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Monochromatic Lead Lustre Ware - Imperial Glass Company, Bellaire, Ohio, 1925-26

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    Posted 9 years ago

    (150 items)

    The Imperial Glass Company of Bellaire, Ohio produced huge quantities of mostly mold-made utilitarian glass during its eight decades of operation (1904 – 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:
    • Picture 1: Mulberry, Brilliant Blue Glaze & Dark Green
    • Picture 2: Canary Yellow
    • Picture 3: Orange, Gray and Blue
    • 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.

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    1. AmberRose AmberRose, 9 years ago
      Really interesting, thanks.
    2. SEAN68 SEAN68, 9 years ago
    3. MacArt MacArt, 9 years ago
      great post, we should have more posts like this
    4. Vintagefran Vintagefran, 9 years ago
      These are gorgeous VO, at first glance i thought they were ceramics.
    5. VioletOrange VioletOrange, 9 years ago
      MacArt, Thanks. This is an area (Imperial Free Hand & Lead Lustre) where I am fairly knowledgeable. I have a hundred piece collection and will post more photos/information in the future.

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