Raise a green glass to St. Patrick

By Terry Reuther Quillen

 

Is it green yet? With the sooty slush of winter gone, surely spring is close by. But before we celebrate the first green shoots of the garden, let’s raise a glass of green to St. Patrick by taking a look at the variety of glass collectibles in shades of green.

 

Among the most collectible is Jadeite. The color of key lime pie, Jadeite is an icon of the retro table. It was used at home and in restaurants. Several companies – including McKee and Jeannette – produced Jadeite pieces in the 1930s, according to MarthaStewart.com. But in the 1940s, Anchor Hocking produced the most practical: Fire-King, which withstands the heat of the oven (though not the microwave).

 

Jadeite is just one of Fire-King’s popular colors (another is milky blue azurite.) In the photo, right, is a collage of Jadeite items (clockwise from upper left): A batter bowl from GasLamp Too Booth T-395; a dinner coffee mug, from Stasea Dohony on Flickr; refrigerator ware from eBay; a beehive jar at GasLamp Too Booth T-194.

 

Jadeite’s beginnings were humble. It was made of scrap pieces of green glass melted down with other glass, often causing a swirl of differing shades of green.

 

For a little sass in your green glass ware, consider Vaseline Depression glass. Sometimes called uranium glass, its color can range from a greenish yellow to a lime green. Because of the presence of a slight amount of uranium in the glass, Vaseline ware literally glows under a black light. In fact, serious collectors take small portable black lights along to identify genuine Vaseline glass. That little bit of radioactivity doesn’t seem to deter them (and, in fact, it’s perfectly harmless).

 

If you prefer your Depression glass without the radiation, there are graceful green pieces often found in the ladylike Cameo Ballerina pattern. In the photo, left, is a collage of Vaseline and Depression glass (clockwise from top): Duncan Miller Vaseline candlesticks at GasLamp Too Booth T-504; Cameo Ballerina cup and saucer and footed relish at GasLamp Booth B-106; Richards and Hertley Vaseline berry bowl set and detail at GasLamp Too Booth T-715.

 

Green collectible ware takes an artsy turn with popular McCoy and Hall pottery. Particularly sought after in recent years are the mint green pieces – the bohemian first cousins of working class Jadeite. It’s easy to see why McCoy has a famous admirer in the décor doyenne Martha Stewart, who collects both white and mint green shades. Those beautiful McCoy colors are a major lure. In the photo, right, is a collage of Hall and McCoy finds (clockwise from top): McCoy vase at GasLamp Booth B-106; Hall pitcher at GasLamp Booth B-115; McCoy double flower pot with bird seen on eBay.

 

Perhaps the most elite dinnerware comes from Limoges in France, and the French porcelain artisans often used a gentle shade of green. An adorable example is the Limoges demitasse seen in the photo, left, is this collage of Limoges and Fenton finds (clockwise from top):

demitasse by M. Redon & Company, of Limoges, France, at GasLamp Too Booth T-371; Fenton  compote at GasLamp Too Booth T-545; Fenton satin basket at GasLamp Booth B-113.

 

In fact, GasLamp and GasLamp Too take the wearing of the green seriously. There are so many choices: from elegant dinnerware and emerald cut-to-clear goblets to satiny Fenton compotes and baskets. In the photo, right, is a collage of green stemware and china (clockwise from top): emerald cut-to-clear goblet at GasLamp Booth B-213; Flintridge china, 30-piece set, at GasLamp Booth B-307; Swedish bone china from Tiffany’s at GasLamp Booth B-210.

 

Spring will show up soon enough. In the meantime, tip a Donegal cap to St. Patty, and set a pretty table in green.

 

 

 

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