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ELEGANCE - “Personified”

Many times History of such extremely scarce patterns as this one, requires long  years to unfold.
Sapphire Elegance Bowl
Sapphire Elegance bowl Exterior
Sapphire Elegance Bowl
Sapphire  Elegance Bowl Exterior

The first example of Elegance is noted on Page 58, Book 8, of the Marion Hartung series, which was published in 1968. Mrs. Hartung illustrates and describes the lovely pastel blue eight-ruffle bowl shown here. She had borrowed it from one William Robert Essin of Washington, D.C. in order to render the outline sketch provided in her Book. This bowl offers a soft matte or satin finish. Lineage extends to purchase of the piece by Richard Cinclair of Texas, from  Mr. Essin in 1990. In due course, the bowl passed on to Elvis Randell of OK.  Fred and Cathy Roque of Bloomington, CA then bought the bowl from an  Ebay  ad. Current owner, Doris Bliss of Stanton, CA has provided us with an exterior photo of the piece, so that you can observe the octagon foot upon which these pieces rest. It measures 3 ½ inches in width and is slightly domed. The rise is scarcely one-half inch, with the entire underside filled with raised ribs radiating from center.

Ice Blue Elegance Plate
IB Elegance plate Exterior
Ice Blue Elegance Plate
IB Elegance Plate Exterior

This distinctive pattern surfaced again in the lovely radium-finish ice blue plate of  8  5/8  inches, to be sold during the annual ICGA Convention auction during the summer of 1969. Dr. Beckner, of Los Angeles was the successful bidder. His sister, Roberta Strachen, also of Los Angeles and longtime collector herself, vividly recalled the excitement over this plate when it appeared for sale. She told us the doctor was quite determined to have the piece and paid $1700 for the privilege………a significant sum at that time in history!

When the doctor passed away, the plate was inherited by Lyda Chin, his faithful office nurse of many years. She had cared for him during a long illness prior to his passing. Lyda was preparing to move to Oregon, bringing the plate to a Southern California Club Meeting for all of us to see. This was in February of 1988. Dean made a significant  offer to purchase. She declined the offer, but soon after her move, Lyda became quite ill. Knowing that Jim and Marie Capps were coming to San Diego to present a program for the June 1988 meeting of the San Diego Club, she contacted them, asking that they deliver the plate to us for the previously offered price, which they did. Needless to say, we remain quite pleased to have this wonderful plate in our collection!
On September 28, 1992, we received a call from Connecticut with exciting information about a second pastel blue plate which had been purchased the day before from a local flea market. The gentleman said the plate had the same radium-type colorful iridescence as the one pictured here. At the time of the call, the owner intended to retain ownership.

A consignment auction conducted by Tom Burns in Indianapolis on March 18, 1993 sold an ice blue Elegance plate for $3500. The auction brochure photo revealed an identical match for our ice blue plate. Reports indicated that it was purchased by a New England couple. Whether or not this was the same plate described to us in the 1992 phone call, is not known.
Reports of a damaged ice blue plate emerged later in 1993, from the New England area. However, no further details were provided.

The purpose of showing the exteriors of the blue bowl and plate is to draw your attention to the differing shades of blue in the base glass. This is another indication of experimentation on the part of the manufacturer.

Elegance Bowl in Marigold
During the ACGA Convention held in Lexington, KY in July of 1992, an Indiana couple (Jim and Carolyn Williams) came into our room to show us the first known marigold ice cream shaped Elegance bowl with a satin finish. Perhaps the photo does not reveal the shape very well, but it gradually slopes downward from the edges in rather an “eloquent manner”. The Williams' had purchased it about a year earlier while attending a farm sale just south of Indianapolis. Long-time, knowledgeable collectors, they quickly realized they had not seen anything like it before. At present, the same couple are in possession of the bowl. No other marigold bowls are known.

Elegance Bowl in Marigold
Elegance Plate in Marigold.
A gentleman from Tennessee placed the first known marigold plate into the HOACGA 2001 Convention auction. In-house as well as mail bidders responded favorably to its rare beauty. The final bid called for $6500 for the pleasure of ownership! Reports of a second marigold Elegance plate surfaced in late September 2001. We have it on great authority that Rudy Kovacs and Fred Warren who live in Florida  are delighted with this rarity. In our discussion on the subject, Rudy commented that  “This beauty has class it hasn't even used yet!”

Elegance Plate in Marigold
Elegance Plate Exterior
The unique reticulated edge used on these pieces is shown to better advantage when looking at the backside. This reveals the refinement of crystal as nothing else does. This determines the manufacturer to be of United States origin, we believe. There is nothing to say that one of the elegant glassware producers, such as Heisey Glass, of Newark, Ohio could not have been experimenting with competitive carnival glass designs well along in the lucrative era. After all, they were vast producers of quality glassware of MANY types up into the mid 1950's when we attended their closing sale.

Elegance Plate Exterior

A dominant feature of the face pattern is the detailed and stippled open blossom in the center, quite similar to those found on the Northwood Petals compote and Lotus Land bonbon. Stylized flowers and leaf fronds circling the outer edge, culminating in tiny inverted scallops along the rim is a feature found on some crystal and etched pieces such as Fostoria. The row  of  beading in the central pattern is yet another mark of crystal examples.

Perhaps this exquisite, “elegant” pattern, with its distinct color  textures  was  being developed for the competitor's market during the early 1920's  when Fenton placed so much red into the market place, and Northwood extended the rage over Carnival Glass by developing their famous pastels. Certainly not everything on the drawing boards managed to get into production before the end  of  that era. Could the Elegance examples represent samples for which orders were not placed?  It is unlikely that we shall ever discover the fact of the matter. Verification of manufacturer continues to be evasive. There is one factor to be emphasized here. These pieces are of the finest crystal artistry,  NOT  found  in ANY Carnival Glass manufactured outside the USA! The finely scalloped edge treatment on this pattern stands alone in the world of iridized Glass!   There  is   NONE other like it, nor  of  finer quality to be found……..

Update: 12/03/03

Marigold  Elegance  plate: The third known example was purchased over Ebay in late Nov. '03 by Doris Bliss. Reportedly, this example came from New York. (She's been carrying it around the house with her ever since it arrived!) Does that tell you which is her “current favorite piece”? (smile)

Elegance Bowl
The second blue example (advertised as sapphire on the auction brochure) in bowl form surfaced in 2003, bringing a handsome $2900 price. No question about its radium-type finish! Rudy Kovacs and Fred Warren were the successful bidders, so their marigold plate now has a welcome companion!.
Elegance Bowl - Sapphire
Update: 12/03/03

Sapphire blue ruffled bowl: The third known example in this color  was reported by Lance Hilkene, in New Jersey. Lance says the bowl came from a home furnished in Victorian décor and had been given to the lady as a gift from her husband.

ELEGANCE  UPDATE - Oct. 28, 2006

ELEGANCE Plate - IB-sold Oct. 2006
ELEGANCE Plate - IB - sold Oct. 2006

The Jenks collection of long-standing provided the third known Ice Blue Elegance plate. The sale was conducted by Richards' Auctions in Hagerstown, MD during the annual Mid-Atlantic Convention. This rare and beautiful plate sold to Mr. & Mrs. Richard Smith of NC for $6100. The first of the marigold plates in Elegance pattern brought $6500 when it sold in 2001.

Dean & Diane Fry - Oct. `03

“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances,
but a person with a certain set of attitudes.”

Should you care to contact the Frys, their email address is:

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