Culver & Acadian Distillers: A Mystery in Canadian History

At Audrey Would we are always on the lookout for unique vintage pieces, and when we find pieces that are Canadian vintage we are eager to learn more.

When these limited edition Acadian Distillers whiskey glasses were sourced I was advised they were Culver glasses.

Acadian Distillers Whiskey Glasses (x6) (1)

Culver Glassware, founded in Brooklyn, NY in the late 1930s, produced more traditional patterns earlier on until the late 1950s when they collaborated with Georges Briard to produce his gold screened patterns. These Acadian whiskey glasses certainly fit a more traditional profile for what we now commonly connect to Culver style.

When Culver moved on from their work with Briard they began to produce more contemporary designs under the Culver label, and become known for their top secret process of heat firing highly decorative, thick, textured and opulent 22k gold patterns. Culver’s designs gave ‘dripping with gold’ a whole new context in the world of glassware!

Here you see an example of a signed Culver piece in their very popular 1960s Valencia pattern.

Culver 'Valencia' Rocks Glass

So how does Culver’s history and Acadian Distillers mesh? Well we know Culver’s earlier pieces are hard to identify as they were left unsigned, and we know Culver started producing gold embellished glassware in the late 1950’s. Acadian Distillers was founded in 1957, so it is quite possible that Culver created these limited edition glasses for the Distillery.

Acadian Distillers Whiskey Glasses (x6) (4)The decorative style to these glasses, especially in the raised 22k gold design feel very Culver. And… in the late 1960s Culver became ‘the’ designer of choice for the up-and-coming as a result of their Valencia pattern’s popularity.

For Acadian Distillers, up-and-coming was a perfect fit! Founded in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia during the heart of its boom time, they were one of the largest employers in the community, producing Acadian Signature and Old Canada 8 YO Blended whisky. To quote the Chronicle Herald,

Bridgetown, a town that once hummed like a well-oiled, money-making machine of factories, shipbuilders and merchants… 

I think this quote captures the vibrant prestige of not only Acadian Distillery at the time, but why Culver would be ‘the’ choice to produce custom designed glassware for Acadian.

However, I was unable to find any information to verify these glasses as Culver specifically… even in spite of the good fit!

Do you know anything about Acadian Distillers? How about this collectible set? Find more information to purchase them here!

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

All photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

8 Replies to “Culver & Acadian Distillers: A Mystery in Canadian History”

    1. I love the research part and with these vintage pieces it’s often like solving a mystery because there is so little historical information online right now relative to the pieces we see online, and what is out there is often inaccurate. I have out-print books on glassware, some of the designers, etc. from the time to help me out!

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