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?

The cocktail goblets seen in this post are currently available at Audrey Would!, however the cordials have been sold since writing this post. Find 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 © Audrey Would! Vintage Home in collaboration with Sheila Zeller of Sheila Zeller Interiors. 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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!

 

A Treasure Request… A Treasure Found!

One of the services I offer through Audrey Would! is treasure hunting by request. There is no guarantee that every request will be met with success, but you can be assured that I will scour and hunt, look in every nook and cranny to try and make your treasure wishes come true!

And that’s exactly what I did for one of my customers this weekend. I am thrilled to share that I was able to make one of the items on her wish list come true!

This is the treasure that has found a new home – a 1950’s Marinex chafing dish from Brazil.

Marinex Silver Plate Chafing Dish, Brazil

Marinex Silver Plate Chafing Dish, Brazil (3) 600w

 

You can see this piece is in excellent condition – and this was before I gave the stand a quick buff!

Marinex Silver Plate Chafing Dish, Brazil (2) 600w

When I found this piece it was without the glass tealight holder – you can see on the stand where it is supposed to sit. I am used to that with pieces like this one, and I always try to have a few extras on hand. Yes, this little chafing dish will arrive with the tealight holder and a fresh tealight intact!

In my quest I actually came up with two options, and will be featuring the other one at the Victoria Vintage Expo Sept. 26 & 27. One little hint, it’s not a chafing dish, but it is another stunning piece!

If you are wishing for a treasure or two, I hope to see you at the fair, and remember, I’m happy to treasure hunt for you, too!

 Thanks for stopping by!

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

Fratelli Reguitti: Sometimes Major Changes Are Just Small Tweaks!

You might have seen this little teaser from the weekend…

Fratelli RegiuttiAre you wondering what it is?

This piece is not major in terms of its size or even addition to the actual decor, but it is a major piece when it comes down to function and feelin’ the love!

It is designed for, and destined to take care of scenarios like this… gotta love those cords!

Before the Valet (2a)

Anyone else out there appreciate? No, honey, I’m not throwing you under the bus! 😉

You see, I am partly responsible…

A few years back in a moment of empathetic male camaraderie,  my Dad handed over his clothing valet to hubs. But somehow it ended up becoming a place to hang my grandmother’s quilt, and well, a DIY project for me! Hehem…

So lately I’ve sort of been keeping my eyes open for a replacement valet while on my treasure hunting rounds, and finally last week this 1950s Fratelli Regiutti option appeared!

Fratelli Regiutti Gentleman's Valet

Fratelli Regiutti, an Italian designer behind some well known 1950s furniture pieces including this gentleman’s valet, and variations of it. Don’t you love that, a gentleman’s valet? They were originally made to hang up suits. You can see from the teaser pic, how well made Regiutti valets are. All I really had to do was give this piece a wash-down, clean up the brass shoe rails, and wax the wood. This piece is not at risk of a makeover… for now.

Once in place, this is what happened to hub’s corner of the lair…

Fratelli Regiutti Gentleman's Valet

Yes, the boxes were hidden underneath! And, I promised not to ‘borrow’ this valet for any other use!

What small tweaks have you made that impact major change? Have you ever heard of Fratelli Reguitti? What do you think of his gentleman’s valet?

Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern Audrey: Today’s Use for the Vintage Murano Glass Ashtray!

Murano glass is incredibly beautiful, and in its vintage day was often made into ashtrays. But with the glamour days of Lucky Strike long gone, the ashtray has been removed from pride of place in the home, and more often than not, stashed in a cupboard or thoughtlessly tossed away. I say, what a shame! What a shame to lose sight of the beauty within the object.

Murano glass is thick and masterfully crafted, the layers of colour so pretty…

Green Swirl Murano Glass Ashtray 1

I love the way light dances, bounces and sparkles as it brings exquisite pieces to life.

Green Swirl Murano Glass Ashtray 2

A flower bowl is just one way to transition vintage Murano art glass ashtrays into modern times. Other uses – a dip bowl, candy or nut dish, paperclip dish, kitchen scrubbie container, and if you’re gentle, it’s even great for a set of keys. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but Audrey Would! says you can! Find more details on this vintage beauty here.

