Monday, May 3, 2010

A Little Piece Of 'Mad Men'


I've always loved these drinking glasses.

If I remember correctly, I bought them in an antique store in Cumberland, Maryland, sometime in the 1990s.

There used to be another city glass in the original collection -- Paris. It shattered one day in the sink a few years back. It was a sad day.

I've always wondered about the choices of cities depicted on these glasses, which by my reckoning must date to sometime in the 1950s, considering that Havana is one of the designs.

They look like something out of "Mad Men" to me.

I can understand Rome and Madrid and Paris, and maybe even Bombay, but The Hague??!! I've always been curious as to the thinking behind that choice. It's an obscure city even today.

Who knows? There may have been a bunch more in the collection. New York and London spring to mind as obvious candidates. I probably didn't buy a complete set.

These glasses are great for gin and tonics, which is why they're on my mind. We pulled them out last night for the first G&Ts of the season.

These glasses make any drink taste better somehow.

If anyone knows anything about these designs, I'd certainly appreciate it if you'd leave a comment.

41 comments:

  1. Those glasses are very cool. Maybe they picked the Hague because it was in the news at the time or because they just couldn't resist the Dutch girl and windmill and Amsterdam was too long a city name for the glass.

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  2. That's as good a theory as any!

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  3. I have the same set - there are 8 in total. Havana, The Hague, Rome, Madrid, London, Paris, Athens, and Bombay. Sadly, I broke my favorite - Bombay - and I've been looking for a replacement for a while now. I don't suppose anyone has a Bombay they would like to sell me?

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  4. Wow. That's cool. Where did you get yours? So I am missing London and Athens (plus Paris, which I broke). Where can we get our missing glasses?!

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  5. I have the tumbler set of these, I have 7 (missing Paris also)I got mine at an estate sale

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  6. I stumbled upon you post while searching for information about these glasses. Jacqueline is correct, there are eight. I have the set in a footed “rocks” style. They even still retain their gold rim, the first thing to fade with use. Havana does mark the set at least pre Bay of Pigs and is also a personal favorite. I’m trying to find out who made them. My guess is Libby or Hocking. I have two in the highball style you own, something I found at a garage sale years ago. Pretty unique set that I have seen done in three different forms now including a large, heavy bottomed rocks style. Cheers!

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  7. Hey, JW. That's pretty cool. Keep me posted if you find out anything more. Perhaps you could send a photo of your "rocks" style set and I could post it (grantpodelco@yahoo.com). Cheers!

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  8. Hi
    Thought you'd all like to see this photo I found while searching for info about my glass set. I have only four remaining.
    http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-libbey-glass-bar-water-87834986#
    cheers from Australia

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  9. oooh. And I just found this set with three different style. Too cool.

    http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/libbey-international-glassware-1950s-complete

    cheers

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  10. Hey, Tamzie. Thanks so much for these links. Awesome. So they're Libby glass after all.

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  11. Hello, John here again!

    I’m finding more and more on this set. Here is a fantastic link to the original product brochure redone in PDF format: http://libbeyhistory.com/Catalogs/19591960fall.pdf

    Cheers!

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  12. I was doing a google search for these glasses (to complete my set) and I was excited to happen upon your post. However as I'm reading through the comments, I'm beginning to see a pattern. Is it a sign that I should let go of this small obsession and just sell the ones I've got? I love the set, but I'm getting annoyed with the search to complete it. To be frank, I actually sell vintage stuff like this online, BUT this set's mine & I'd never considered parting with it...well...until 5 minutes ago... I don't mean to use your blog as a platform and hopefully isn't *too* tacky, but I've got these--Hague (agreed on the 'huh'?), Athens, Bombay, London, Madrid & Havana--and I think they might be looking for new homes. I feel weird about posting my email addy here, so if you want them you can find my contact info here: http://www.etsy.com/people/retrovertigo
    Thanks for writing this cool post!!!

    Cheers,
    Sarah

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  13. Hey there, Sarah. Thanks for the comment. I'm sure you'll get some offers. I need London (which I never had), and Paris (which I broke), but considering I live in Prague, I don't think they'd make the journey. Good luck to you. Let me know how it goes!

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  14. They certainly would! The majority of my customers are from Canada, Japan, Korea and Australia & I've shipped (from Minnesota) loads of breakables without any problems. (Knock on wood.) Anyhow, if you change your mind, you know where to find me. :D Cheers!

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  15. I have all 8 of these glasses in a gold/metal carrying case. They belonged to my parents who got them as a wedding gift maybe? 1959? They are still intact because I guess they rarely used them-we lived near the Boontonware factory and got unbreakable cups from there.

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  16. Webley, that sounds totally cool! You should send me a photo. You selling them??!

