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…
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. There were two variations of the scalloped-rim design produced in a range of colours. This amber option is referred to as…
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.
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 (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 (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…
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.
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. It’s a silver plated punch bowl by Towle, and I…
Some of you might remember this vintage brandy warmer I featured a few years back… 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…
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.
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.
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.
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!
All photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!
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. Shat-R-Pruf pieces…
Behind our collection of Audrey treasures rests a little or a lot of shine. How much depends on the piece, and whether or not it has patina to keep. Sometimes that decision is hard for me, but I had a friend once say the patina will always come…
And it’s a wrap!
Audrey Would’s first ever Holiday Shopping event has come and gone, and I’m pleased to say was a well-rounded success! It was really nice to meet new faces, catch up with old friends and see some favourite vintage treasures find their way into the hearts of new homes.
If you missed the event, here are some Holiday Shopping highlights for you…
It’s not too late! You can still shop www.AudreyWould.com. Please feel free to contact me if you don’t see what you’re looking for. We might just have it, but haven’t got it listed yet. If you are local, I am happy to coordinate in-person delivery!
Thank you for stopping by!
All photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!
The count down is on! Audrey Would!’s first ever Holiday Shopping event is just a mere few days away! You can look forward to: ‘Pick Your Ticket Savings’ Door prize draw for a gift basket filled with vintage goodies and local-fare treats Cocktails by Clemens on…