...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Saturday, June 2, 2012

iLove Libbey Rock Sharpe!!

Long time ago, I found these glasses at an estate sale.

It was Sunday and it was not yet really steamy hot.. so was it last spring? Mr. CJ was with me. OOOh, yeah. And he graciously, not saying nothing about his frown, wrote out the check for glasses and some dinner plates.

For a year I was curious about their maker. But never did anything about it. However, this last week, I took a photo off my blog and sent it to Replacements, LTD. Within a few days, I had an answer.

Libbey Rock Sharpe. Replacements pattern #2009-4. I say this because Replacements pattern # is not the same as that from Libbey. Did you know that Libbey glass made cut leaded glass? Hand-cut? Neither did I!

From Libbey Corporate: Libbey has its roots in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, home of the New England Glass Company which was founded in 1818. William L. Libbey took over the company in 1878 and renamed it the New England Glass Works, Wm. L. Libbey & Sons Props. In 1888, facing growing competition, Edward Drummond Libbey moved the company to Toledo, Ohio. The Northwest Ohio area offered abundant natural gas resources and access to large deposits of high quality sand. Toledo also had a network of railroad and steamship lines, making it an ideal location for the company. In 1892, the name was changed to The Libbey Glass Company.

Originally the New England Glass Company, from East Cambridge, Massachusetts, The Libbey Glass Company was purchased by William L. Libbey in 1878 and moved to Toledo, Ohio in 1888 and was renamed in 1892. Toledo was appealing because of the available gas resources and access to quality sand. Add that to the railroad systems and port, it is no wonder Toledo has been home to Libbey Glass for well over 100 years.

From Replacements: If you had to pick two words to describe Libbey Glass Company's offerings over the years, "diverse" and "prolific" would certainly apply. The company has delivered such a wide array of goods: cut glass, art glass, blown glass, inexpensive hand and machine ware, pattern glass, and glassware for the hotel and restaurant trades. The list goes on!

For over a 100 years, from about 1820 to 1920, cut glass was the principal product of New England Glass/The Libbey Glass Company. In fact, Libbey was one of the world's largest producers of cut glass during the early part of this century, employing over 200 full-time engravers in 1915, leaving behind a tremendous legacy of cut glass tableware, serving pieces, and items for the home, such as vases and lamps.
These products were fashioned from expensive lead glass and engraving was done using the demanding copper-wheel technique, which is the finest and most detailed kind of engraving. Many patterns and designs were made in sets of various sizes. Today, it is common to see examples of Libbey's brilliant cut glass products on display at museums.

For many years, Cataract-Sharpe had purchased blanks from the Libbey Glass Division of Owens-Illinois and decorated the crystal at its factory in Buffalo. Bryce Brothers Crystal and A. H. Heisey were other big suppliers of crystal for Cataract Sharpe in the 30's and 40's. The company made no glass itself.
The Cataract Company was originally formed in 1914 by Alfred H. Sharpe, who had been a manager at Fostoria Glass Company. Until 1920, the firm was known as Cataract Glass Company. Cataract-Sharpe cut many intricate, deep-cut crystal patterns. Many of the designs were ornately done and brilliantly polished. A fern-like leaf design was a very typical design for Sharpe and it appears in a variety of their cut patterns. It is important to note that the company's specific stem designs were not matched with any particular cuttings.
In the 30's and 40's, the company widely promoted its Rock Sharpe Crystal products in many of the major women's magazines. According to advertisements, the crystal was described as featuring "smart modern or rich period motifs." The stemware was sold at virtually every major department store in the country.
"Rock Sharpe was some of the best-selling stemware in America during that period," recalls Joanne Miller of Buffalo, New York, whose father, Andrew Cunningham, was vice-president of sales for Cataract-Sharpe in the 20's and 30's. "My dad also designed many of the Rock Sharpe patterns. He even designed a pattern for me." Miller says as far as she can remember, the company only decorated clear, not colored crystal.