How would you use this piece?

Thanks for stopping by!

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

 

Iconic Jascha Brojdo… Georges Briard

This is an article re-post originally written for Audrey Would! back in August 2013. Now that Audrey related blog posts are featured here, I wanted to re-share, because I love the story behind this Mid-Century great, and his ornately detailed pieces.

You know a notable designer when you see one – that is, when you search for a photograph of him, and all that comes up, image after image, is his amazing work!

Jascha Brojdo. Do you know who I’m talking about?

Photograph of Georges Briard - Anthology House

{Source: Anthologie House}

That’s right. Georges Briard!

Georges Briard was born in the Ukraine in 1917 under the birth name of Jascha Brojdo. At the age of 20 he made his way from Poland to Chicago where he earned his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at the Art Institute of Chicago. Do you know he also studied at the University of Chicago?

Jascha, being fluent in several languages, also served for the US Army in WWII as a Russian translator. He was discharged in 1947, and that’s when his life took on the shape we now connect him to.

A known, or maybe lesser know fact, Georges was an artist first, a designer second, which was ultimately instrumental in his use of Brojdo vs. Briard. But first, how did Georges Briard even come to be? How did he get that name from Jascha Brojdo?

After Jascha was discharged from the army, by the 1950s he had started working in New York with Max Willie whom he met in art school. Jascha first hand painted blank trays, which quickly became a huge success. These trays were initially signed with ‘Brojdo’, but because they were such a success, Willie came up with a pseudonym to mark Brojdo’s commercial pieces, and save his personal last name for his paintings. This is when Georges Briard was born!

How the actual name, Georges Briard, was chosen is mildly amusing. Willie liked ‘Georges’ simply because it sounded very ‘French’, and Briard after the breed of dog he [Willie] had recently lost! No, we’re not making this up!

Georges Briard became most well known through the 1950s, 60s and 70s for his signature dishware and glassware, from basic pieces to gold plated serving dishes. He was behind some of the decorated pieces of companies like Libbey and Anchor Hocking, as he would buy them clear, add his artistry and sign off with his finishing touch.

Georges Briard was also known for his ornate barware pieces like you see here.

Briard Pieces

I am of course swooning, and so excited to currently have this collection available at Audrey Would! {Bar Tools} {Gold Filigree Ice Bucket} {Gold Filigree Highball Glasses}

Though he never did officially change his name, in spite of how or where Jascha Brojdo’s designer name came from, the bottom line is the 22k gold signature we have all come to know was, and still is his brand.

Georges Briard Gold Ice Bucket - 22k Gold Signature 

Jascha Brojdo died on July 30, 2005… Georges Briard lives on today!

I am happy to raise a glass in celebration of Jascha Brojdo yesterday, Georges Briard today. Will you join me?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise indicated. Please link and credit if you choose to use! 🙂

 

Bedroom Makeover Update

Well, I’ve been working away on our bedroom makeover (introduced here), until progress suddenly ground to a halt. A lot of the parts and pieces are collected, and some DIYing is underway, however this week I was bitten by a nasty cold… All.Week.Long. 😐 So frustrating.

Here’s a little peek anyway.

This is part of the palette that was already in place, and won’t be changing (read more here, here, and here), so it became the jump-off.

Duvet, Drapes, Quilt Rack

You might remember an area rug was part of the new plan. These are the options within the rug budget that made the shortlist, and I’ve since chosen one.

Rug Potentials

Which one do you think I chose? I know, two very different textures, two very different looks!

And you might remember, I showed a long, low MCM dresser factored into the plan. Well, I kind of became a ‘Used Finds’ junkie, scouring the ads like a daily habit, week after week with little to no luck. And then finally one day, there it was!

Used Victoria - MCM Dresser, Mirror & Highboy

{Used Victoria}

A DIY option (at least for me), but definitely along the lines of what I had in mind. This came as a package deal with a mirror and a highboy, because the seller wouldn’t split the set apart. But for the price, it’s a deal that’s hard to beat since they are Honderich pieces c. 1960s, and nice thick walnut veneer.