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  17. My parents had the set of drinking glasses. They were married in 1960, so probably a wedding gift. My 23-year-old daughter now has them, but we are missing Athens. If anyone knows where to find the Athens drinking glass, please post. (Without it costing a fortune--I saw one on ebay once for $20. I'm not sure the entire set is worth $20, let alone one glass!)

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  18. I just picked up the entire set at a flea market in Maine, with the wire carrier - for $20. Found this thread while researching their history - too cool!

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  19. Hey this is my email address if someone is willing to sell me all but athens and the hague. I had havana but it broke.

    gardenpartyy [at] gmail [dot] com.

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  20. It's great to see that so many others are as in love with these glasses as I am! I happened upon a set (I figured it wasn't complete since there were 7) in San Antonio a while back. Sadly, I broke them out for a party and Athens was lost to the fun. So, I lack Madrid and Athens now... but now at least I know it's Madrid I'm looking for, thanks to this post! I imagine that someday I will happen upon them in a little shop somewhere, and it will be kismet...

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  21. Hey Everyone-

    First off- I love this blog.

    I have 4 of these glasses but in the goblet form. I havent been able to find anyone talking about the goblets anywhere. I have paris, athens, london and rome. If anyone is looking to complete their set please let me know.

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  22. I seem to recall that the same set came in short tumblers-many broken over the years. The goblet-that's curious.Maybe you can post a picture of them?

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  23. Happy to see this blog post is generating so much love for these cool glasses. If you send me a photo of the goblets to grantpodelco@yahoo.com, I'd be happy to post!

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  24. Hello again Grant,
    I feel like there should be a club for those of us following this thread! I have many vintage bar ware glasses but these still remain my favorite. I have all three versions of this glass in complete sets now, including the brass plated caddy that accommodates the tumbler style you have shown. I have some Holiday time off coming soon and will set some time aside to photograph all three versions of these interesting Libbey creations.
    Cheers, John.

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  25. Grant,

    You should be receiving six photos of my glassware soon if not already!

    Best in 2012!!

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  26. I wrote up an entry on my blog on my goblets. Just click on my name and it should take you there. Hope this helps someone.

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  27. Great post, Ayla. Thanks! Here's the direct link for everyone: http://vtgwithavengeance.blogspot.com/2012/01/libbey-international-set.html

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  28. Hi, folks. I just published another blog item about these glasses. Thought you might be interested! http://gusto-blog.blogspot.com/2012/01/little-bit-of-mad-men-part-ii.html

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  29. I found out today that there is a NINTH city represented in this set, NASSAU. It's the same orange tone as Havana, so I'm guessing it most likely only produced post August 1962 replacing Havana for political reasons?
    I have the 8 tumbler set with caddy, and seven of the eight (possibly NINE, now?!) goblets. If anyone comes across a Madrid goblet and would be interested in parting with it, please be in touch. courtney (dot) knopf (at) gmail (dot) com
    likewise if you're unloading your set of double old fashioneds, I only have Bombay... which is the glass that began this damnable obsession of mine in the first place.

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  30. Nassau? Really??? That's amazing. Can anyone send me a photo?? (grantpodelco@yahoo.com)

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  31. I tried to get the Etsy seller just to sell me Nassau. no dice. sigh.
    here is the original listing for a set of the beverage glasses that included Nassau.
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/109195586/cities-of-the-world-glasses-six-city

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  32. That's so weird Nassau! I have a new set of eight glasses that my wife gave me for my birthday, but no Nassau (London, Madrid, Paris, Athens, Bombay, Havana, Rome and the Hague).

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  33. I bought a few of these International pieces from a woman at a garage sale that said she originally obtained her set from the New York World’s Fair in 1964. Libbey must have responded with the Nassau substitution during that "post Bay of Pigs" era. This would indicate that the Tumbler set was in production for at least five years. I wonder if the Double Old Fashioned and Goblets were produced with a Nassau version.

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  34. Hi! My dear friend has them in old fashion size... Alas - her Bombay broke. Anyone wish to sell one or a set?

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    1. I found this blog very interesting. I had been trying to find info about these glasses for quite a while and somehow missed this blog. A couple of months ago, I finally found one posting of someone selling a whole set of 8 tumblers on ebay. I was surprised they sold with a winning bid of $129.99. I have all but the Rome, which I am very sorry to have accidentally broken over a decade ago. I think they are very cool, but I inherited many glasses from my grandmother and just don't need them all. Therefore, I was planning to sell them on ebay as a set (Athens, Bombay, Hague, Havana, London, Madrid, and Paris, but no Rome), but I'm willing to skip the auction and just sell them here if your friend or anyone else is interested. I'd prefer to sell them as a set, but I'd consider selling them individually.

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  35. I think I'm interested JA. Where are you? I am in Australia.
    cheers

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    1. I'm in the Chicago area of the United States. It would be pretty pricey to ship it that far, especially if you want all 7 instead of just one or two. If you're still interested, let me know!

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  36. Here is a full set of these glasses:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/131072429256?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

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