Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Glass Chicken...

Following on last week's metaphor for the election, I have to say that it seems the Americans were not "chicken" about getting out to the polls! inspired my new store display...and, hopefully, people will cross the road ~ or the parking lot ~ to come by to buy! now you are thinking...what are we studying this week...well, it is the "My Grandma had one" glass chicken on a nest.

These covered dishes became popular in America during the Victorian era, but covered dishes in animal shapes originated in China centuries before(note...China always seem to be in the picture, does it not?), and the Europeans began producing them in the 17th.

Animals were easier to cast than plants or fruits, so that is why you see the animal form in earlier pieces. Nowadays, the newer molds can replicate designs better.

The dishes were originally designed for poached eggs or to hold butter or condiments. Around 1900, mustard and spices were sold in the containers so that they could be reused. Ah, the good old days before plastic containers!

The hen above is by Westmoreland Glass in PA. In business from 1889-1984, it was one of the first items the company produced in 1889. The Victorians loved all of the specialty items for their tables and buffets. Fenton Glass, W.Va, introduced their line in 1905. They are still in business, and they are still producing.

Indiana Glass operated from 1907-2002, and many of their hens are still nesting in shops, flea markets, and tag sales. The amber and green hens are from the 1970s.

The mini hens were sold as trinket boxes although there are some even smaller that were individual salts. The minis on the shelf are probably from Durand Glass, a French company with a plant nearby in Millville, NJ...southern NJ was well known for its glass factories in the early part of the 20th century.

The white milk glass chicken in the photo below is probably Vallerysthal, another French company.
Martha Stewart offered reproductions of the covered dishes from 1999-2002. There are other reproductions out there also. It is interesting that an entire price guide has been released on these dishes.

Price guides are fun to look through because they always have unique things to this set below...

These dishes make wonderful serving dishes for chicken salad (albeit a tad sadistic) or egg salad...also serving chicken soup...had a customer once who collected service for 8 in them! You could also serve cranberry sauce in one!

It is funny how chickens and roosters have remained a mainstay in kitchen decorating for over a century. They truly are classics in the design world, and one of my favorite poems is by William Carlos Williams...honoring the little things in Grandma's glass chicken!

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends
a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white


Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Yup, I have a couple of those myself. Then I saw them in Big Lots, sigh. But I still love them.


Patricia said...

I love them, particularly hobnail or milk glass. And I really love the outside chickens!


gail said...

I love these. I know my Mom and Grandma had them around always. I wonder if they have a squirrel one. LOL YOu have a very nice collection.. I hope you have a great week...(())gail

Cottage Flair said...

I never thought too much about those chicken dishes. I'm sure I'll notice them now. I like your live chicken photos too. We have 11 hens and 2 roosters. I love letting them out to roam around the yard. They are all so pretty.

Carolyn Kocman said...

i LURVE those chicken dishes. it's a wonder i don't have any of them...i drool over them every time you post a pic with one in it. someday i'll have to get me one!

Unknown said...

What a great lesson and thanks for all of the pictures! I'll keep my eyes opened for them now. Tedi

Brown Bee Studio said...

My Gramma had one of these in amber. You always make me remember the nicest things Susan! xoxo Andie

Inka Smith said...

Hi Susan,
I love chickens...well they taste like chicken! Wish I lived in the country I would have a bunch of them! I used to paint a lot of folk art chickens back in the day. They always sold very well.

Susie said...

Hi Susan! There is such a vintage chicken in my home too. Great show and tell.
Susie of The Polka Dot Rose

Miniature Patisserie Chef said...

I love the chicken dishes. I think these are really rare here. People don't use them here.
Thanks for showing us all the beautiful chicken dishes!

Pei Li

Anonymous said...

Susan ~

Like many others I have a glass chicken too. It was my grandmothers, it's clear, Indiana glass.


Susan - InHerOwnWords said...

Thanks for sharing your knowledge on these wonderful and fun collectible items.

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

You have such a great collection of those chickens Susan! They're so cute.

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

Hey Susan,
My cutie grammy had some of those chicken dishes. I use to see a lot of them around here, but I haven't in the past few years. Odd.
Thanks for this weeks lesson.

Shabby in Pink Boutique said...

I love the hens, I think I passed a yellow glass one at the thrift store the other day. I will have to go back and see if it is still there. Wishing you a Happy Monday!

Shabby in Pink Boutique said...

I love the hens, I think I passed a yellow glass one at the thrift store the other day. I will have to go back and see if it is still there. Wishing you a Happy Monday!

Noelle Garrett Designs said...

I have many memories of those. We had several growing up. Williams is one of my favorites. I always taught his work whether it was part of the "standards" or not. :)

Silena said...

Hi Susan,
Thanks for the great post...what fun. I used to collect the dear chicken dishes until I went pink. I think I still have a few in storage, though. I have a few rabbits scattered around...they are really cute and not so "country". I must say, though, I still like chickens for decorating...they are so gloriously colorful!!

Deb said...

Hi Susan.....nice lesson for today! They are reproducing alot of those hens on nests today but I still like them, just have to watch out that you don't pay the price for an original and get a newer made one. I like the china painted ones which you don't see too often.

Pink hugs,

ann altman said...

Please give artwork credit for "The Red Wheelbarrow" to Ann Altman.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if it the Westmoreland white milk glass chickens were manufactured and sold with red paint on the head and eyes or if such paint would have been added later by a dealer or owner?