Tag Archive | milk glass

Antique Atterbury Milk Glass Plates

Last week I had the good fortune to discover this set of four delicate white milk glass plates at a thrift store.  It is amazing that such breakables have survived with no chips or cracks.  The pieces were made by Atterbury Glass of Pittsburg, PA.  They are marked on the backs with a capital A.  Atterbury was in business from approximately 1859-1902.  So these plates are antiques.  They appear nearly new with just the slightest scratch here or there from a utensil.

The beautiful open-work borders with their S-shape are so prone to breakage that I was very careful to examine the margins for hairline cracks.  My eyes are getting old, but I don’t think I missed any damage.  This sort of work is termed Early American Pressed Glass, EAPG.  It can be distinguished from later glass by the imperfections inherent to the material.  The glass will have flow lines, straw marks, tiny trapped bubbles and roughness around the edges where the pieces were knocked out of the mold.  As time passed and glass manufacture became more technically advanced, these mars were eliminated.  Thus, in this case the age of a piece can be told by its blemishes.

Atterbury produced tons of milk glass, the company was renown for it.  Some of their most popular pieces included hens and other animals on nests covered dishes, cups, and lacy open work pieces.  This S-shaped lace design has a decided gilded age feel to me, perhaps produced sometime in the 1880s.  This is just a guess.  Information about the company’s production, and especially the marks used, is very limited.  After the company went out of business, some of its molds were apparently sold.  Westmoreland Glass later made an identical pattern under its own mark.

Included in the set are three dinner plates measuring 8 3/8″ square and one salad plate at 7 3/8″.  I paid less than one dollar per piece and hope to realize a sale price of ten dollars each in my online shop.  The last similar one sold for $9 and it was a single plate.

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Westmoreland Milk Glass

west1A current listing in the Phoenix Farm online store is this lovely pair of lattice-work milk glass Westmoreland salad or luncheon plates.  The plates measure 8.5″ in diameter.  west5The delicate lace on the rims is decorated with tiny flowers at the intersections.  The pattern is called Forget-Me-Not and was produced from the early 1900s through the 1980s.  One plate has the WG mark and was made after 1946.west7  The other plate is unmarked and may be older or younger, it is hard to tell for sure since many pieces of Westmoreland production were not marked.  Some only carried paper stickers that were easily lost over the years.

Westmoreland Glass Company began in 1889 as Westmoreland Specialty Company and was located in Grapeville, PA.  The name changed in 1923 with a change in ownership.  The factory closed in 1984.

Throughout its history Westmoreland was known for high quality glass production.  Milk glass was their most common item.  Much of the glass was hand painted, especially before the 1940s.  Beautiful examples of handpainted Westmoreland glass can command high prices.  These Forget-Me-Not plates are sometimes found with a painted central design of wild pink roses, or with the flowers picked out in a bronze color.  The paint was applied cold, a process with often unstable results.  However, of the pieces I’ve seen, the designs generally appear to wear well with minimal paint loss.west3

Here is a link to the Westmoreland Glass collector’s website, where there are photo albums of the company’s products:  http://westmorelandglassclub.org/modules/smartfaq/category.php?categoryid=1