 The Cataract-Sharpe Company had extensive equipment for decorating and highly skilled cutters who employed advanced cutting and polishing methods. Until World War II, lead glass was used for Cataract-Sharpe's highest grade cut crystal glassware. The wartime shortage of lead glass temporarily intervened with Cataract's use of this product. All glass firms were required to cut back their production of glassware that was nonessential to the war effort.
After Owens-Illinois bought Cataract-Sharpe, Alfred Sharpe continued on as the President of Sharpe, Inc. R. W. Rogers, formerly a sales manager of the Libbey Glass Division of O-I, became vice-president and general manager.
In the late 40's and 50's, Sharpe, Inc. continued to produce patterns that had previously been made at Cataract-Sharpe. In addition, several new Sharpe patterns were introduced, including "Empire Wreath", "Spear and Ring", "Lattice" and "Bramble." Eventually, however, Owens-Illinois discontinued altogether the Sharpe cut crystal line.
The Libbey Glass Division is still in operation in Toledo, Ohio and has a modern plant in City of Industry, California that was built in 1962. The company is one of the world's largest suppliers of automatically-produced table glassware.
 I do hope you enjoyed your visit today and hopefully learned a bit! I was so excited that I had to just share my excitement with you. I am so happy with this crystal and now i can get more pieces (ssshhhhh, don't tell)! The link to the page for this pattern is HERE.

Please remember Replacements, LTD if you are looking to extend your service, lost or broke a piece. I certainly wished I still traveled just to go visit them again!! And no, I'm not being compensated, nor do I work for them.... just love their service and am so glad they are here to help us dishaholics..

Linking up to Let's Dish over at Cuisine Kathleen's! See you there on Wednesday. See you at Tablescape Thursday on Thursday!!


allisamazing said...

What interesting information and your glasses are beautiful!

Barbara F. said...

Beautiful glasses, Marlis. I cannot find my etched stems when I moved. I remember packing them, but after unpacking every box,they were not to be found. Box must have inadvertently walked off! xo

On Crooked Creek said...

Gorgeous glassware! History of your stemware is always interesting and informative! I have put a price listing with some of our collectables for future reference. At some point and time, I may have to "downsize" and that info could prove helpful! Thanks for sharing!

pembrokeshire lass said...

I'm not sure how I found you but I'm glad I did. Blog hopping is so great and you find people you never would!! How absolutely fascinating!! I'm so glad that you found out about it so you could tell us!! I think I'm your latest follower so that I can find you again!! Have a lovely Sunday Joan

Miss Char said...

I had no idea that Libbey made cut glass, now I do. Your tablescapes are always beautiful Marlis, now I have a little history of some of your stemware to go with it. Thanks for sharing.

Dianne said...

Marlis, I love that glassware and your link reminded me how much I loved that spring table. You always post such interesting and thorough information when you research something. Have a great week. Dianne

Entertaining Women said...

Great timing on this post. I just today saved an eBay auction for a set of Rock Sharpe goblets....they have the stem shown in your illustration...but they're colored. After reading the information, now I wonder if they are authentic...may bid on them any way. I want the color. Happy shopping as you add to your collection. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

You certainly did your research! Your stems are quite beautiful. Love the etching. Replacements is a wonderful resource!

Mary said...

So glad you were able to identify your pattern so you can shop for more! I need to identify my MIL's 60+ year old crystal pattern, so I might follow your lead and an email them a photo! So glad to see a recap of your tables~ your Blooming Romance is one of my favorites :)

kitty said...

Wow, what a beautiful pattern you've collected (with hopefully some more to come!). Thanks for all your valualbe information. I have my grandmother's crystal and I don't know what pattern it is. I could send a picture like you did and maybe find out!

PAT said...

Your glasses are exquisite Marlis. I appreciate the history, too!

Judy Bigg said...

The stemware is beautiful Marlis and it must feel great to find out more information about them. They are just beautiful on the different tablescapes.

Linda said...

Absolutely beautiful glasses. Thanks for sharing the history.
I don't have any etched glasses, but I get to enjoy yours. Thanks for visiting Marlis. I hope your try the Thai Noodle salad. XO Linda

Monica @ Texas Fiesta Ware Fan said...

They are gorgeous. I need to find out some of my aunt's glasses. Thanks for the tip.

