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Vintage Bluerina, Blue Amberina Glassware: It’s all in the Fade!

Bluerina glassware. What is it?

You will most likely have seen in passing the very popular Amberina glass, a two-toned red/amber glassware originating in the late 1800s. It was patented by Joseph Locke of the New England Glass Company as a result of others trying to copy and produce the original technique. Amberina fades from red to amber with red being at the top, amber resting at the base. Periodically you will see this fade in reverse, which is aptly called Reverse Amberina!

At Audrey Would! we have two sets of stemware from the Amberina family, but in blue rather than the original and more common red. The blue variation is known as Blue Amberina or Bluerina, and is actually considered to be one of the rarest, if not the rarest form of this formula fade.

Let’s take a look.

Blue Amberina, Bluerina Cordial Glasses, Audrey Would

Do you see how the top shade of royal blue fades and becomes a fiery amber at the base of these cordials? Stunning!

The process of creating this reactive glassware is interesting. It requires reheating the glass at the top of the piece before actually allowing the glass to cool. The glass is heat sensitive, so when it reaches a certain temperature on the reheat it begins to turn colour and transition into the fade. I mentioned earlier, Reverse Amberina, which is created by going the opposite way – reheating the base rather than the top.

Each piece, even as a set, is really unique because of the temperamental nature of reactive glass. You will see variations in the fade, some pieces featuring a very gradual ombre transformation, while others show a more distinct line between the blue top and amber base.

Blue Amberina, Bluerina Cocktail Goblets, Audrey Would!

You see that with these Bluerina cocktail goblets. Notice the difference in fade within this set? You can barely see the amber base because the fade is so tight, but trust me, it’s there! Now compare this set with the first set above. What a remarkable difference in the fading effect!

I have a theory…

These goblet bowls are 2″ deep, and the cordials are 2 3/4″ deep. That means there is an extra 3/4″ for the reactive process to ‘take fade’ in the cordial set. This of course, is my theory minus the scientific side of the process!

If you are lucky enough to find a Bluerina piece, look for the gradual fade vs. the more definite line between colours. Gradual fade is the most collectible and seeks a higher price! Also, do not limit your search to just blown glassware. This reactive glass process was used in both blown art glass and pressed glass items! Who knew?

Both of these sets are blown glass with fused stems and base.

Blue Amberina, Bluerina Cordial Glasses, Audrey Would!

Some of you might remember my earlier post featuring these cordials and Grappa with chocolate and frozen grapes! Decadent, no?

Both stemware sets seen in this post are currently available at Audrey Would! Find the cordials here, and the goblets here.

Do you have any Amberina or Blue Amberina pieces in your collection? If so, where are your pieces from?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller for Audrey Would! Please link and credit if you choose to use! 

 

 

 

Vintage Double Rocks Glasses… and the Mystery Cocktail on Ice!

If you’ve been following along on Audrey Would!‘s Facebook page, Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter you will have seen the teaser posts! Yes, we were playing around with hand carved ice cubes, and we did enjoy a classic cocktail over a cube or two! You’re dying to know what that cocktail was, aren’t you?

This is a little preview of the hand carved ice cubes in the making…

Hand Carved Ice Cubes (Audrey Would!)

We boiled the water first and then froze it in a well-rinsed milk carton. Apparently boiling the water creates clear ice? Maybe next time! What we learned later is that filling a small cooler with hot water is the way to go. There’s something about the water freezing from the top down that makes perfect blocks of ice to carve from. We’ll be giving that a try!

Our ulterior motive was to feature these stunning vintage double rocks glasses paired with a classic cocktail on ice. Why? These glasses are slightly larger than your typical double rocks size, and perfect for a large, hand carved cube, or the popular round ice balls we’re enjoying these days. There’s something really fun about these big, single chunks!

Vintage Double Rocks Glass, 22k Gold Rim, Crystal

These glasses are hand blown Czechoslovakian crystal with 22k gold bands… available in a Set of 4 at Audrey Would! Notice the slight contour? This is a fantastic feature, because the contour really does make this larger rocks glass easier to hold. I love these glasses, and am feeling slightly attached!

I know I set you up with this teaser pic, so let’s not prolong the delay!

Double Rocks Glass, Hand Carved Ice , Audrey Would!

Here’s a look at this hard-to-find vintage beauty filled with the popular cocktail classic, the Negroni! Isn’t the Negroni pretty?

Negroni, Vintage Double Rocks Glass, Hand Carved Ice Cubes

The top photos feature our carved cube, and the bottom shows the round ball of ice. Notice the difference in drink level? The Negroni was measured the same for both, but the chunk of carved ice was larger. Displacement in action… and would you believe me if I told you the Negroni is considered an aperitif? It’s the truth!