TIP:

Did you know the veneer in older pieces is much thicker than now-a-days, therefore a better option to sand? And the base wood tends to be of a higher quality than what you get now. Something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a used find. I say, the older, the better!

Here’s a look at my workshop right now. Notice my other Used Find in the background? Hint: the doors are removed.

MCM Dressers & Cabinet Makeovers 033

Since so much of the space depends on the MCM dresser, I’ve been working on it first, even though I had the glass door cabinet before it.

The top is fully sanded and complete, and this is where I left off when the retched bug decided to take over. GRRRR. So frustrating. Oh, did I already say that?

MCM Dressers & Cabinet Makeovers 047

It feels like the cold is starting to break, so I’m hoping to get the sanding finished up this weekend. You can see I have the the finicky areas left, and I still have the drawer fronts to do. And I’m dying to get my hands on the other Used Finds cabinet, too! These pieces will have completely different finishes, and I can’t wait to get the pretty party started!

Are you working on any projects right now? Any makeovers to do?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise stated.

 

 

A Credenza Mystery

I received a really nice email the other day wondering if I knew the maker of, or had any info on the Brutalist credenza in Don Draper’s new office from Season 4. This is the photo that was attached.

Brutalist Credenza/Dresser

Source: Jonamor Decor

Roger, do you mind moving those chairs for me please?

You know by now I’m a Mid-Century girl at heart, have a date with hubs on Fridays for a few episodes of Mad Men and martinis, but do you think I could sleuth out many details on this piece?

The best I could do was find a few more images, very few details, and no original designer name. Here are the photos I found on Modernica blog.

Brutalist Freeform Credenza

Source: Modernica Blog

I guess Roger was leaving – he didn’t move the chairs for me! With this photo we can see the details of this piece a little better.

So this is what I learned…

This credenza is the ‘Freeform Credenza‘ and it came from Modernica Props in Los Angeles.

Here’s a full view of this very unique piece.

Source: Modernica Props

Did you know that Modernica, a now distinguished manufacturer and designer of Modern furniture, started out as a vintage store? Read more about Modernica here.

If I had to guess the designer influence behind this piece, I would say Phillip Lloyd Powell (1919-2008) and Paul Evans (1931-1987). Did you know Powell and Evans teamed up through the 60’s and 70’s? Read more about their partnership here, but suffice to say their union worked magic as evidenced by the cutting edge designs they created.

Here are some of their incredible pieces, so you can make up your own mind.

Sculptured Black Walnut Wall-Hanging Cabinet

Source: Worthpoint

American Walnut Wall Mounted Console

  Source: 1st Dibs

Black Walnut Amoeba Cabinet

Source: icollector

Walnut Desk

Brutalist Desk

Source: Invaluable

Walnut 2-Door Serving Cabinet

Brutalist Serving Cabinet

Source: Worthpoint

Black Walnut Sofa

Brutalist Sofa

Source: icollector

Pierced & Mirrored Folding Floor Screens

Brutalist Folding Floor Screen

Source: 1st Dibs

When you see the details of these Powell & Evans creations, can you see a similar style in the sexy Freeform credenza that calls Don Draper’s office home?

Here’s one more look…

Source: Modernica Props

I would love to know for sure the influence behind this Modernica credenza, but for now I’ll hand it over to Powell & Evans. I’ve also been informed this piece might actually be inspired by Lane or Witco. If you know something more, or anything different, I would love to hear from you!

Oh, and on the note of Don Draper’s furniture…

Watch for this MCM dresser to appear in Don’s bedroom in Season 5!

Source: Mod Monger Blog

Just say’n 😉

Do you like to know the history of the pieces used in set design? What show’s decor is getting your attention right now?

I love learning behind-the-scenes details, because there’s always more to the set than meets the eye. As I delve deeper, I am awed by the incredible attention to detail that goes into each part and piece of the big picture, and then I laugh at myself for being awed, because isn’t that how it works? As Charles Eames said, ‘The details are not the details. They make the design.’ And that’s the truth behind each and every set design, too.

Thanks for stopping by!

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