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Hi Marlis, I have been on your post for awhile now as I couldn't resist going to each link of your old posts. Those glasses are very versatile and your history is so interesting. I did not know that we could actually visit Replacements, although I have used them to purchase some pieces of transfer ware. I am going to send them a picture of my mom's crystal to see if they can identify it--thanks for the tip. And all your tables are beautiful. The Blooming Love one--sigh--that poem just makes it perfect. Have a wonderful day. Linda

Jacqueline said...

Marlis, what a fun post! I loved learning and what a great place to find replacements. The internet is just amazing isn't it. I found that I could replace my sterling silver that I was missing a spoon, so easily too.

Scribbler said...

This is such an interesting post -- I read it a couple of days ago, and probably forgot to comment. The etched or cut glassware is really beautiful. I let my son have my mother's and he probably doesn't even know where they are! Boys...

Robin said...

Your crystal is so pretty and delicate. Thanks so much for sharing the information and showing different examples of how you've used them.

Robin Flies South

Chubby Chieque said...

Hi dear Marlis,
Wow! That's a really an amazing story of your glasses. Very interesting and so educational.

Love the form and the long legs? FAB.

Greetings from STockHolm,

Debbie@Mountain Breaths said...

This is wonderful information on the Libbby Rock Sharpe. I hope you can get more of the crystal pieces, and we will never tell! One of these days, I will be visiting Replacements. It has been on my bucket list for a while now.

Bonnie said...

Marlis, I love your stemware and especially like etched stemware. Thank you for your research. It was most interesting.Your tablescapes are beautiful! I love how you wove the information and your beautiful tables together.

I have my mother's Meadow Rose by Fostoria. I am drawn to all etched pieces wheither it is crystal or glass.

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Hi Marlis, what stunning tables. Thanks for sharing all the information it was so interesting. You never disappoint with your beautiful tables.. hugs ~lynne~

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

Oh Marlis, What a wonderful find! AND they are GORGEOUS! I loved your post and all you taught me. Hmmm, Here in New England cut glass is in abundance at thrift shops, goodwill ind, tags and flea markets. I will HAVE TO WATCH now for your pattern for you! I Actually LOVE that shape and it's what I use for everyday NO MATTER WHAT the menu is,hehe!
Your tables are always SO INCREDIBLY GORGEOUS! Love,Love,Loved the FLASHBACK ones too...SO MUCH Going on here. I'm going back to RE READ and study every picture!
Have a wonderful weekend,
Hugs to you,

Kathleen said...

They are lovely! A wonderful purchase, so versatile.
Very interesting about Libbey, who knew?
Thanks so much for linking this post to Let's Dish!
Have a blessed weekend.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

How lovely those stems are. They look beautiful at each tablesetting.

Alycia Nichols said...

I know I read this several days ago. No idea where my comment went! Weird! I was, of course, begging for you to give all your pretty stemware to ME! :-) It goes so well with so many different settings! I'm sure your husband has turned that frown upside-down and is happy with the creative ways you have extended the use of it. That's the true measure of a good purchase: when you're able to use the piece(s) to complement many different settings. My lips are sealed that you want to get more! ;-)

Marigene said...

Beautiful glassware...I have some that I need to do research on, too.
Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

I am a total old glass freak and can rarely pass a beautiful design without taking it home which explains why I have one of this, one of that. No matter whether they match, I love using them all as you may have noticed. I have som Libbey stems so I appreciate what you've shared.


Your glasses are beautiful they remind me of the antique, French.. etched ones I have from my Mil's. Beautiful! Yeah, the hubs sometimes write checks while frowning..lol..in the long run they will thank us..(you think? hehehehee).

Elaine said...

I had no idea Libbey made anything so beautiful! They are amazing in each setting. Unfortunately, Replacements could not identify my stemware, but we have purchased many dishes from them!

SwedishCorner-DownUnder...Pernilla said...

Lovely eye candy!
Greetings from Australia♥

Queitsch Hof said...

You have an eye for beauty and great taste. I looked for your Libby Rock Sharp crystal glasses under the number 2009-4 at Replacements but couldn't find it. Did it have a name as well? Lovely table settings…..

Queitsch Hof said...

Found it-


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