I like what we have here: a classic cocktail served in a sleek vintage double rocks glass perched on a Mid-Century Atomic bar stool.

Negroni Cocktail, Audrey Would

Does it get any better than that? Find Cocktails by Clemens’ recipe here, and learn a little about the Negroni’s history here! Oh, and do you have any ice carving tips to share? We’d love a tip or two!

Thanks for stopping by!

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

Vintage Indiana Glass Amber Bowl… Garland or Teardrop? What You Might Not Know!

I recently listed this amber coloured Indiana Glass compote over at Audrey Would, and wanted to address a little confusion that surrounds this popular pressed glass piece.

Indiana Glass, Garland, Amber Compote (1)

There were two variations of the scalloped-rim design produced in a range of colours. This amber option is referred to as ‘Garland’. The other design is commonly known as ‘Teardrop’ and it features single droplets opposed to these clusters of three.  The interesting thing is neither one, Garland or Teardrop, represent the actual patterns Indiana Glass produced between 1940 and 1970 by those names, and yet Indiana glass marketed this piece by the pattern names! Confusion.

And just to add to the confusion… this stand-alone piece was also marketed as the ‘Decorator Bowl’ and sold at home parties by Tiara… back in the day! Simply put, this bowl was made to be decorative and is in name-only part of either pattern line. Further, it’s understandable why there’s this much confusion, because the packaging says so! If you are lucky enough to find this piece with its original box, you will see ‘Garland’ right on the box itself. Why wouldn’t you think that was the pattern name?

Just for fun, here are a few mock-ups featuring how versatile this decorator bowl with its history is!

 Vintage Indiana Glass 'Decorator Bowl'

 

Interested in this Indiana Glass piece? Click here to purchase from Audrey Would!
Thanks for stopping by!
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Photographs by Sheila Zeller for Audrey Would. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

Mr. J. Donald Burke, Burke & Wallace Silversmiths, Canadian Vintage

Celebrating Mr. J. Donald Burke, and sharing this post with gratitude…

Some of you might remember this pair of vintage silver goblets I featured over at Audrey Would! A beautiful boxed set nestled in turquoise satin by silversmiths, Burke and Wallace.

Burke & Wallace Silver Plated Goblets, Boxed Set

Today it is my privilege and honour to share a little history about Mr. J. Donald Burke, written and provided to me by Mr. Burke’s daughter, Shirley Imbeau.

But first, do you recognize this 36″ high, 35 pound silver goblet in the hands of J. Donald Burke? Yes, the Stanley Cup is very much a part of Mr. Burke’s story!

J. Donald Burke (1963), Stanley CupJ. Donald Burke, 1963 (Photo courtesy of Shirley Imbeau)

A glimpse into the life of J. Donald Burke as written and shared by daughter, Shirley Imbeau:

J. Donald Burke  was born in a small town, Trenton, Ontario, Canada in 1922.  His father died when he was twelve and being the oldest son in a family of 5 children, he left school with a 7th grade education, and started working to support the family at a silver manufacturing plant, Benedict Proctor and Sons. He started in the cleaning department, and learned to love and understand the silver business.

He had mastoid surgery in 1942 and completely lost his hearing in one ear so was unable to fight in the war, but moved to Toronto and set up a silver repair business.  He was able to get financing from Mr. Wallace (unrelated to Wallace Sterling) and Burke and Wallace became a silver manufacturing company in Toronto.  With amazing people skills, a gift he has always used for God, and with what my mother always referred to as ‘know how’, he grew the business until it was the largest in Canada until he sold it in 1986 and it was subsequently and very sadly closed down.

He made silver under many trademarks; I still don’t recognize them all!  For many years he repaired the Stanley Cup, added rings, and made individual cups for the players of the winning teams.  In 1963 it was decided that the cup was becoming too brittle to be enjoyed by the winning teams and he made an exact replica. On Nov 4, 2014, the Keepers of the Cup, Phil Pritchard and Craig Campbell brought the cup for a special visit to the retirement home where my father now lives.

J. Donald Burke, 2014, Stanley CupJ. Donald Burke, 2014 (Photo courtesy of Shirley Imbeau)

Such a privileged glimpse into an amazing man’s story! I’m sad too, that Burke & Wallace no longer exists, and am grateful to have come across these goblets, grateful for what transpired next.

And what did transpire? How does all of this tie together with Audrey Would? Some of you might remember this Facebook post from January…

Burke & Wallace Goblets

Wouldn’t you agree, this is a truly beautiful goblet set?

And now, here is where the goblets have ended up…

We are so delighted to have the wine goblets, and my son Andrew who adores his grandfather and found them on your website, is now the proud owner.

