consciousness down, but what I’m realizing is that glass is confusing as heck, because the designs are copied, the companies manufacture for each other, make unbranded product, and otherwise try to capture market from each other.

Even worse, I’m doomed to become some kind of glass hoarder because I’ll keep buying little plates nobody wants to buy.


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