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50ís Glassware:
The Birth of the Cocktail Party

Itís hard to think of a decade that produced a larger variety of interesting, quirky, and collectible glassware than the 50ís. The 50ís saw the absolute height of the cocktail party and having the most modern serving dishes and highball glasses was every host and hostesses ultimate goal. You wonít find a wider variety of barware, cheese plates, Hors DíOeuvres platters, snack plates, fondue pots, brightly designed glasses, punch bowls, ice buckets, or fabulous ashtrays in any other era.

Glassware is one of the most affordable collectibles from the 50ís and they are the perfect compliment to any retro decorated home.  Whether you are cruising E-bay or your local church garage sale you are bound to find a good deal.  Dishes and platters can be used as wall hangings to decorate your kitchen or dining room and you can pull them down to use when you have your own swinging bash. You can identify glassware from the 50ís by their bright colors of gold, turquoise, orange, yellow, silver, and browns all painted in classic patterns of geometric shapes. Some of the most original glassware may even be signed by the designer such as those designed by the prolific Georges Briard. 

Georges Briard designs are the quintessential 50ís. His bright colors and eye-popping designs have inspired everything from clocks to end tables and his lines of barware seem to be never ending. The beauty of Briardís glassware designs is that the individual pieces seem to have a connecting thread that makes it easy to assemble pieces of different types and designs into one cohesive collection.  A good investment for any collector of 50ís Briard glass would be the book Designed & Signed: '50S & '60s Glass, Ceramics & Enamel Wares by Georges Briard, Sascha Brasto  by Leslie Pina. 

Other great 50ís glassware were made by such well known companies as Anchor Hocking, Pyrex, Corning, and Fireking.

Glassware from the 50ís era is far superior to that which you will find on the market today at stores such as Target who have lines of retro glasses and dishes.  The authentic pieces may even be less expensive if you are a shrewd shopper since 50ís glass can be easily found at auctions and estate sales. A quirky collection of assorted glasses from the 50ís can be so much more satisfying than a matched set of reproductions from your local department store and if they have lasted for fifty years they are likely to be of a much higher quality.

Donít throw another cocktail party without first acquiring some of your own original glassware from the 50ís!

Christine Sostarich is a freelance writer and mother of four living in the Pocono Mountains of Eastern Pennsylvania.  She is also a poet and editor of a small literary journal.


50s and 60s Glass, Ceramics, Enamel Ware


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