[Shirley Imbeau] 

I have always believed it’s in the stories where each piece comes to life, and these goblets definitely have a life! They have certainly travelled a journey to find their way home.
Thank you Shirley, for taking the time to share a little of your father’s story!
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Photographs by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise indicated. Please link and credit if you choose to use. As a courtesy, please do not republish the images of Mr. J. Donald Burke without the consent of Shirley Imbeau.

Cheers! Bittersweet, but I’m So Okay!

When sourcing pieces for Audrey Would! my eye is typically taken to items I like. In retail that’s not always best practice, but with this vintage niche I find it generally works for me.

Awhile ago I featured this pretty amazing statement piece.

Towle SP Punch Bowl 650

It’s a silver plated punch bowl by Towle, and I know not everyone is in the market for a piece like this, but I thought it would be fun to share a few different ways this punch bowl can be put to use.

After all, we do have the wedding season coming up! That means stagettes, bridal showers… you know how it goes!

Some of you might remember, I sourced this bowl along with another option for a customer by request. In the end the other piece was chosen, so this punch bowl became part of the Audrey Would! collection.

At our Holiday Shopping Event I featured the Towle punch bowl with a mix-and-match selection of silver plated goblets and coupes.

Silver Plate Punch Bowl

This bowl as a punch set originally came with little handled cups. Sweet, but I have to say, I do like the mix-and-match approach. It turns ‘sweet’ into ‘fun’!

And…

When we were in San Francisco I fell in love with the way Bix Restaurant put a similiar silver punch bowl to use.

Silver Punch Bowl, Martini Glasses on Ice

Don’t mind the grainy phone pic. I just wanted you to see the martini glasses chillin’ on finely crushed ice! Isn’t this great?

And then…

On New Years Eve the Towle bowl was test-run for a similar use, but to chill Prosecco on cubed ice instead!

New Years Eve

You see, we opted in on a Jamie Oliver suggestion. He-hem… as Jamies toutes it, ‘Pimped-up Prosecco‘. So all the vintage pitchers you see actually hold fresh juices to go with the Prosecco.

Blood Oranges

Another grainy phone pic, but yes, it really was ‘that’ good!

After seeing the range this great piece double-duties for, would you hold it against me if I said I was feeling bittersweet about its sale and departure? No, not me either! I am thrilled this fantastic vintage piece has found a new home!

Just think, the possibilities are endless!

Do you have any vintage pieces that stand in for other uses? Please share… heck, please send pics! Why not? The creativity of one expands the opportunities for another!

Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

 

Vintage Bar Tool: 1940s Trap Jigger by Fay

It’s no secret, we have our own bar cart and are having fun learning the art of cocktail mixing. But did you know that after a day of treasure hunting, my Mr. always gets first dibs on the barware pieces I’ve managed to find?

We-ell…

About 2 weeks ago this little jigger made its way through our door, and will be staying in our home collection.

1940s Trap Jigger by Fad, Audrey Would!

This piece is a 1940s Trap Jigger by Fay, made in Japan. It’s a 3/4 oz measure, and the way it works is to rest the Bakelite knobs on the rim of the glass (don’t let go of the jigger!), press down and a trap opens up to release the spirit you’ve measured out!

1940s Trap Jigger by Fay, Audrey Would!

When it comes to cocktail mixing it’s all about the details. When it comes to vintage barware, it’s all about design!

Thanks for stopping by!

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

The Pink Lady: A Classic Cocktail for Valentine’s Day!

We’ve been having a ton of fun over here at Audrey Would! mixing up classic cocktails and pairing them with vintage drinkware. If you’ve been following along on Instagram then you know what Clemens and I have been up to!

This year our cocktail pick for Valentine’s Day is a tried and true classic, the Pink Lady. And don’t let the name fool you! This pre-prohibition delight is feisty, but first let’s start with the vintage cocktail coupe we decided to use.

Etched Vintage Crystal Coupe - Audrey Would

A vintage saucer coupe with etched botanical design. {{Aside: Can someone please tell me the name of this pattern?}}. We love the elegant shape to the stem and the slight flare of the rim, perfect we thought for the first impression attached to this ‘Lady’.

So the Pink Lady.

Our recipe requires this:

  • 1 1/2 oz dry gin (Ampersand Gin for us)
  • 1/2 oz apple brandy (read on to see what we use)
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice (freshly squeezed, of course)
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup (yes, we make our own)
  • 1/4 oz grenadine (did you know you can make this, too?)
  • 1 egg white (will be enough for 2 cocktails, but isn’t too much for just 1)
  • Ice for shaking
  • Garnish: 1-3 Maraschino cherries on a cocktail pick (we use Luxardo cherries – you really must!)

