Posted 9 years ago
The Imperial Glass Company of Bellaire, Ohio produced huge quantities of mostly mold-made utilitarian glass during its eight decades of operation (1904 â€“ 1984). In 1923 it introduced a line of art glass that was free blown by skilled glass artisans, which Imperial called Free Hand. This glass was artistically well done but not financially successful.
Looking for a cheaper alternative, Lead Lustre, made in paste molds before being decorated/finished, was introduced in January 1925. Some of it was decorated to resemble Free Hand but whereas wholesale Free Hand had sold 12 pieces for $50.00, the same $50.00 got you 30 pieces of Lead Lustre.
Records documenting 24 Lead Lustre decorations/colors (by number and description) have been found. They can be divided into four broad categories or motifs: Leaf & Vine, Festoons, Marbleized and Monochromatic .
Fifteen Lead Lustre decors have been documented as having "monochromatic" exteriors. These photos depict the eight exterior colors (different interior/throat colors and monochromatic pieces that have wheel cut decorations account for the remaining seven variations).
The eight exterior colors were called:
â€¢ Picture 1: Mulberry, Brilliant Blue Glaze & Dark Green
â€¢ Picture 2: Canary Yellow
â€¢ Picture 3: Orange, Gray and Blue
â€¢ Picture 4: Opal with Yellow-Green Iridescence (all three - but note
the difference in throat colors)
FYI: There are 17 documented Lead Lustre shapes (14 vases, 2 bowls and a candlestick). These photos show 8 of the documented shapes & one undocumented shape.