A shot of the basics to get you started:

Cobbler Cocktail Shaker - Audrey Would

*Important* Steps to shake it up just right:

  1. Pour all ingredients except the ice into shaker, and shake-shake-shake for at least 10 or so seconds.
    •  This is called dry shaking, and it’s done without ice first to emulsify the egg white. 
  2. Now add the ice and shake again for at least another 10 seconds.
    • Don’t be shy, you really need to shake it up!
  3. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
    • This means pour through cobbler strainer into handheld strainer positioned over cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with the skewered cherry/cherries.
    • Pick a fun cocktail pick, that’s just what you do!

Pink Lady Cocktail, Audrey Would!*Note, you can serve this cocktail in a rocks glass over a single ball of ice if you want to mix it up a little! And this brings me to the Pink Lady herself.

Did you know this pink, frothy-topped cocktail is not really the girly drink its name suggests? No, I didn’t either! Rather than rewrite the script, I’m linking to an article written by Paul Clarke. It’s worth the click, it really is that good! And bonus, Paul includes a recipe, too. Now you get to choose, or better yet, mix and shake to create your own!

Have a little fun with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. Put your trust in the Pink Lady!

Pink Lady Cocktail, Audrey Would

What Pink Lady secrets do you have to share… recipe secrets that is. ;-)

Happy Valentine’s Day, and thanks for stopping by!

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

 

If You See It Here, Don’t Hesitate to Inquire!

Some of you might remember this vintage brandy warmer I featured a few years back…

Warming-up-the-Brandy-2cr

It was a gift to my husband – I wrote about it along with some of its history in this post.

Since then a lot has happened including the inception of Audrey Would! If you follow along with Audrey Would listings, you will have seen the brandy warmer below listed early on.

SOLD BAR-2050-SZ Copper Plated Brandy Warmer & Crystal Snifter (2)

This piece sold, but we still had the option below tucked on the shelf. It wasn’t listed because we were looking for a snifter to complete the set.

 

 

Italian Brandy Warmer Stand

Well this piece has just sold, but not because it was paired with a snifter and uploaded to Audrey Would! No, it sold because a gentleman followed up on my original brandy warmer post and asked if I had another stand available for sale!

And then there was this set of pinecone embossed coasters. They never got as far as a listing, because after they were spied on Facebook  I received a message inquiry, and then they were off to a new home!

Aluminum Pinecone Coasters (x4), Millbrook Industries, Canada

My point?

If you see something in one of my blog posts, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or my other social media channels that you don’t see listed on Audrey Would!, please don’t hesitate to inquire. I may not have the item, I may not even carry the item at all… but I also might have just what you are looking for! And if you are searching for a very specific piece…

Some of you might remember this chafing dish – I wrote about it here.

Marinex Silver Plate Chafing Dish, Brazil

 

Why yes, this piece was sourced by special request!

We have a collection of great vintage pieces not yet listed, and a wish-list of items we’re searching for. If we have the item you are asking about, and it’s not yet uploaded to Audrey Would!’s site, I will forward photos for you to see! Please don’t hesitate to follow the examples above. Contact me to inquire!

Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

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!

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

Shat-R-Pruf Spaghetti String Cocktail Glasses

Did you know the once popular psychedelic spaghetti lamps of the retro 1960s-70s strung their style into cocktail glasses, too?

That’s right. Coined ‘spaghetti string’ glasses, these vintage roly poly glasses are from the Shat-R-Pruf line made by Colour Craft Corporation out of Indianapolis.

Spaghetti String Roly Poly Caddy Set (x8) Colour Craft (3)

Shat-R-Pruf pieces were made of glass and coated with plastisol, a liquid form of vinyl cured by heat to set the shape. If you look closely at the rim of these rolies you can see the glass is clear. The actual colour is in the Tu-tone Plastisol, the first layer being the solid coating and colour, the second layer being the spaghetti string design.

Spaghetti String Roly Poly Caddy Set (x8) Colour Craft (2)

Plastisol feels rubbery to the touch and makes the glasses easier to hold. The vinyl coating also makes the glasses shatter proof and acts as an insulator. This means drinks stay colder for longer, but with less slippery condensation on the glass! I would say these are quality features in a cocktail glass, but others might deem them ‘safety’ features, too! ;-)

BAR-4098-SZ Spaghetti Roly Poly Caddy Set (x8) Colour Craft (1)

And… apparently these glasses will not stain or fade, and are dishwasher safe. I won’t argue with the manufacturer, but I have my own reservations about vintage treasures and dishwashers playing in the same game. I’ll leave that decision up to you! Whatever you decide, definitely do not prolong soaking – this will encourage the plastisol coating to peel… I’ve done this!

If you want to go retro but aren’t too hip on psychedelic swag, why not add this Shat-R-Pruf caddy set to your own barware collection? Interested… Purchase here.

At Audrey Would! we think they are a fun-tastic find!

Thanks for stopping by!

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